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If We Only Knew…10 Years of Marriage

Photo by Mandy Stansberry Photography

We were so young, yet we felt like we were ready to conquer the world.  To many of our friends, we got married way before the average marriage age, when we were 23 and 25 – fresh out of college. We were happy and in love, and ready to join our lives together in a way that so many before us had.  Yet, we had no idea what was in store for us. We thought love was enough, and we would tackle this journey of marriage together. However, if we only knew what our journey would entail.

If we only knew…that barely 4 months in to our marriage, we would end up in the marriage counselors office. Suddenly love wasn’t enough and mixing our two personalities, habits and ways was suddenly TOO much.  We fought our way back to each other, with likely no one really knowing what was truly going on in our hearts.  With some work, we found out that we were compatible, but there was just so much to learn about being a husband, a wife, and that there really was no shame in needing help to figure that out.

If we only knew…that once we got our marriage back on track, we would decide to have kids and life would throw us another curve ball. My body was just not ready to accept the challenge. We waited, we prayed, we went to regular doctors, and fertility doctors. We cried. We talked about periods, hormones, and more, way too much.  We held such heartache together that when we finally were ready to try that pregnancy test one more time after months of waiting, we shook with joy when we finally saw a positive result and one of our biggest blessings would come from that wait. 

If we only knew…that once our daughter was born, my husband’s grandmother would pass away within days.  Having to leave us, his newborn daughter and wife behind, where the resentment of being left alone in uncharted waters would fester while he were gone.  Life can not be helped, and does not stop to rejoice in new life, and while he was mourning a very precious person, we would be home bonding without dad. 

If we only knew…that jobs would be unstable, that there would be uncertainty, that life would be miserable because of the days at the office. With babies screaming and laundry that never stopped and naps that we were desperately in need of.  Those were the years of living in a fog.  If only our daughter would stop screaming so she, and we, could sleep. 

If we only knew…that our second born would come within months of a move to a new house, with house projects in the way and rental properties about to be bought to help supplement income.  That life would again be unstable and weird in a way that was once again uncharted waters. Now juggling two babies, and a husband who never seemed to be home, but was working his hardest to help provide for his new family. 

If we only knew…that when our second child was about to turn 4, we would be in the hospital fighting for his life. That cancer would sneak up on us with a low blow, ripping our hearts out and wondering for the future of our child. That we would have a really hard time keeping it together, but yet bonding in a way that no one could predict.  Our family became our number one priority and everything else got left in the shadows. 

And here we are.  Looking back on our ten years together, of happiness, of sadness, of uncertainty.  If we only knew what life would be like together, would we still go forward?

Yes, without a doubt, yes.

Because life is not going to be pretty, or perfect, or never have any bumps or bruises along the road.  But to have that person, that one person to rely on and to forge ahead together, makes all the difference in the road. To be able to celebrate those moments when life is scary but you come out on the other side. To be able to look them in the eye, knowing your security lies with them.

Everyone has a journey, and a story to tell. It makes us who we are, today, stronger because of it.  

If you only knew what your life would be like 10 years ago, would you still say yes? 

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