I met this beautiful woman when I was 16 years old. She was sitting on a couch across from me at a high school gathering. She was laying there with her current boyfriend. I remember looking at her and being lost in a moment of wonder. She was beautiful. I had no idea what would be or better yet become, my life.
Somehow we started dating and yes I had to fend off the old boyfriend! Both of us were in a place where physical intimacy was common and not nearly as precious as it should have been but none the less, we were both hit with the real results of doing so. We were not dating that long when we got news that she was in fact, pregnant.
She was 17 and I was 16.
This is where I have to stop and thank God often. Even though we were not living right and making mistakes we both had some conviction about doing the right thing. I credit God for both of us having influence in our young lives that gave us a small takes of grace and mercy. Not truly thinking we opted to get married, we weighed our current environments, current convictions and came to that decision, once again not for the purest reasons, like finding the love of your life and spending time courting.
I was 17 and had to be signed over… Legally. We got married so our daughter would have a family.
Let me tell you, the last 25 years have had massive issues, pain, medical life events and yes, regret. Yet we are still together, we are still a family and yes we have true love. I cannot even begin to explain how these hardships have done an amazing job of creating loyalty and hope.
You see, life is hard for everyone, no question and when you quit you miss out on so much more than you may ever realize. We have both had nothing left but to reach our to our Maker for help and comfort, we have both experienced the comforting blessings from sincere and humble patience. We have both seen beauty thats almost unexplainable with the gift of six amazing children and the wondrous glue that has held this family together.
Everyday, I thank God for my wife. I thank him for her diligence, her heart, her patience and her stubbornness. I thank God for her giving me the best things I, as a man could ever ask for in my children. I thank God for him drawing her closer to Him when I have failed her.
I thank God that she is with me when I close my eyes and even more so when I wake up and see her sleeping.
This world can make faith complicated. It can make a relationship with our maker often lofty and somewhat mystical. Life, especially when it has it’s challenges makes God very real and for this I am forever thankful.
If I had the ability to go back in time I would most certainly make different decisions, Marrying this woman would not be one of them and yes there are regrets but the thanks for her being in my life outweighs all of them.
This week we will celebrate 25 years of being together, but more importantly we will be thanking God for doing so.