Twenty two years ago today it was raining. One sister wasn't speaking to me. One brother was upset with me.The best man was in another town taking his SAT's. I had no idea who would show up and who wouldn't. I was nervous, but it all went away when I saw my best friend.
Nothing mattered except I was getting married. I was eighteen, on the verge of graduating high school, and I didn't care about a thing except marrying the one I loved.
For most of my teen years I saw myself headed to college, getting a job and being on my own. I wanted a boyfriend, but I didn't really give a thought to a husband because that was far down the road. In reality, other than being a writer, I didn't know what I wanted to be. In my senior year I hadn't thought of applying for scholarships because I didn't think my grades were good enough. I figured I would work for awhile. Life has a way of bringing you to a different path sometimes.
I didn't start out the school year thinking I would be married before the end of it. I had just moved back home after a year away. I wanted to have fun, no serious relationships. I knew I wanted to date Christian guys, and thought I had one picked out but he just wanted to be friends. So a friend of mine and her mother pointed her brother in my direction. Long, shaggy hair and a beard. Quiet, with a weird sense of humor. The first time I laid eyes on him at Wednesday night bible study, he was wearing overalls and flip flops. He asked me out, and I said yes.
I spent the weekend with his family. I was there as his sister's guest but somehow I was with him a lot more. We talked. We went to the football game and his sister was with us. Somehow though, I didn't think he liked me and he didn't think it would go anywhere.
By November of that year, we had dated exclusively. I'd seen how he was with his family, his mother and sister especially. I'd seen how he treated me. He opened doors for me, held my hand in public (still does both of those things). Not because I wasn't able to care for myself but because he wanted to. We talked about a lot of things, and we both agreed that marriage was a lifetime commitment. We both felt that for ourselves as individuals, marriage wouldn't end except for death or adultery. We discussed it some more, and he asked my mother for permission to marry me. Then he proposed in front of his family. Twice, because the first time his Dad didn't have film in the camera. I'd had no clue he was going to propose that day, or I would have worn something other than jeans and a New Kids on the Block tee shirt. He was dressed in black slacks and a white dress shirt. And he was down on bended knee.
We discussed the wedding date, and decided on the first Saturday in May, the year following graduation. The more we discussed it, and because some family issues reared their head, we moved up the date. Quite honestly, both of us were eager to start our new lives together. Because of that, and illness, rumors floated around. Sorry to disappoint, but our wedding was a want to, not a have to.
In the end, my family showed up and my sisters and a niece, along with The Hubby's sister, were bridesmaids, each wearing a different shade of blue. Hubby's brother and friends from church were his groomsmen. The best man made it back in plenty of time. It was a simple church wedding, and you can't hear either of us on the wedding video because we were speaking only for each other. I had no idea what to expect of marriage except I would be with my best friend till death do us part. I was his and he was mine. We learned about marriage and, 14 months later, parenthood, together. For me, it has been happily ever after, but not the Disney fairy tale version of happily ever after. In the real world there are bad times mixed in with the good. We've argued and fussed, slammed doors, dealt with the death of one child and struggled with the special needs of another. Some things that are thrown our way are easier than others, but mostly we deal with them together. We choose to work things out and not give up.
If I sound a bit smug, maybe I am, but also know that I don't know what the future holds. I don't foresee either of us leaving the other but for death. However, I know that as humans, we aren't perfect. Each day I choose to be with my husband, and each day he chooses to be with me. We are one. And we both have learned that a strong marriage takes three to be complete: God, husband, wife. A cord of three can't be broken.
Although this was written last week, I am linking it up to Heavenly Homemaker's Gratituesday. Join us, wont you?You'll find lots more stories of gratitude there.