10 years ago I was barely 20 years old. I see 20 year olds now and they seem like babies. I can’t imagine what people thought when I told them I was getting married. At the time, it felt so easy. I love him. He makes me want to be a better person. I feel grounded in the peace he brings to my life. To me, it wasn’t even a question. This was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
10 years is a blessing. You have a partner, a friend, a lover, a confidante. Walking through life together is an extraordinary gift. Through laughter, joy, passion and adventure, we have loved and loved deeply. We have gone from two fresh-faced kids who quit their jobs to tour with his band to become parents of two girls. Our days are filled with princess gowns, Pinkalicious and shoes of every color and style. I still love to curl up and talk about our day, our ideas, our future. Marriage is truly a blessing.
10 years is a challenge. We have cried as hard as we have laughed. There have been questions and fears, anxieties and misunderstandings. We have been through deaths, divorces and addictions with close friends or family members. Our home has been a safe haven for others at times. We have carried burdens both from within our family and from outside it. We have been through pregnancies and births, first months with a newborn, first feedings, excruciating nights of tears and trials. There have been harsh words. There have been periods of silence. There have been apologies. At times, it has felt like we were just those two kids again, in the middle of so many grown-up challenges, and we’ve had no choice but to cling to the Truth and each other and pray for a better day tomorrow. It has been a challenge.
10 years is a choice. It begins with “I love you because…” Because you are kind, because you are strong, because you are exciting. Life is fresh, life is fun, life is easy. It grows with “I love you although…” when the honeymoon phase is over and real life sets in. The layers peel back and the hurt and pain from throughout your life surfaces with this person who is now sharing a bed, a home and a life with you. There is a period of growth and change that is painful and raw. You come out on the other side with this partner who saw you at your worst and loves you still. It continues with “I love you through…” Through laughter, through tears, through pain, through questions, doubts, fears. Someone who chooses to walk with you and also allows you freedom to change.
We are not who we were. We have grown. We have changed. We have stripped away pieces of each other and revealed new layers underneath. In some areas, we have developed completely new aspects of ourselves. It is no longer fresh and fun and easy all the time. Some days it is tough. Some days it is ordinary. Some days it is survival.
I may be in the earliest of the decade anniversaries, but I have experienced enough to know that marriage is a blessing, and a challenge, and a choice. It can be all 3 within the course of 1 day, even 1 hour. But it is a choice I love making and a choice I would and do make again everyday.
Thank you for being a daily reminder that real love is attainable. Thank you for choosing me every day of our extraordinary, ordinary life.