What they don't tell you when you say, "I do."
In case you're wondering? Life isn't always a bed of roses after you're married.
With in a year we had experienced the loss of our first child.
We received much love and support.
Words of encouragement and strength to journey on.
There was much hard work and little time for anything else.
We made it work.
And then it happened.
All take their toll.
Date nights; gone by the wayside.
Romance; a thing of the past.
You wake one morning to find there are no children in diapers.
The car seats are gone.
The house is occupied by living, breathing, opinionated, stubborn, hungry, always hungry, beings.
Somewhere life has taken a turn and you're wondering how in the world you got here.
Then life takes another turn.
You find yourself needing to care for ailing parents.
The battle between your home and theirs ensues.
Add plans for a wedding and you wonder where time has gone.
You sit across the table from the one you said. "yes" to.
You realize the only conversations you have is around the kids or the business.
You attempt to go away with little success.
Spending time together is hard.
Then the unimaginable happens.
You are woken in the middle of the night to find your first born son will never come home.
He has taken his last ride.
His home forever more is with the King of Kings.
And the one you said, "yes" to begins a battle for his life as cancer digs in it's claws.
All of life becomes unfamiliar.
Your heart searches for stability.
Together you commit to fight.
And when 20 years rolls around it doesn't feel right.
Nothing goes right and the surrender to grief and pain mar the celebration there should be.
The birth of a grandchild in the middle of all the unpleasantness, a balm to our weary hearts.
The joy of watching your step daughter and son in law move to the dance of
new life is grace heaped on grace.
So when 21 rolls around.
A new effort is made.
The familiar has returned. The conversation rich and glorious.
Matching the glowing colors of the landscape.
What they don't tell you when you say I do is the beauty in staying together.
The joy in working through the tough parts.
The immeasurable peace in growing side by side together.
We bow together in humble submission to the One who gave marriage as a gift.
We ask for forgiveness.
I vow to reign in this anxiety that threatens to permeate everything.
We will continue to take steps.
No matter how difficult.
Hand in hand.
On our knees.
For better, for worse, for richer or poorer.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I know that "Years from now, I'll love you years from now."
Happy 21st Anniversary Gary.
I long to do this life well.
May all we do, point to Christ.
May we live in grace and extend grace.
And do much with what we have been given.
Until death do us part.