Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” ~Henry Ford
A couple Sundays ago, we celebrated eleven years of marriage. It was a good day with not much pomp and circumstance. We celebrated with dinner at Logan’s (a family favorite), and Dean and I shared a mountain of ice cream and hot fudge brownie that Lisa wouldn’t touch.
She was the wise one actually, I began to feel it right away. I’m all right. It was worth every gooey-marshmallow-chocolate-creamy bite.
What makes eleven years of marriage? Working together. Being a team.
When we began our relationship – it was because we were attracted to each other physically and mentally. We understood one another (we thought), we liked each others humor (we thought). We were enamored with finding something ‘new’ we hadn’t had before.
We did lots of ‘wrong’ stuff in our journey to marriage. We’ve spent many of the hours in our 4,017 days together praying for God to grant forgiveness and grace. We ask each other for the same.
We believe in one another now in a way we had no idea about when we began. How can you know that you are going to become so entwined, so reliant on this other person when you begin the journey?
We have a child now – a great blessing… and a great stretching and growing opportunity (if you know what I mean).
We’ve gone through five or so moves with one another. All of them with a lead fire hydrant that I acquired when I was single. It was funny to move that thing the first couple times, mildly humorous the middle times, and dreadful the last move. Sure, it makes a great story, but I don’t think it will make the next move with us. (I don’t know how I’m going to get rid of it exactly)
Quirks at the beginning of marriage are funny or cute, then become more of a hassle or annoyance, and then you learn that your spouse is molded and shaped differently than you are, and you can’t change them.
Its a process of growing up and growing together.
Our seasons of work have changed. God seems to bless our family by allowing one or the other of us to be the primary bread winner for a season, while the other primarily manages the home. But that will change too.
You can’t know when you begin what all of the changes will be. And sure, if you are just getting started in marriage, you say an eager “Of course I can handle the changes that will come!” But remember that ‘of course’ when the times aren’t so easy in the future.
Here at the beginning of Fall is a great reminder for those of us who are married types, or soon to be married.
We are stronger together and can come through difficulties by weathering the seasons together. Some sunny, some rainy, some cloudy, some brisk and refreshing.
When you walk, or hobble, out of a storm, you may not LIKE each other at that moment. Yet, you stay together because feelings change minute to minute, but the willful act of love should never be determined by our feelings.
We chose this path. We chose this relationship. We chose this life. We made the decisions we made. Some better than others. We stand by them, or we make them right by managing the outcomes as they happen.
We manage them together.
We love deeply. Not the ooey-gooey emotional love of the beginning of a relationship. We love with an earned respect, an earned admiration. A love that says I’ve have seen you in the ups, and the downs, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.