This weekend, David and I will celebrate our first year of marriage. An African proverb says it takes a village to raise a child. For us, the village that our young marriage needs is just another way of expressing our dependence on our church family, the body of Christ.

One of the battles we’ve faced throughout my 6-month depression is the feeling of being utterly forsaken and alone. The times when we drown ourselves in our pain are inevitably worse than when we break out of our isolation to cry out to God and those we love. It is liberating to channel the anger I feel at my suffering into violent prayers. It is healing simply to ask others for prayer, meals or errands when we are sick.

Marriage is a microcosm of the love God shares within Himself between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is three-in-one, we are two-in-one. And yet this microcosm does not exist in a vacuum. Our unity with one another is directly reflective of our unity with Jesus. If I’m criticizing David, I am not walking humbly before the Lord. If he is irritable with me, a heart check is in order. Beyond the two of us, we are not built to contain the resources to live on an island, especially when you throw mental illness into the boat. We are desperately dependent on Jesus and our local community of faith. When we forget, we sink.

This week, I had to learn it again. David has been running around like a champ to help care for me, but he can’t run a household and a one-man business indefinitely before the mountain of dishes starts overtaking the mountain of paperwork. It took 5 days of my debilitating cold to ask friends to pray for us and help us out with practical needs. The street in front of our house was suddenly trafficked as friend after friend stopped by to help. Anne brought extra tissues. Alex and Sasha brought an essential oils diffuser. Jazmine brought homemade organic bone broth, basil seeds and Frankincense essential oil. And thanks to their prayers and care and love, I am getting well. My congestion is lessening and my mind is clear.

We are celebrating our first year anniversary this weekend with a trip to a family-run inn in Bryson City, NC. Shortly after, we will have our first official counseling session with a wonderful Christian friend and therapist.

It takes a village. May our young union grow through many years, held fast by the Spirit, held close by the Bride.