“I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” Song of Solomon 7:10 (NKJV)
I know this is true with all my heart today. But, in the past fourteen years I’ve imagined and been given reason to wonder about it in the valley legs of our journey through life.
We have endured blending a family that boasted two oldest boys and two youngest girls with a girl in between. The first five years felt like war, and the truth is it probably remains an accurate description. They now range in age from 19 to 24 years old.
Back in that first year of marriage, I didn’t think we would survive the “honeymoon season.” After all, with three to five kids in tow most of the time there ain’t much honey in our honeymoon. Intimacy became challenging and the constant turbulence between us and/or the kids made for some deal breaker moments.
Some people say it takes five to seven years to make the blending stick, and that is if nothing traumatic occurs during that time. Our family ran the gambit, and with my eldest teetering on the edge of mental illness and bi-polar mood swings. We seriously did not have time to figure out what might go wrong in the marriage.
The day after our seventh wedding anniversary, my eldest son succumbed to injuries he suffered in a car accident and went home to the be with the Lord. Seven years later, after a season of grief and then a season of emotional betrayal, our family is still here. The kids are grown and our home is empty though Scott’s children, my bonus-children, still live with their mother. The youngest of our five just settled in for her second year at college away from home and the three in the middle are working jobs and discovering what they really want to be when they “grow up.”
Today, on our 14th wedding anniversary, I dropped Scott off at the yard to pick up his work truck and read from a post I had written the year after his emotional affair. I’ve had to confess my failures toward him as a wife and ask for forgiveness all along the way. There is indeed enough garbage to go around in a marriage. I mean his indiscretion was no worse than my overspending. It is a betrayal of trust and a wound that must be mended through forgiveness, repentance and rebuilding of relationships.
And still after fourteen years of many more valley of the shadow moments than mountaintop experiences, I would do it all again. I would love him fiercely without reservation and I would take the ups and downs of life with him by my side because I know he loves me and I him.
As we prayed this morning I heard him thank God for me and the fourteen years we’ve shared. A few weeks ago we watched television and a song from our wedding played on the show we were watching. I commented that I didn’t think he would remember it. He said, “What? From our wedding…”
A sly lopsided grin danced across his lips as he gained the advantage for a change in our memory lane game. I look at the pictures and remember the lofty hopes of happily ever after in a “Brady Bunch” sort of fashion. I recognize that I had a lot of growing up to do and did a lot of damage along the way. But as the dust has settled and we’ve found a new pace of life in our empty nest, I realize that every moment, every tear shed, every agonizing thought and laying to rest every fear has drawn us closer and more to unity and oneness than we may have realized had the road been easy and our hearts complacent with one another.
Marriage, whether blending a family or starting from scratch, requires hard work, patience, unconditional love to outweigh the hard ships of life. It is worth every single moment between then and now. I have my partner, my lover, my friend and my husband by my side. Today I find him more than everything I ever dreamed he would be. And the passion, love and laughter we shared before we said I do are fresh and new.
I am so grateful for this man of mine and so honored that he still desires to call me his wife. I do love him so. I’ve left a little song with the lyrics for you. This song came out a year before he and I became a couple. I used to sing it wishing for the day when I had someone to love “Just the Same.”
“Just the Same”Written by Terri Clark, Chris Waters and Tom Shapiro Performed by Terri Clark
You could’ve walked along a back road
Or on a lonely stretch of beach
You could have sat there on a park bench
A Sunday paper at your feet
If you’d been waiting for a taxi
Or at a bus stop in the rain
I would’ve found you, I would’ve found you
Just the same
You know you could’ve been a gambler
Whose luck was running low
Or just another drifter
Without a single place to go
You could have been a broken dreamer
Without a penny to your name
I would’ve loved you, I would have loved you
Just the same
No it really didn’t matter
Who you’d been or what you’d done
Where we met or when it happened
You’d still be the one
There’s no way to know the future
But one thing will never change
I’m gonna love you, I’m gonna love you
Just the same
I’d gonna love you, I’m gonna love you
Just the same