Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Good Stuff

Twenty-Six years ago today I was one month out of my teens and a brand new bride.

Twenty -Five and a half years ago I was ready to call it quits on my marriage because quite frankly, marriage was not all that I thought it was going to be. You see like many brides, I had put thought into the "getting married" part but hardly any thought into the "marriage" that would follow the getting married part. Suddenly all those little things that I thought I could live with or change about him drove me crazy ( I'm sure he didn't feel that way about me at all * insert sarcasm here*) . One day I'm enjoying my egocentric life, thinking I just had to let him adore me and make me the center of his universe, and the next thing I know, I'm expected to be supportive, loving and caring to someone other than me! What???

Did I mention I was young?

Immature doesn't even begin to describe it.

So I did what any princess would do, I went to my dad, because I knew he was going to fix this and get me out of my predicament. Over lunch I told him how difficult this whole marriage thing was and that it just wasn't for me. Then I waited for my dad to tell me the date and time I could expect the moving van to come and bring my royal self and all of my worldly possessions home. Instead he told me that "being disenchanted with marriage was not grounds for divorce and that I was to go home and make my marriage work".

Thanks dad, but that was not exactly what I was looking for.

It may not have been what I was looking for, but it was what I needed. I did go back, and well.. something was working in our marriage because a month later I was pregnant with our first daughter and here we are twenty-six years later still defying the odds.

Life hasn't been easy, in fact there were times we both wanted to give up. But thankfully God has blessed us with enough of the "good stuff" to keep us going. Sure there has been the obvious "good stuff" such as births, vacations, family gatherings, and many more priceless times we have shared together. But then there are the numerous trials that could have easily broken our marriage but instead of jumping ship at the first sign of trouble, we chose to hold fast to our faith and work through them. Now that we are on the other end of those trials, we can see the bigger picture and see that they are part of the "good stuff". Without a doubt there will be more of the obviously good stuff and the good stuff disguised as tribulations, but with a lot of faith and a little bit of stubborness, we will get through them together just like we always have.

Recently, I met an elderly man at the hospital. His wife of 56 years had suffered a stroke and the doctors didn't think she would make it. As we talked he told me about how they met and when they were wed. He talked about the births and deaths that they had gone through together, the financial hard times they had weathered as well as the times of abundance that had afforded them trips to exotic places. He had a number of pictures that he had brought to put in her room and he remembered where and when each one was taken. Talking with him was both beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Heartbreaking because a life that he had shared with his best friend was coming to an end, yet beautiful because as he reflected back on it he didn't recall the mistakes, or arguments, or disagreements I'm sure they had. When he looked back, it was all "good stuff" because they had gone through it together.

I know we will be able to do the same some day.

Happy Anniversary Honey! Here's to more "good stuff" to come!

I'm going to end this post with a video called The Good Stuff. While it is written from a man's point of view I think the point crosses both genders. The irony of this is that Paul is not a fan of country music at all but for 26 years he has endured it for my sake. Now that's some good stuff!