Today is the 14th anniversary of the day I married Jimmy. I have always loved the number 14. Don’t ask me why because I don’t have a clue. When I was a little girl, if you asked me what my favorite number was, it was 14. I prayed for SO long for a new baby brother and when my brother Asher was adopted into our home – yep, I was 14. There aren’t a whole lot of opportunities to have a 14 year anniversary of something, but it is happening for me today.
I don’t know why Jimmy and I got into the conversation with all of our children the other day about my life story. I shared with them when I was saved, the major events of my childhood, the moves, the happy times, the sad times, the boyfriends, the dating of their daddy, the engagement and the marriage. We talked and talked. We all talked again about the day I woke up paralyzed and how it made each of us feel. It was quite a long conversation! When we got finished, Caleb said, “Mom, you ought to make a movie of your life!” It was such a cute statement but it did make me stop and think.
The day Jimmy and I made our vows to each other and to God to be husband and wife until death did us part – I wonder if we really knew all that would unfold in our marriage? There have been some unbelievably sad days and there have been some abundant joyful days. But the good and the bad, have made us the couple we are today. We have stormed some serious things…but we have done them together. We have handled things horribly, we have hurt one another, we have made some stupid decisions, we have faced terrifying times….but we stayed together. We have brought 6 beautiful children into this world, we have laughed till we were sick, we have snuggled and watched movies way too late in the night, we have ministered to others, we have enjoyed ordinary days….and we have done it together.
Jimmy, you have been together with me in many fun and exciting things. You have also been together with me in many humbling ways. People see my independence but they don’t see that night after night when I am exhausted and no longer have much strength to be independent, you help change my clothes, transfer me into bed, get me warm and then stand next to me for another 20 minutes stretching my legs. They don’t see the many nights you jump out of the bed to check on the sick or crying child. They don’t see the times that you have woke up to help me with my physical or emotional needs. They don’t see the endless cups of tea and chocolate chips you bring to me. They don’t see the times you are cringing with worry over something I want to try but you stay quite and let me try. They don’t see the laundry you do, the dishes you help wash, the floors you help mop, the bathrooms you help clean, the little heads you help scrub, the repairs you try to do even when I am griping you are doing them wrong, and the hundreds of errands you have run so I do not have to get out in the cold or rain.
You are far from perfect. You can get on my nerves and annoy me quicker than anyone. You can push my buttons and make me spittin’ mad! You have broken my heart and hurt my feelings. But you can still melt me quicker than anyone. You can make me cry out of sheer happiness and you still give me butterflies in my tummy. You are quick to see when you have hurt me and you are always quick to be sorry and to try and make it all better. You are a perfect blend of understanding and compassion, and also of balance and tough love. We are two stubborn people, and because of that we are determined to stick through all of these things….together.
Together we are parents. Together we minister. Together we keep the home. Together we are Christians. Together we have a disability. Together we struggle. Together we grow. Together we push each other to be our best. Together we enjoy each other’s quirks. Together we cry. Together we laugh. Together we are one.
So to you – year 14, and to you my darling husband, I am so thankful that we are all in this together. Together really is a beautiful word.