Today is my parents’ 45th wedding anniversary. Forty-five years. That’s a long time. My parents haven’t always had a great marriage. Sometimes I don’t know if they even felt like they had a good marriage. But they have stuck with each other for forty.five.years.
Matt and I have had, in my opinion, the second hardest season of our marriage over the past eight months. The first year was without a doubt the hardest year. It was the year I would have walked had I not been pregnant so soon after our wedding. I’m not proud of that fact. I just wasn’t strong then and was prone to looking for the easy way out. I often don’t feel I’m strong now. I’m just convinced that I’m in this for the long haul. I’m grateful for that early pregnancy. Not only because it gave us our first born, but because I honestly believe it saved our marriage.
The past several months have been a different kind of difficult. We’ve let life interrupt our marriage and haven’t made as much time to be together. Matt’s knee has kept him from running which had become a huge part of “us”. We stopped meeting early once a week and lost that time of communicating and sharing what God was doing in our lives. Because we don’t feel connected our words get sharp and our defenses go up. He says one thing. I hear something else. I respond without grace. And the cycle continues until we both feel broken and defeated.
As I strolled the aisles of WalMart – alone! – the other night, I talked with God about this and how I was so tired of it and how it was wearing us down. He gently showed me that when we get in these ruts I stop thinking about all of my husband’s wonderful attributes and begin to focus on his weaknesses or some perceived way that he’s failed me. And I can’t think the best of my husband when I’m only thinking the worst.
So, today, even though it’s not Monday, I’m counting some of the ways I’m grateful for the amazing man I’m married to, that I share this life with, that I will walk beside until “death do us part”.
- his amazing, driving, never-ceasing ability to work hard, even when he doesn’t feel like it
- his orneriness
- how his eyes disappear when he laughs
- his laugh – oh, how I love his laugh!
- how he loves me
- how he’s still so attracted to me
- that he’s not afraid to push me or challenge me to do better, be better
- his patience with me, the girls
- his abundantly generous heart
- that he’s a man of amazing integrity; a man of his word
- that he’s never been willing to settle for a mediocre marriage
- that I have no fear of him ever leaving me, that my heart is safe with him
- knowing that the Enemy of our souls will do everything in his power to destroy this thing we have and that my husband is strong to defend us on his knees
As I reflect on my parents forty-five years of marriage and I contemplate Father’s Day tomorrow, I want to say thank you. Thank you to my parents for sticking together – through good and bad. You are now blessed to have a wonderful marriage for all your times of weathering the storms. Thank you to my dad for being courageous enough to go against the grain and take us where you felt God leading us, even though it might cost you your family. Thanks to both of you for the years you spent on your knees for me. You know now that God heard you. Thank you to my in-laws for raising such an amazing son for me to marry. Thank you to my father-in-law for breaking the cycle of divorce in your family and constantly reassuring your children that you would never leave their mother. Thank you for leaving a legacy of faithfulness to your children. And thank you to my husband, for sticking through that first awful year together and for never being willing to settle for anything less than a great marriage. Thank you for being such an amazing husband to me and father to our girls. I wouldn’t want to do this life with anyone else. I love you.