Another tally has been marked on the time line of our relationship. That's right, Mike and I have celebrated another year of being a couple. Wow, how time has flown by! We've had great times and we've had not so great times...but the key word in this sentence is "we". You see the truth about love is that it's a choice. It's a choice that has to be made e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y. When girls are little we are brought up reading stories like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and others just like them. In those fairy tale stories life is always difficult in the beginning and then it happens...the beautiful girl meets prince charming and they "live happily ever after!" I must confess that is exactly how I thought my marriage was going to be...simple. The reality is, it is anything but. Living with someone else takes work. You might be wondering why am I making the connection of marriage to a job in the midst of celebrating my anniversary? Well, here it is...all around me I'm watching families fall apart. Husbands aren't fighting for their wives...wives are giving up on their husbands...neither party want to talk to one another...children are caught in the middle. It's terrible. My heart aches for these families as I feel they are lost. I'd like to share a little of my own fairy tale and how I found my way.
I suppose you could say that when Mike and I got married we had a lot of things stacked up against us. I'm even sure there were people out there who were placing bets on how long we would make it. Well, this June 6th marked our 9th anniversary. Back to my story...not long after we were husband and wife, we went into the military, moved to Florida and already had two small children. In a small amount of time we single-handedly checked off almost every major life stressor one can have. But boy were we in love. We had each other and that was all that mattered. It was the beginning of my fairy tale. The fairy tale that I had read about all my life. Of course it didn't take long to recognize how stressful being an adult married couple was. There were bills to be paid, housework to be done, kids to be taken care of and lastly a husband to stay connected with. I stress lastly because as time went on that is where I placed Mike. I still loved him dearly, but I felt I had other things to keep up with. I can't speak for him, but I'm sure he had his own struggles. Difficult times came...I don't remember reading about those in my books! I wasn't equipped to know what to do or how to handle them. I am so thankful that God had a hand in everything, because as time went on, Mike and I rededicated our lives to Him. As we grew closer to God we also grew closer to one another. We learned how to prioritize our lives. We learned to place things in this order:
2. Each Other
4. Everything Else
What I let get in the way of my marriage and our happiness is busyness. I was so preoccupied with doing, doing, doing that I forgot that doing doesn't get the real job done. I suppose what I'm getting at friends is that over the past 9 years of marriage I have learned that love and marriage is nothing like the fairy tales we read about when we're young...they're better. NOT perfect, because as I've often said, nothing is perfect. If we didn't have our troubles would we appreciate our triumphs? If we didn't have our failures would we appreciate our victories? I don't think so. I love Mike more today than I ever thought possible. It's a deeper, stronger, more committed love. Sure, we argue and drive each other nuts sometimes. However, I know without a shadow of a doubt that Mike Roy was groomed by God Himself to be my husband and the Father of my children. What an honor it is to choose to love him every day.
The most lovely part of this fairy tale is that it's not the end...it's merely the beginning.