7 years. 364 weeks. 2,555 days. 61,320 hours. 3,679,200 minutes.
As of 5:00 p.m. today, that’s how long I’ve been married. 7 years, although it’s not a particularly large or traditional anniversary milestone, it is for me. I try not to get too incredibly personal where my marriage is concerned but it is with my husband’s permission that I share a little bit about our story. Our marriage has never been a walk in the park. In the 7 years since we said I do we have been through our fair share of trials. We’ve seen a deployment, an oil boom, 2 oil busts, a layoff, the birth of 2 children, 3 moves, and a whole lot in between. Last year however, we endured our toughest trial yet. As I’m sure those of you who personally know me or closely follow my blog are aware of, we lost my mother in law last August. Just one week shy of our 6 year wedding anniversary. That summer had been particularly strenuous on our marriage because it just seemed as though we had grown apart. I felt like Dave was mean and short tempered all the time, like he no longer cared about me and our marriage, and that he was incredibly selfish. He felt under appreciated, like I nagged constantly, and that I was trying to control him. Neither of us were budging and were both frustrated and burnt out on the relationship. Around June, I suggested maybe we take some time apart and perhaps give each other some breathing room without speaking while he was away at work to do some thinking. Within 2 weeks, we had decided to work on things and make some changes so that we could make our marriage work. We sort of just swept things under the rug at this point though because neither of us actually did anything to change. By August we were pretty miserable with each other but in attempts to reconnect, he took off work for our anniversary and my mother was planning to keep the kids for a few days so that we could spend some much needed one on one time together. The week before we were scheduled to leave, we got the news that his mother had passed and we quickly began making arrangements. We ended up spending our anniversary at the family ranch with all of his family as we laid her to rest. We were both really mourning the loss and trying to wrap our heads around it and really tried to lean on each other. By the next month however we were right back where we were before her passing. Mid September Dave came to me and said he was tired of fighting and he wasn’t sure he wanted to be married anymore. I hesitantly admitted I was feeling the same way and when he left for work later that day, we had decided it was more of a goodbye than a see you later. We had decided to separate. I realized pretty early on this wasn’t truly what I wanted but I was so frustrated I wasn’t sure what to do. Dave took a little longer however to come around. I won’t get into all the details of what happened between us in the weeks to follow but I will say we said and did alot of things to hurt one another. During our separation, my grandmother passed away and I found myself back home with my parents for the funeral. I spent 6 years praying for God to move in my husband’s heart. To change him. I never once asked for God to change ME. I never asked for God to move in MY heart and reveal to me what I was doing wrong because I was so focused on what he was doing wrong. I was so focused on my hurt and my resentment that I couldn’t see my contributions to the demise of my marriage. But the night of my grandmother’s funeral I ugly cried out to the Lord. I asked him to reveal to me what I could change in myself, I asked him to help me get over the hurt of the past, and finally I asked for peace and for comfort for whatever his will was for my marriage. I couldn’t beg him to make Dave want to be married to me anymore, I began to plead for HIM to invade my heart and make me okay with being on my own if that’s so what he wanted for my life. I asked him for strength and wisdom to be a strong mother for my girls through this difficult time. For the first time in weeks, I slept soundly through the night. When I woke up the next morning, I decided it was time to stop mourning my marriage. I wasn’t going to cry or beg Dave to stay, if he wanted to leave, I would let him and I would be okay. Just like that, God moved. Dave asked to see me that night, we talked, I cried, he asked for forgiveness, so did I. We decided to work on things and communicate more. He looked at me in a way I had never seen him look at me before. When I asked him what made him suddenly want to see me, he couldn’t really provide an answer other than he was just sitting there watching tv and felt like he HAD to see me. Something extraordinary happened that night. We became friends. Best friends. The month or so afterwards were difficult because we were still working through some things together and trying to mend some hurts. I’m sitting here in awe of the miracle God has worked in our marriage since then. My husband has become one of the most patient kind men I know. He always puts the girls and I first. He makes our marriage a priority and goes to church with me when he’s home. He calls me and texts me every chance he gets and makes me feel so loved daily. We truly enjoy each other’s company and when he looks at me, I can visibly see his love for me. I on the other hand probably could still work on my nagging but I do try harder to show my appreciation for all he does and sacrifices for our family. I’m asking God daily to show me how to love my husband more and to fully mend all of my past hurts. I spent many years being patient with Dave and I’m thankful he was patient with me this last year while I worked through some hurt, insecurities, and some struggles of my own. I’m glad I didn’t give up on him easily and glad he hasn’t given up on me. So while a 7 year anniversary may not seem like something super spectacular to you, in many ways, it was the most special milestone of all for us. It was the first anniversary of our new beginning, it was an anniversary I didn’t think we were going to make it to. We are so appreciative of our family and friends who vigilantly prayed with us and for us and truly fought for our marriage along side us.
Honey, I’m thankful for second chances. I promise to let my guard down and just live. I promise to *try harder* not to nag and to remember to pick up your dry cleaning. I love you 809238423740298840923374238409280 +7. I can’t wait to see what adventures our next year brings. ❤
Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. Mark 10:9
On our Wedding day August 9, 2008