10 years’ worth of life together is a whole lot to condense into a short letter, but I wanted to share my heart with you on this special occasion – Valentine’s Day, your birthday and our engagement anniversary!
The time between my senior year of high school when we met and the present has flown by so fast. We’ve done a lot of growing up together, which has made for an interesting marriage! By the time we married, we were both college students with big dreams, small bank accounts, but a love between us that we thought was all we needed. Boy, were we wrong!
Never did I ever imagine the terrain we would travel together. When I walked down the aisle in 2008, I knew my heart was set on you. But to be honest, neither one of us were really prepared for life. Oh, we knew that our vows were important, but most people say them as a formality – never thinking that life would test the validity of them.
We have been tested.
We wanted the healthy party of our vows, but what about the sickness? I spent an entire week hospitalized after complication from gallbladder surgery and another 6 weeks in recovery. You stepped up to the plate and helped me and little Vienna at the time as I balanced that and school. Not to mention every sleepless night of parenthood dealing with stuffy noses and nasty coughs. Sleep deprivation changes you, that’s for sure. But, we stood together
We wanted financial security, but what about the struggle? I remember countless times we avoided phone calls from bill collectors, worried about our car being repossessed and when we had to move back in with my parents. The insomnia, depression, the stress and heated arguments all steamed from the pressure, but we stood together.
We wanted the better of our vows, but what about the worst? Through misunderstandings, shouting matches, silent treatments, irreconcilable differences, navigating through our own immaturity and the grief that came with hearing the heavy diagnosis for Giselle – we stood together.
Oh we had no clue that life would be so hard with waves upon waves of bad news, discouragement and tears. We had no clue that simply loving each other wasn’t enough. We had to purposefully choose each other every. single. day – because to be honest, quitting would have been much easier.
But through these years I have realized: Marriage is not a fairytale – and I’m SO glad that it isn’t! It was through walking through the most unbearable moments and back that I have come to realize that what we have has substance and depth and we would have never known that if we were busy picking flowers and looking at unicorns.
“You want to know the value of something? Put in the fire and see what comes forth. A precious diamond or ashes” – Unknown
I don’t want that kind of love – the kind that’s founded on fluff and good feelings. We have walked side by side, bearing what seems like the world on our backs, but we have done it together.
Oh no no no! Everybody wants the happy but not the struggle – not the real, authentic grit that it takes to make a marriage last. The kind that you fight for with every last fiber of your being because society says that when something is broken you toss it and upgrade, rather than investing and fixing.
We are two broken people, from broken homes who took a chance on each other to make our own family – the one we never had. God has been so abundantly gracious to us because it is because of Him that our broken pieces have been healed and mended together and our story continues to grow.
I know that there are couples who haven’t faced a trial of a significant magnitude like us, and to them I say, that’s great!! But sooner or later there will come a moment in which you will look at your spouse as say, Was it worth it? To you I say, absolutely! I love you more today than I ever could have comprehended the day I walked down the aisle to be yours. I would do this a million times over eternity and more because you have been beyond worth it.
So today I wish you the happiest of birthdays. You are loved, appreciated, valued and respected. Thank you for doing life with me all these years and for loving me beyond my mess.
Here’s to many, many more!!