Today marks our 14th wedding anniversary.
As I reflect back on “the chase,” when he “captured me,” and when we settled into life as a family, I also realize I’ve learned a few things along the way.
I’ll get into the story of us in a moment, but allow me to speak of the knowledge I’ve gained in these past 14 years.
There are rather bold people in this world who will look you in the eye and say things purposely to hurt you. They will refuse to attend your wedding claiming they do not support your union, meanwhile they secretly wish to see you continue to struggle in life. These people are not your friends if they rejoice in your suffering and ridicule you when your heart has finally found happiness.
I’ve learned that people will not always be on your side. They will not always support your decisions. Things will come along in life that shake your foundation and threaten to rip your heart open to the very core. Some people will help you gather broken, shattered pieces now scattered all around as your heart faces the biggest house-leveling tornado you never saw coming. Having no way to prepare, all you can do in the aftermath is find the will to keep breathing in and moving on.
There will be those that pretend to your face to be your best friend with only the best intentions at heart, yet they will turn slowly from you to tell your business to any one that will listen speaking things you trusted to only them. They will take your trusting heart and betray you time and time again, knowing your forgiving heart will grant them forgiveness once more in the end. While I may, indeed, our friendship will never be the same again.
And sadly, there will be those attempting to place a wedge between you and your spouse. Old hurts are often revisited and brought back up as a way to taint your marriage, yet you’ve long moved on from that place they still continue to take you back to time and time again.
For all those not in favor of my life choices, there are plenty of others cheering me on, kneeling down in prayer each night and asking God to continue to bless our family and our union.
And with that said, I’ll continue with the brief story of us.
Our story isn’t the traditional one where we met, fell in love immediately, and couldn’t wait to get married, though. This boy worked HARD to win me over! For two years, he chased after me. Having gone through a really bad divorce, I was NOT interested whatsoever in anyone at that point. I was actually anti-man for a while (except for my daddy). But, this fellow kept calling, periodically sending flowers to my work, cards in the mail, etc. I remember telling my parents about it and asking, “WHY won’t he stop?” My dad said, “He’s persistent, you have to give him that. Besides, he knows a good thing when he sees it.” My mom, smiling so innocently, looked over at me and said, “You’re going to marry him one day.” Me? Marry HIM? Never!!! HA!
It wasn’t until he asked me to listen to Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls that everything changed. Quite disturbed at his request at first, I did finally give in and listened to the words of the song. There is a part in there that says, “I just want you to know who I am …” and then I realized I truly hadn’t given him a chance at all. Well, that moment in time changed all of that. Right then and there, my heart started to shift more favorably in his direction.
We dated for two years before we got married, so all total it’s been 18 years of craziness. We’ve had our good times, as well as our bad, like EVERY couple does (and if you say you haven’t gone through anything in your married life, you’re lying because everyone does whether they want to admit it or not). Through it all, we’ve held on to each other, and we have been so very proud of the two daughters we have raised. God has richly blessed us, and we are so grateful.
He stepped into the role of being Nicole’s father without hesitation when her real father stepped out. We started our lives together as a family, even including her in our wedding ceremony, presenting her with a necklace at a certain point in the wedding. It was truly a precious moment that will forever be etched into my mind when he got down on one knee and placed a sparkling ballerine necklace around her little neck. And before he stood back up, she reached her little angel arms around his neck, as she stood on her tippy toes, and hugged him tightly. We were united and presented to our guests not as husband and wife but as a family. ♥ And, what do you know? My mama was right after all!
A few years later, we were blessed with another daughter, who is also the light of our lives. When I tell you that she is my miracle baby, believe it, because she truly is. Only God knows what all I went through to have her, but it was worth it and so much more. She has blessed my heart and my life, and I sit in tears as I think of my two beautiful baby girls who are my life, my heart, and my soul. Oh thank you, God.
Our union has been blessed, and through all the struggles and trials that we’ve faced, we’re still together. We’re still going strong, and he’s still the one I love.
It doesn’t seem like a grand total of 18 years together, but I sure hope God blesses us with many, many more years of living, loving, and laughing together. I want to hold his hand when I’m 85 years old and say, “We made it, baby.”
As you have read, the majority of my post today has spoken of the good in my husband of 14 years. I have chosen to look past the flaws and things he may have done to hurt me or let me down during our total of 18 years together. I have, instead, focused on the things that bring a smile to my face and continue to warm my heart to this very day. It’s a decision, really. For you see, I am not perfect either. I have flaws and imperfections, too. There are times I’ve hurt my beloved. Yet, it is my hope that he continues to look past those times and celebrate the love we have in our hearts and that which is reflected back to us in the faces of our two beautiful daughters. When the times got tough, as they do in every marriage, we chose to keep our family together because of those bright blue eyes of both of our daughters. While some would have given up when the waters of marriage became rough, we knew our girls were watching to see how we’d handle difficult situations we were forced to face. We chose to weather the storms of life and stay together. I can say with all honesty and sincerity, God is the glue that held our family together.