Ten years ago today, I stood in front of an altar surrounded by friends and family and pledged to be wife and helpmeet to my husband. I stared into his beautiful brown eyes and loved the love I saw reflected there. I felt as if his heart beckoned to me and mine to him. Truly, this was the man God had crafted for me.
I wasn’t the traditional fairy-tale bride with the pure love, marriage, and carriage. No, I came into our marriage with a beautiful son, and watched as my husband adored him. I watched as he came to practices and daytrips. I watched as he encouraged him and me, how he prayed for and with us and that was before we became a couple. I watched as his heart showcased a kindness and love for me and my little that I’d not previously known. I watched us become associates, then friends, and then a couple who loved each other boundlessly.
So, when April 21, 2012 arrived, it was with a huge heart that I said “I do”.
I promise I hope he always looks at me the way he looked at me that day—such love and promise. We’d asked each other thousands of questions. We’d shared countless memories. We’d taken pre-marital classes and had attended even when we were just boyfriend and girlfriend. We were ready. I just knew we would have a beautiful an amazing marriage together, and we do. Still, I had no idea that marriage really is WORK. A good work, but work nonetheless. You must nurture your marriage, invest in it, make it beautiful and authentic. You swell in its highs. You wither in its lows. And you find beauty in it all.
Still, I had no idea that marriage really is WORK. A good work, but you must nurture your marriage, invest in it, make it beautiful and authentic. You swell in its highs. You wither in its lows. And you find beauty in it all.
Over the course of our marriage, I have found myself remarkably happy and heartbreakingly sad. I remember throwing myself into trying to become the “perfect wife”, the one who made home perfect and our marriage amazing. I would have the hardest time with perceptions as I saw friends and family members with what appeared to be great and wonderful marriages while ours seemed the complete opposite. I remember wondering what was wrong with our marriage in comparison. Nothing. In our 10 years, I have found that most couples showcase the wonderful and perfect of their marriage. But the ones that are actually thriving, the ones that are making it…? Their marriages have ebbs and flows like mine.
They have good days and bad, days where they laugh so hard their bellies hurt and days where they cry and pray to Jesus so hard their throats are raw. Days when they feel like they are standing against the world together and days when the world seems to be doing all it can to destroy them. Those marriages are the ones the bring strength and longevity and an unwavering commitment one to another. Ones where we pray for each other more than ourselves and we celebrate God’s blessings and answered prayer—together.
Am I glad I said, “I do”?
Yes, I am. My husband can drive me up a wall sometimes, as I know I do to him. Yet, he has held me down in some of the darkest times in my life. He has held my hand when I lost my great-grandmother, has whispered encouragements in my ear as I delivered our son in a precipitous and unmedicated birth. Then, he did it again when I birthed our daughter a year and some change later. He has nursed me back to health when I was ill and has taken the lead of making sure I am not disturbed when I need absolute peace for whatever I may be going through. He is absolutely NOT perfect—but absolutely IS perfect for me.
And our marriage?
We love hard. I’m protective of him even when he isn’t aware. I won’t let you disparage him. He is mine and I am his. Our marriage is built or crumbles together in faith, and God will NOT let us fail as long as we fight together in Him. Together, my husband and I have achieved some AMAZING things. We’ve seen birth and death. We’ve lost and gained. Still, we remain united. I still get excited when I hear the garage door open when he has been at work or the gym, or wherever. We still surprise each other with things that make the other smile. We still push together. And in those times when the dynamic is off, be it schedule or unmet expectations, mental strain, or a lack of communication, we may go off to our corners to brood…but we ALWAYS come back. I pray we always will!
The Fun Stuff
Year Ten Favorites
- Playing Kerplunk and family games during family game night
- Surprising my husband for his 40th birthday
- Attending trivia night with my husband not placing last
- Moving into our new home
- Laying on the couch with the kids sleep feet in his lap just watching the world go by
- Sitting on the front porch watching our children playing in the front yard while we rocked in our rockers. I prayed for this and God has been faithful.