Twenty-five anniversaries, holding on and holding hope.
I want to have big silver anniversary words, but I don’t. And that is okay. It has to be.
I have the words that a friend offered at the end of his congratulatory Facebook comment on Steve’s wall.
. . . a great example of a rugged marriage.
Thank you, Alvin. Those are exactly the words that affirm the beautiful hard that is found in celebrating 25 years of becoming one while growing up together and having three of our eight children before our brains were fully formed!
This day has felt rugged. It certainly hasn’t been the stuff of which silver anniversary dreams are made. As a final blow, we had to cancel the sitter for our evening out due to uncertain stomachs. We had to engage disappointment and pain.
This season feels rugged as I find more words for my own story and style of relating and engaging and how that has affected those closest to me. As Steve and I struggle to find more words for our story together, we recognize the help that we need. It is okay to need help.
A dear sister heard my heart and affirmed my words as I processed with her via text.
A silver star with a 25 on it doesn’t negate the hurt and disappointment. Or the joy. There is joy underneath, but right now it is being eclipsed by the ache. And marriage is about more than just how I feel today.
Climbing out of the valley and learning to walk on level ground isn’t as easy as it sounds!
One of the significant assaults of evil in this period is to try to triumph through regret. It is easy to survey all that might have been and grieve that it has taken so long to savor and delight in life. Add to this the desire to remove all the debris we have brought into the lives of our children, friends, and family, and it is easy to feel terrible and to work frantically to restore all that is broken. We must resist this seduction. Grief is freeing, but regret is the cul-de-sac of despair. (Dan Allender, Healing the Wounded Heart, 233).
So tonight we will have our regularly scheduled date night and not the fancy dinner out gifted us by our kids. Rather than circling the cul-de-sac again and again, I will try to feel the disappointment and grieve what is not, and then move on to the goodness that is an evening together with the hope of a future ahead of us.
We will persist. We will toast our twenty-five years of beautiful, rugged marriage with chicken soup and ginger-ale!
Here’s to us!