10 years ago, Billy and I stood in a little church in front of our friends and family, baby-faced and much younger then we thought we were, and promised forever. Those “I do’s” determined the way I would experience the rest of my life. I would never be alone – physically or mentally. No burden, heartbreak, challenge or victory would be suffered or celebrated on my own. There was no escaping. No saying I quit. We were going to do this and we were going to do it together.
As I look back at the photos of our wedding day, it occurs to me just how much we had to learn about the commitments of marriage. How much ten years has taught us about patience and courage and commitment. I wonder how much more we have to learn. I smile and shudder at that thought.
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. There have been times in our marriage that we were just operating in survival mode. Sometimes we look at each other and see just another pawn – someone to do their part, instead of the souls that we swore to love forever. Even though our years are full of laughter, passion, and adventures, the “every day” has a way of sucking the life straight out of you.
And then there have been the really rough moments. The ones we didn’t think we would survive, but with God’s grace we did.
Despite all this – the realities of life, the responsibilities, the mistakes, the commitments, and the children – I know that deep down Billy is still the boy that I fell in love with. I see glimpses of him when he’s playing with our kids, or making music, or talking with friends. I only hope that he is able to see glimpses of my younger self sometimes as well.
The Ugly Truth
This may sound very unromantic… but it’s the truth. And honestly, I don’t think I would change anything. I find new reasons everyday to fall more in love with my husband. Yes, the way we love has changed. There is trust and comfort and depth where there once was newness and spontaneity. His hair is slowly receding and turning gray, but I have never loved him more. I see how time and two children have reshaped me, both physically and mentally, but I have never felt more loved. We are not who we were. We are less idealistic but full of faith. Our marriage is definitely no fairytale, but our reality is the best I could hope for.
Happy 10 year anniversary, Billy! Here’s to at least 60 more! 😉