Looking back over our wedding pictures, just after being introduced as husband and wife, as we tiptoed down the aisle into a world we were in no way prepared for, I have to stop and wonder what we would have done if we had known then what our future would hold. We were as clueless as we appeared to be, but maybe that is the only way it could have worked.
We soon found that life has a way of taking you to places that you never thought you would go. Difficult places. Rocky places. Places that leave scars. Places where your only goal can be to get through it. Places that don’t leave room to worry about what everyone else is thinking. Places that run like a roaring river and you are tossed in, leaving you to crash against the rocks and hold on until you can find each other on the other side.
Yes, life has a way of taking you through places where the odds are stacked against you, but these are the kind of places that lead you to your knees, and then later, back to each other.
But the opposite is also true.
Just when you least expect it, life has a way of bringing you through places that are much more wonderful than anything you could have ever dreamed.
It really is a perfect balance between the two extremes. Along the way, the path is filled with good days and bad days; gut wrenchingly painful days and deliriously happy days; proud moments and moments filled with shame; questioning your existence moments and defining your purpose moments; keeping your head above water moments and flying like an eagle moments.
It’s impossible to put into words all that we’ve shared, but that won’t stop me from trying – job changes; hard work; promotions; budget cuts; stranded vehicles; buying our first house; broken refrigerators, and really anything else electronic that you can think of; new roofs that no one noticed; the birth of our three miraculous, yet unexpected, children; bad financial decisions; stolen purses; the heartbreaking divorce of a few close “couple” friends; seasons of change – always before we were ready; yard sales that forced us to come face to face with a lifetime of accumulated junk and wondered if this was all we had to show for our years of hard work; baby steps that led to driving teenagers way before we could afford them; vacations we couldn’t afford; rarely used kitchens and eating out way too much; not enough time around the table; being the proudest, and sometimes loudest, spectators at our kids basketball or soccer games/dance recitals/cheerleading competitions/Disney parades; job transfers to states that are too far away; the loss of all four of our grandmothers (who can be seen standing together in one of our wedding pictures); graduations and the wide open choices that follow; way too many car wrecks, followed by way too many insurance adjustments; first pet – Pickles the Pug; the death of Pickles the Pug; do-it-yourself home improvements that always seemed to make it worse; birthday parties; slumber parties; airsoft gun parties; illegal fireworks; bicycles with flat tires; dangerous neighborhoods; church cookouts; crazy VBS skits; mission trips; sunrises and sunsets; autumn leaves falling over kids on shaky bikes; the baptism of all three kids at Fall Creek Falls, performed by their Daddy; tear-jerking phone calls from our kids; watching them make choices and then live with the consequences; too many surgeries; eleven days in ICU; malignant tumor; waiting for test results; and finally, learning to live each day to the fullest anyway, in spite of it all.
For us, the past twenty-five years have been just that – day to day living and finding a way to come out on top, but somehow still together. I guess the only real secret to finding true happiness is to know that it’s a daily choice that we make, and can only come when we realize that God lies in both the good and the bad.
It’s not about arriving at a destination, but rather in recognizing that if you missed the journey, you missed it all.
So bring on the next twenty-five years – slowly, one day at a time, filled with these people and as many God-designed moments as possible.
If 25 years is the silver anniversary, then ‘happily ever after’ must be discovered in the silver lining…
Congratulations on your 25th wedding annivesary.
Some marraiges break prior to reaching this mark,in my opinion:both or either of them not ready to endure problamatic times(as mentioned in your write-up) in married life, or a third party involvement which shatter the marraige.