We spent Thanksgiving with my family in Montana this year. Adam's work schedule dictated that we come together on Friday instead of Thanksgiving day. That day, November 24th, happens to be our anniversary. So, surrounded by those I love the most in my life and feeling thankful in my heart, I made a toast of gratitude for our sixteen years of marriage. A marriage we came into freely, we gave ourselves to one another totally, we have each remained faithful, and fruitful as we have been blessed with four children.
Admittedly, I am more reflective about our anniversary this year. It is not a round number like 10 or 20, so I think it has more to do with our current ages and states in life. We are both in our forties and have a daughter only three and a half years away from high school graduation. Our marriage is settled now. Most of the sharp edges of disagreements and personality weaknesses have been smoothed out, or at least accepted. We both have made some big steps toward health in the last few years and fifteen years of parenting has mellowed us out a bit. The new parents we were all those years ago would probably not get along very well with the parents we are today.
I have read about studies on marriage and how people who say they are unhappily married, if they wait ten years, will say the opposite. If I look back to ten years ago, our second child, Clare, was a baby and we were living in our little house in Siletz. Those were tough years, but I do feel grateful for them now. We stuck with it and with each other, even when it didn't "feel" so great. That work we did then to ensure that our marriage remained intact for ourselves, and especially for our children, is like a deposit in our marriage bank. It's extra marital security. As the years continue to roll by, we will continue to add to that deposit.
What a gift. My heart swells with gratitude for my husband and our precious marriage. He's not perfect. I'm not perfect. Our marriage is not perfect, but God's grace builds on nature. Grace has taken the seed of love between Adam and I and has grown it into something we could not have imagined when we started this journey together.