Almost twenty-six years ago, I jumped on a white steed with my handsome prince and galloped off to destinations yet unknown. I was young, naive and blissfully unaware what I was getting myself into. Yes, I was in love, and yes, I wanted to spend my life with him, but honestly, I had NO idea what the reality of marriage looked like.
The marriage journey has been paved with difficulty, but each pothole successfully navigated has shaped the destination we find ourselves at today. I won’t say that our marriage was doomed to fail; one really cannot predict such things. I will say however that many marriages crumble under the types of pressure that ours has withstood. Our success can only be attributed to one factor, our strength comes from Christ. Sometimes our strength wavered and even caved, but no matter our weaknesses, our faith bound us together.
When we said, “I do” in 1986, we were still babies, I was 18, he was 19. James will tell you I was a brat and I concur. We didn’t fight a lot, but when we did, watch out, whatever I held in my hand would be launched into the air as a weapon. He grew rather adept at dodging hair brushes. We didn’t really take life too seriously in those early years. As time passed, we grew up, became adults and faced adult problems: a cross country move, life in a foreign country, infertility, death of a child, alcoholism, marital infidelity, returning to college, job loss, near bankruptcy, time consuming career, death of a parent, and those are just the highlights. There came a point that I was done, I wanted out. I stayed for the kids, but he knew that wasn’t enough. At that juncture, my handsome prince became a knight who was willing to fight for his family, and everything he held dear. Resisting at every turn, I did not make the battle easy for him, but eventually his gentle persistence melted my hard shell.
Today, not only am I married to a handsome prince/knight in shining armor but he is also my best friend, running coach, biggest fan, loudest encourager, repairer of all things technical, lover of my cooking, and someone who would not hesitate to lay down his life for me. He is the spiritual guardian of our family. I trust him to see when I am blind. His wise counsel keeps me on the straight and narrow. He has been a pillar of STRENGTH throughout this recovery process. Despite his own injuries, he has selflessly cared for me and Chris, scheduled our doctor appointments, washed laundry, dispensed medication, dealt with insurance companies, overseen the replacement of my totaled vehicle, driven me to work, washed my hair, cleaned my pin sites, helped me dress, and most importantly, every night, he sits beside my bed holding my hand until I’m ready to turn out the lights and sleep.
This man, whom I love dearly, is my hero and I felt like it was time to share a bit more of our story. Last night I lay restlessly in bed as the Lord whispered inspiration. I wanted to jump up and start writing that very moment, but since my beloved prince was slumbering peacefully in our bed, for the first time in over a month, I resisted. To quote Paul Harvey, now you know the “rest of the story.”