It’s quite a love story.
Full of ups and downs. The good and not-so-good. Happiness and sorrow. Suspense and laughter. Joy and pain. It’s a love story of which someone should write a book.
It’s a sweet story, beginning with how a boy met a girl… and then squirted her in the face with a squirt gun. The girl married that boy, and 24 years after their wedding day, they continue to write the pages of their life together.
(Yes, that’s truly how my husband and I met. I relived it all this week as I shared that story on our local country radio station. Let me tell you, getting squirted in the face isn’t what I call love at first sight. But it was the beginning of our incredible love story.)
August 8, 1992 was a hot and humid day. We exchanged wedding vows in an ornate, un-air conditioned church. My long-sleeved dress probably wasn’t the smartest choice for August, but it was my dream dress. Who cared about the heat on a dream-come-true kind of day? After all, I was marrying my love of a lifetime.
Our life together began, and more of our love story was written.
Within two years our first child was born. In less than three more, our second child arrived. We loved being parents, and navigated the unknown parental waters well. Life was good, and our story was simple.
But, not long after, turbulent times arrived.
The day before our 7th anniversary, my father died. Life shifted and grief turned everything upside-down. Underlying issues surfaced, and outside forces blind-sided us. Months later, I was ready to end our once beautiful love story. But God stepped in. He softened our hearts, and rekindled our love for one another.
Yes, even this trying chapter is part of our story.
We learned we could no longer coast in our marriage. We put God back in the center of our relationship, and decided to work on our marriage day after day after day. Ending our love story was no longer an option.
So, years later we continue to work at loving each other. Some days we do it well, some days we don’t. We continue to date, and try to be a blessing to one another. Again, some days we do it well, and some days we don’t. But we do it together. As our nest becomes emptier, we choose to spend time growing old together. And as we do, we’ve chosen a hobby that we both enjoy… bicycling on a tandem.
No, our love isn’t perfect, and neither is our love story.
But that’s what makes it special. That’s what makes it ours. And, I wouldn’t want to trade it for anything. I pray our love story is an example for our children, and an example for others.
As we celebrate 24 years of marriage today, we also celebrate this special and not-so-perfect love story. It’s a love story worth telling over and over, and yes, it’s even worth writing about.
Happy 24th Anniversary, Billy L. You still are my love of a lifetime!
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