in twenty-eight years, we never…

I had the craziest thought the other day. I couldn’t complete the end of that sentence with anything that Mike and I hadn’t experienced in marriage. The good, the bad, and the ugly were all accounted for in the almost thirty years of “us.” We have laughed, we’ve cried; we’ve loved, we’ve feared; we’ve lived and we’ve died a few times, too. We can say with satisfaction that we have made it to date, through it all. When someone asks me what I think the secret is to a satisfying, sustainable marriage, I don’t have any great wisdom to offer. We just stay married. And we choose to be happy. When the bad comes, and it still does occasionally, we get up and dust ourselves off and try again. I am drawn to the question, as if it is a mystery. What is sustainable, anyway? Nobody has a promise of tomorrow, but I feel very comfortable where we are today as a couple. I couldn’t always say that, so you might wonder what changed. I can almost pinpoint the day when we looked at each other and had an epiphany: we were in this for the long haul, and our only option was to choose happiness. God is God, and the rest of us are mere mortals living out the joys and hopes of this world, one day at a time. So, daily, we choose each other and choose joy. And with God’s Grace, He will see us through another day, another year. I’d love to write a hopelessly romantic post but I’m a more practical type. Perhaps a good Harlequin should be on my reading list, but it is a good spot. There is something deeply satisfying in being at peace with each other, resting in a love that grows each year—some years more than others. We brave this life together hand in hand.

Happy anniversary, honey. I’d choose you all over again. What a wild and sweet journey it has been! I guess I can think of a few things, short of murder, that we have not experienced in twenty-eight years. Maybe we need to check those things off the list also.

How about you? What do you think the secret of marriage is? What makes it work, or more interestingly, what goes wrong? Or even broader, what is the secret to a satisfying life? Every answer unlocks the mystery a little more. Bless you on your journey. May you also discover the secret of happiness. Regardless of circumstances, choose to be full of His joy, which is like no other.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4


8 thoughts on “in twenty-eight years, we never…

  1. Happy Anniversary! I think too many people just give up at marriage. It can be hard and at times I have wanted to quit also, but till death do us part, is what keeps me going.

  2. Gracious and Living Lord,
    Thank you so much for showing me a marriage that really works. Thank you for introducing me to a couple who know what it means to “die to self”. Thank you for filling them up with so much of your Spirit that they can have the kind of relationship You intended in the Garden. Thank you for these friends of mine! We love them and we love you! In Jesus’ Grace-filled Name. Amen.

  3. Good words to hear. And happy Anniversary to the both of you. I guess the secret to a good long marriage is agreeing to stay put. Through it all. One foot in front of the other.

    blessings, sister!

  4. My husband and I have had good times, great times, and times of deep hurt, but through it all we decided divorce was not an option…though there were a couple of times I wanted to put him 6 feet under. No telling what he wanted to do to me.

    Happy Anniversary dear Sister.

    Love, A2

  5. I agtree you said it beautifully. We’ve been married thirty nine years and worked together for sixteen and it’s only gotten better with time. The trials and testings of life have been weathered thanks to the grace of God and no other. He is the glue that binds us together and keeps us together. Commitment to Him, to the marriage and to each other. You are so right, it’s all about choice. It’s not about “me” and my “rights”. Thank you for a beautiful post. Have a great celebration and a great week end. Blessings from your Tennessee friend. Mary Lou

  6. I think you hit the nail on the head – we choose joy, we choose life, we choose forgiveness, we choose compassion and, at the end of the day, that is where we find happiness, peace, and joy. It cannot be accomplished in a life without Christ.
    Have a wonderful weekend with your whole family today. Welcome home, Greg! and Happy anniversary, Mike and Annette!

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