I’ve been married 30 years to an amazing man and, truthfully, it’s hard to believe. Our family was lucky enough to celebrate together by going on a short vacation for the first time since we’ve gained two sweet granddaughters. Sand, waves, sun, babies, kids, endless food and hammocks were the stuff of memories.
At least in my mind.
What I didn’t expect was that exhausted babies, cancelled flights, last-minute hotel stays, sunburn, lost treasures, diarrhea and fever would also be a part of our family vacay. That may not be the idealistic vacation, but its a more realistic description of our past 5 days.
You know what? That’s okay. Because that’s life and, honestly, a pretty accurate picture of our 30 years of marriage.
I treasure both.
Maybe there are couples out there that have laughter, love, ease, intimacy, connection, rainbows and unicorns 24/7 in their relationship but that’s not us. We’ve had some really hard times. We’ve had some years that we refer to as the years from hell. We’ve had meltdowns, insecurities, fights, counseling and disappointments through the years. BUT, we’ve also had wonderful moments, joy, laughter, forgiveness, passion, ministry, faith, adventure and lots and lots of love. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
I wouldn’t trade my love for anything or anyone. My husband knows me better than I know myself. He’s loved me well and has given me the opportunity to learn to love him well. I may be a slower learner than he is, but I’m catching on. Believe me when I say that it’s NEVER to late to learn anything…especially how to love better.
The truth is, marriage is HARD! Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes we disappoint ourselves and each other. Sometimes we have to fall on the grace of God and trust Him to lead us back together…even if we feel worlds apart. But, man, is it worth it!
I recognize that there are times when it isn’t possible to fight your way back to one another but I also believe that those times are fewer than we assume. We’ve heard of couples who have walked through the worst life has to offer only to find themselves reconnected and stronger than ever. I’m grateful that that’s our story. That we chose one another over everything else. Because let me tell you….there is no love like the love that is on the other side of hardship. There is no marriage like a marriage that has been full of forgiveness, grace, humility, love and hope. And it’s almost impossible to have a marriage full of all that without also being full of hardships.
So, to all the newlyweds out there…prepare now for difficulties and fight like hell through them because the love you have is nothing compared to the love you can have if you humbly follow God and love one another over time.
To all those in the middle of difficulties…get some great biblical counseling, be prepared to serve, forgive and give until it hurts. Pray constantly. Don’t give up hope and remember to give the grace God has given you.
To all those enjoying the fruits of faithfully working through the ups and downs of life…find a couple to encourage and never take one another for granted. Life is fragile and life is flitting.
But, oh…life can be so beautiful! It isn’t always palm trees, sand, waves and holding hands in a hammock but when it is…it’s lovely. I hope to spend the next 30 years holding hands with this man I love whether it’s through storms or sunshine.
I’ll suffer through delayed flights and sleepless nights just to be near him. My hero. My love. My life.