What a ride!
This month marks 39 years of marriage to my husband. I know we live in a day and age where many relationships seem to be faltering, however, I do think it is important to herald our milestones and celebrate them.
Love at first sight!
Paul and I met each other when we were in our teens. I have to be honest and admit that I think I fell in love with him the first time I saw him. He shares similar sentiments about me!
We were married when I was nineteen years old—just two months away from twenty. He was twenty one. Yes, we were young, but we were deeply in love with each other and we were both in love with Jesus.
From the moment we committed our lives to each other, we determined that come what may, we were going to stick at this relationship. It could sound as if our commitment to each other has been arduous. Challenging yes, arduous no! You see, both of us loved one another other too much to fail the other. But there was also another vital link in our relationship and that was our beautiful Jesus. We did not want to disappoint each other but we also did not want to fail Him.
And then almost two years after we had been married our baby girl arrived and our hearts were smitten. We had never laid eyes on such perfection. The determination not to fail grew even deeper. A mere eighteen months later, the most adorable strawberry-blonde, blue-eyed boy entered our world and we were overwhelmed. We couldn't believe that Jesus had blessed us with two perfect human beings and we felt humbled and honored at the privilege of raising two priceless treasures. Our commitment grew even deeper.
Along the way there have been challenges. Paul had to serve in the military, and we were separated for long periods of time. Our love grew deeper and our commitment cemented. I would never wish for those moments of separation again but they strengthened our love and appreciation for each other.
Trials and Trauma
We have had our fair share of challenges along the way. Our son was involved in a horrific motor accident (his car is pictured below). Five years later, Paul was diagnosed with an aneurism on his rising aorta. Oh boy, do I hate ICU wards? Yes. The depressing cloud hovering over the room, the antiseptic smell permeating the air and sticking to the inside of your nose, the whoosh of the respirator... all memories I do not wish to repeat. But those trials and traumas made our love grow deeper and we learned that incredible beauty can rise from the ashes of life.
Oh, and then, best of all, two of the most precious human beings appeared on the scene. The curtain opened and Ava was on the stage of our lives. What a beautiful gift from our heavenly Father. As if that wasn't blessing enough, there was a drum roll in heaven, and Tylan entered our world and colored it bright. Oh, what a sheer joy and blessing they have been. They don't even know it, but they made our commitment grow deeper and our love more intense.
Crazy in Love!
Yes, I know what you are thinking! Two crazy people. Absolutely! But you see, each and every event that has occurred has not drawn us apart it has drawn us closer. Our love and marriage has been challenged and tried, but it has been cemented over and over.
Is it Possible?
The question is: Can you really still grow in love after so many years? I certainly hope so. You see, there are so many marvelous events and people that are built into the foundations of our lives and marriage that I think it would be better for me to die than to live apart from Paul. I wouldn't know how to live without him—I cannot imagine it!
No, we are not perfect! Yes, we still have disagreements! But we are going to keep journeying together—we can't do otherwise. We love each other too much. We also love Jesus passionately. Our family mean the world to us—and our grandchildren are the cherry on the top!
So in a world where the word 'married' has come to mean different things to different people—I have only one thing to say: We did it God's way and it works! We plan to continue to do it His way until we close our eyes for the final time on earth and open them anew to glimpse the face of the One who made our lives so beautiful. Without Him our lives would be devoid of hope and joy. But with Jesus in the center of our lives—we are complete!
I am and always will be,
recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,