Life, love and the challenges we face as the heart of home.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Two Are Better Than One

I looked at the clock for what felt like the one hundredth time that night.

"It's not time yet", she said.  "It's still dark."

I couldn't help it.  It was the day I had been waiting for ever since I was a little girl and it was just hours away.  My sister rolled back over in her bed and I lay awake in mine.  Waiting.  Was the sun EVER going to come up?

"Are you checking the clock again?  You are so cute!  But seriously, go back to sleep."

When the light started to illuminate our room a few hours later, I knew it was time.  I just couldn't wait to see him!

Marriage is a funny thing.  It's kind of like deciding who's hand you want to hold while jumping into a foggy mystery.  You have your hopes and dreams and run as fast as you can into the thick fog together not knowing what on God's green earth you are running into.  This is true as far as committing to someone (what will it be like living with this person forever?) as well as the circumstances and challenges that are surely there lurking ahead in the haze.  Sometimes the fog will become so dense along the way that you lose sight of one another but you will still feel the familiar grip of your hands and intertwined fingers while you both find the ground and get your bearings. Whatever you do, hold on tight and don't ever let go.  


Our foggy mystery started out on a warm, sunny day with a light breeze on the first of September fifteen years ago.  It was that glorious time of year when the days are warm and the nights start getting cooler.  We were young.  Getting married young meant we grew up together.  We bonded earlier in life, interweaving his and hers into ours.  Now, there are only a handful of days that make "before him" a bit longer than "after him".  Hitting the fifteen year mark makes me feel like we are perservering in a culture that is bent on throwing things away rather than fixing them.  Loving someone well and staying married is an ongoing effort.  Physical.  Mental.  Emotional.  Spiritual.  And not necessarily in that order.  There have been a lot of ups and downs, problems and circumstances that have blindsided us without warning, just like every other married couple out there.  And though we have been tested and subjected to trials of all kinds, through it all, we are enduring.  

A lot has changed since that summer day and yet some things still remain the same.  We are fifteen years older now.  I would like to think that we are fifteen years wiser too, even though we have plenty to learn.  My husband still has that sweet smile and those baby blue eyes that make me swoon.  He still is that kind man with a crazy sense of humor that I fell in love with so long ago albeit with a few more patches of grey hair that he undoubtably will attribute to me.  Fair enough.  The years have passed much too fast but this milestone brings with it an intense feeling of fortitude.  You see, just a mere ten months ago, it looked like fifteen years might not happen.  If you have been following our story, you have an idea of how close we came to that.  And today, of all days, I am reminded of the truth in the verses that were read at our wedding:

Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12

Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

I'm so thankful for the strength of our braided cord.  We know the third cord in our marriage, and by far the strongest, is Jesus Christ.  I'm thankful for the durability He brings when we are weary and it feels like we've been beaten down and drained to the last drop.  I'm thankful to have been given a kind and caring man as my life partner, someone who picks me up, dusts me off and holds me close when I've fallen.  (He also gives the best hugs and keeps my feet warm at night.)  Indeed, two are better than one. 

To my Groom: you have been a greater source of strength than you will ever know.  You and our miracle boy gave me the will to keep fighting when it would have been easier to give up.  I love our life.  And I wouldn't ever want to do life with anyone else.  I love you.  Happy 15th!  Here's to the next 60... because you know, our goal all along has been to make it to our 75th wedding anniversary.  We aim high!  XOXO  



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