27 Years

27 years is a long time, it is more than half of my life.

“A happy marriage is about 3 things: memories of togetherness, forgiveness of mistakes, and a promise to never give up on each other.” Surabhi Surendra

Marriage is a beautiful mess.

27 years ago today Cam and I stood before a pastor and God and a of friends and family and pledged our undying love and commitment to each other. We chose to stay together no matter what. I have never regretted that decision. If I look back on our life together, our 3 years of dating and our 27 years of marriage, there has been way more good than bad. I have had the privilege of being and having a best friend to live with. Cam has done all he can to make sure that we have been taken care of. He has sacrificed a lot for us. He has stayed at jobs that suck the life out of him, just to make sure that we are secure. He hasn’t given up just because he isn’t happy there. His committment to me and our girls has been steadfast. Cam has been an encourager of dreams, he pushes me into areas that I know I need to go, and without his push, I would not venture into. However he does not leave me there in a scary place alone. If he can’t be there physically for me, I know that he stands in the gap in prayer for me. Often in the morning, I start waking up, and I hear him praying for me, for blessing and because he is thankful for me. Often when he kisses me in the morning, he calls me his sleeping beauty. LOL!! He must have blinders on, I am most definitely not beautiful in the morning. My hair is all over the place, there is drool on my pillow, and I know that I was snoring badly the night before, probably waking him up a few times at night. Cam used to snore until he got his c-pap machine for his sleep apnea, he had an excuse, but he hasn’t snored since Jaydyn was a baby. I have snored way longer in this relationship than he has. Cam has no reason to call me his sleeping beauty except that he loves me single mindedly. I have never had to worry about his faithfulness. His heart is for me. I am grateful that he finds me worthy of loving, I don’t always deserve it.

We have been through a lot together. We have made it through things that often destroy a marriage: the death of a child, financial issues, pornography addiction and more everyday stuff that is hard to work through. All that time, we have chosen to stay together, to love no matter what. It hasn’t been easy, there are many times when I felt it would be easier to leave than stay, and I know that Cam could say the same thing. Always when I have weighed the good versus the bad, the result is always the same, there has been way more good than bad. Over time, I think the thing that I have learned about marriage is that God didn’t create it for the sole purpose of happiness, I think it has way more to do with holiness. Cam cannot promise to make me happy all the time, that is not humanly possible, and I can’t do it either. Love within marriage is about putting the other ones needs first, even if that means sacrificing for each other. When I look at what the bible says about loving someone, it is an impossible task without God’s help. Love is hard work. I have been told by people who have no idea what love really looks like, that love should be butterflies and happiness all the time or you are not really in love. I beg to differ. Love is hard work, it is blood, sweat and tears hard. It is sooo worth it though. I am glad that Cam and I chose 27 years ago to love no matter what.

1 Corinthians 13The Message (MSG)                                                                                                     The Way of Love                                                                                                                                           13 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. 3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 8-10 Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompleteness will be canceled.

When I read these verses I realize that within marriage and even parenthood, we are given the opportunity to learn patience, kindness, sacrifice, putting someone’s needs first. Marriage is about learning to look for the good stuff and work through the bad. We are not perfect and we will never be here on earth, but that doesn’t mean that we stop trying. God is love and He gives you the strength to love someone, even when you are the only one aware of the faults in your partner (they see them in you too 🙂 ) As partners I believe that we are called to learn how to be holy and God uses the “boxing ring” of marriage to teach us that. As we fight for our own way (we all do it), God helps us if we let Him, see what it looks like from the other’s perspective. He softens our hard lines that have been drawn in the proverbial sand. He turns our heart into a soft place for our spouse to fall. As we learn about our other half we can fall deeper in love with them. I know I have. Cam I love you now, way more than I did when we made those vows 27 years ago. I love you deeper than I ever knew it was possible to love. I think that this kind of love is just a taste of what God’s love is for us, but it is sweet. Life has been hard, love has been a fight, but it has been sooo worth it. I still do, till my last breath. Love you! Happy anniversary Babe.

Cam, I didn’t fall in love with you, I walked into love with you, with my eyes wide open, choosing to take every step along the way. I am not sure if I believe in fate or destiny, but I believe in God’s plan for us. If there is such a thing as fate, fate would take making a choice, and I’d choose you anyway, in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality I would find myself. I’d find you and choose you every time.

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