Ten Years Married

 

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I often think back to our wedding day and with a grin, wonder “Who let those kids get married?”

We were so young – 23 and 25 – but we felt so grown up and ready to tackle the world together. Neither of our families was overjoyed by the union, but that only strengthened us. We were in love and wanted to make a permanent declaration in front of God, our family and friends, affirming to all we would take one another, from that day forward, to have and hold, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer in sickness and in health until death do us part.

Those vows, which are our shared, unbreakable bond in front of God, have been my stronghold. Because, as you well know, my dearest, we’ve certainly had our fair share of heartache in our ten year union. Unemployment. Financial instability. The home improvement house from hell. Death of a parent. A vengeful autoimmune disease. All these have darkened our doorstep.

We’ve also had moments of overwhelming joy, but as we often joke, we hope God front-loaded the trials and we’re due for an extended period of smooth sailing. These ten years have been hard. I won’t sugarcoat it. But I’m surprisingly grateful for the struggle because the constant churning has polished us into who we are today.

I like to think I’m better now than the young woman who walked down the aisle to meet you; that motherhood, staring down numerous challenges and all the shared experiences have improved me. But these could be the lies I tell myself. I know without doubt I am not the same woman you married. There are many more grey hairs. My body bears scars from the beautiful lives we have created. I’ve lost my innocence and grown a harder outer shell. But I see my strength and resilience. And through our journey, I forged a bond with God and found faith that we are all here to live out a plan that is bigger than what I can control.

You’re not the same person, either. You’ve lost weight and hair. You regularly cook dinner for us. Reading is now a hobby. And you have demonstrated unrequited love that simply takes my breath away. If you were to leave this earth before me, I can safely say I will never be loved like this again.

We both started at the same spot on the altar on April 12, 2008. But as these ten years have unwound, while we are aiming for the same destination on the horizon, we’ve walked our own path and pace. And that’s ok. Our faith in one another, which is drawn from our faith in God’s plan, keeps us focused on the goal and not the individual steps.

If marriage and life are this hard for everyone, then I am fortunate to have you by my side as my partner. If only we are graced with such intense challenges to overcome, then I am blessed to have you to lift me up.

I know we were brought together by God, for reasons that I cannot always claim to understand. But I am confident in His plan. I love and cherish you. Happy 10th Anniversary.