Marriage is hard. It’s complicated, confusing, and sometimes downright messy. Take mine, for example. My husband and I are the two most “determined” people that most people have ever met. And by ‘determined’ I mean stubborn….only with a much more warm-and-fuzzy feeling adjective. We are two incredibly opinionated, driven, passionate people who are not prone to good communication habits. We often go from zero to screaming like banshees in the blink of an eye and when one of us has our mind made up about something you’d be better off to try to move one of the Egyptian pyramids with your own bare hands & brute strength than to get us to change our mind. Truth be told, even though I love Jesus with all my heart and soul & I try desperately to be like Him, I just cannot shake this selfish, stubborn streak that has shaped my personality. I like my way. I want my way. And I often think my way really is better than anyone else’s way could possibly even THINK of being!! Lord help me, I’m a mess. And Lord help my husband, he picked me anyway.
The very thought of that brings tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat. Because only the two of us actually know what it’s taken to stay married for the past 14 years when lots of others would’ve called it quits. The highs have been so very high, and the lows have been lower than I even want to remember. I guess that’s where God takes our stubborn & uses it for His glory. Because, that’s always been His plan. At the end of the day, it’s a beautiful thing to have that ONE person to share it all with. To have that ONE person that you can be your real, true, emotionally-naked self with. The one who can often predict your next word before you say it, who knows what you want better than you do sometimes, and the one who has seen you cry the ugly cry and keeps coming back to dry the tears and wipe the snot. Lots of people throw in the towel when it gets too hard & walk out on their marriages in search of another one who might not be so “stubborn” or “difficult” or “less controlling” or “more understanding”. Maybe it’s the skeptic in me that fails to see how that’s a good solution. It seems like an awful lot of effort to go to trying to replace something you already have…even if it does gets a little broken & worn & bruised along the way & even if it does require tremendous time, dedication, & attention-to-detail to make it shiny & beautiful again. Or maybe it’s the just the “determined” part of me that knows how sweet the victories are when you simply refuse to quit on each other. Praise God that James & I have done our share of victory dances together over the years.
Today is our 14th anniversary. & 4 years before that we started dating. That makes 18 years of my life loving a man I met when I was 18 years old. God knows that loving him has been hard at times. God also knows that loving me can be downright impossible (just ask any one of my 4 sisters!). But God knew what He was doing when we went to that coffee shop 18 years ago. I’m thankful that even though these 2 “determined” people often choose to write their own story (because, let’s face it. I’m a control freak & James always has to have a plan!), we are ALWAYS willing to let the Lord finish it. Maybe someday we will change; become more “easy going” & less opinionated and make this life we share a little easier on each other. But I kinda hope we don’t. I like us just the way we are. Because what we get to be is living proof that God can take 2 imperfect people and make them absolutely perfect for each other. And that’s just fine by me.