Josh was 34 years old on our wedding day and I was a few days shy of turning 24. Today I am a few days away from turning 33 and I as look back on the last 9 years of our marriage I can proudly say that our love story is my favorite, and the best part is it isn’t over yet!
I would be lying if I told you that everything has been smooth sailing since the day we said I do. Neither of us are perfect and thankfully we don’t pretend to be…wellllll sometimes I can be pretty close, just kidding, just kidding. But in all honesty it takes two people to make a marriage work and Josh and I always joke that we are stuck with each other for life because of our covenant marriage*.
With age comes more maturity and the ability to look back on life events from a different perspective. When Josh and I got married I thought I knew what love was. I knew love needed to be patient, kind, hold no record of wrong, not easily angered, not proud, not rude, not boastful, and not self seeking. I knew all these things but I didn’t know how to apply them to my marriage. It has taken years and with daily effort for me to actually attempt to be that definition of love in our marriage. And here is a spoiler alert: I still fail at this most days!
If I have learned anything it is to constantly keep praying, renewing my mind, and focusing on the positive so I can pour out unconditional love onto Josh and now also our children. Not seeing your husband for 24-48 hours at a time, multiple days out of the month, can create a real disconnect in your relationship if you are not careful.
I crushed on him hard at the age of 17 and told my friends I would marry him one day and have his babies. I promise I was not a stalker, but I am super happy that my teenage dream came true! In honor of 9 years of marriage I wanted to brag on Josh for a second and share how he has been a great example of biblical love.
I was super sick when we got married. Like paralyzed from the neck down, couldn’t feel anything sick. The older I get, the more amazed I am that he still wanted to marry me, not knowing what our life would be like several years down the road. Only knowing that I had been sick for 8 months prior to our wedding and that there was no real treatment plan to get me better. He could have easily walked away from me at this time and I know now looking back that he was 100% committed and all in. Most guys don’t go into their marriage prepared to take care of a sick wife who was at the doctors office weekly, in and out of hospitals, and needing help to do everyday tasks most people take for granted. Read more about my autoimmune disorder in The Girl Behind the Blog.
He works so hard to provide for our family and does so without complaining…except when it is time to get out of bed in the morning. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard “I wish shift change happened at 8am” muttered under his breath as the alarm goes off for the third snooze cycle. When he comes home from work to two toddlers running around chasing after him, because they are excited to see him, and a wife who can sometimes talk his ear off if she is not careful, he still makes the time to be present with us even if he didn’t get an ounce of sleep, when all he really wants to do is fall into bed and close his eyes.
Marriage is a balancing act. It is learning to put the other persons needs above your own, no matter how hard it is. And sometimes it is really, really, hard.
The disappointments I have had in marriage have come from me thinking that God owed me something because I had done things the “right” way. I thought that God was going to bless me and reward me with a happily every after. I failed to understand that I wasn’t guaranteed a happily ever after in marriage. When two sinners marry there are going to be struggles and hard times.
Hard times will happen in marriage. Hard times will happen in life. For followers of Christ the happy ending is not immediate in this life, but it is guaranteed. We know how this will end for us, and where our hope is centered.
When I reminisce over the last 9 years of our marriage I am in awe of all the God has done. God has used our marriage to teach us and sanctify us so we can love and honor each other and also love God more and more.
Josh has seen me at my worst and has still been able to find a redeeming quality in me that has sometimes been hard for me to see myself and loved me through it. He is kind, believes the best in people, and forgives much easier than I do. For these reasons and many more myself and our children are lucky to have him.
I am thankful for anniversaries because they remind us to seek the best out of of our relationships and look back on how far we have come. I seriously can’t believe that we have two kids and another one soon on the way!
Tomorrow I am sure I will go back to being more easily annoyed by the small little things that Josh does that bug me, but today I am going to reminisce on the happy memories that have made us us.
Happy Anniversary Josh!
*Arizona, Arkansas, and Louisiana are the only three states that offer a covenant marriage. A covenant marriage is a legally distinct kind of marriage in which the marrying spouses agree to obtain pre-marital counseling and accept more limited grounds for later seeking divorce. To read more about covenant marriage visit The Policy Pages.