Back in the early 1970's I was in a Girl Scout troop that got together and did things with a Boy Scout Troop. We used to go camping and to the beach etc. We were all middle school age. I can only remember a handful of the boys who were in the Boy Scout Troop. None of them left that big of an impression on me. There was this one boy though. Everyone liked him. He was shy and quiet. He was (at that time) tall. He was kind. Not normally a jerk like so many middle school boys can be. As we entered High School, most of us left Scouts to pursue other activities.
This boy would end up in several of my classes. As high school went on he became more and more popular with the girls. He could grow a mustache (well, sort of ) and in the 70's THAT was a big deal. He and I were friends. In fact, I would consider him my best guy friend. Because of that friendship, many of my girlfriends would ask me to see if I could get them a date with him. Sometimes I could and other times, well, he asked me very politely if I was kidding. As we moved through High School he had girlfriends and I had boyfriends, but our friendship grew stronger. When I got my first job it was at the same place he worked. We were together more and more.
On the night that we graduated from High School he asked me to a party. He wasn't dating anyone. My boyfriend and I had been on the rocks for quite some time. I said yes. (Probably not one of my most mature moments. I did technically still have a boyfriend.) Imagine all of our friends surprise when we showed up together. We never dated anyone else. Ever. Again. I grabbed on to my best guy friend and, two and a half years later, on November 4, 1978 I married him. The rest, as they say, is history.
God truly blessed me when he brought my hubby into my life. I loved just being his friend. Imagine my surprise when that turned into something more and he went from 'my best guy friend' to the 'man I would spend the rest of my life with.'
Has marriage been a piece of cake? A walk in the park? Easy-peasy? Heck No! It's been hard work, but there is the saying, 'For anything worth having, one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love and self-sacrifice.' John Burroughs.
We have worked. Worked to keep our friendship strong. Worked to keep our family Christ-centered. Worked to grow as individuals and as a couple. Worked to learn not to sweat the small stuff. Worked to remember that just because the other opinion isn't ours, doesn't make it invalid. Worked to get to this place in life where I can't imagine being anywhere else.
We have learned to be patient. He with me when I just don't want to solve all of the worlds problems right.this.very.second. Me with him when he needs to do just that. He is patient with me when I need down time and I with him when he can't stop moving. I tolerate (isn't that a form of patience?) his need to do research and make lists and check them four hundred million times. He has learned to tolerate the fact that I am much more impulsive and spontaneous. Patience isn't something that came easily early on. I often took offense when he wasn't doing or acting exactly how I thought he should. He will say 'ditto.'
We have love. I love how he has always provided for our family. I love how he always, without fail, puts his all into everything he does. I love the Godly man that he has become. I love his relationship with his children. Nothing makes me love him more than when I see him with his grandsons. I love his character and his integrity. I love that he has a romantic side and likes to surprise me with flowers and weekend get aways. I love that God chose me to be his wife. I don't know how he would describe the 'love' in our relationship, but I know I could go on and on and on with things about him.
John Burroughs adds self-sacrifice to his list of things you have to do to achieve that which is worth having. I have racked my brain to try and figure out how I have really sacrificed anything to be married to my Hubby. True, I didn't have a career that earned me public respect like he does, but I never wanted that. I always wanted to be a wife and a mommy. HE sacrificed by working long and hard to make that dream come true for me and for our family. I feel more like we made sacrifices as a unit to make our dreams come true. I know I have never, for one moment, felt like I gave anything up that was worth having. How I hope he feels the same way.
I hope that our marriage brings honor and glory to God. I believe He brought two very young people together and then protected us from ourselves. If he asked me to marry him again, today, knowing what I know now and how our life would turn out, I would run and not walk to the altar. Happy 33rd anniversary. I love you with all of my heart and I pray for many more anniversaries to come.