Today’s my 13th wedding anniversary.  I’m so grateful for every year we celebrate, especially given the state of marriage these days.  But it’s much more personal than that.

erinandIcasual

You see, we almost didn’t make it.

The first two years of our marriage nearly did us in, between my depression coming to a head and my husband’s past issues rearing their ugly head.  Now when I look back on that time I’m humbled.  And I’m thankful we didn’t give up.

You wouldn’t know how close we came to look at us now, holding hands and smooching all the time (much to the chagrin of our four kids).  Strangers mistake us for newlyweds everywhere we go.  Which is funny, because when we were newlyweds, we weren’t like that at all.

Things started out pretty promising.  We met in a Christian youth choir during our teens – literally love at first sight.  The more we got to know each other, the more convinced we were that we belonged together.  We spent long hours talking out deep spiritual and relational issues over the phone, in handwritten notes, and, later, in those new-fangled things called emails.  We even discussed our ideals in a future wife/husband.

After 4 1/2 years we finally got married.  We were young (21 and 23) but we knew what we wanted.  As a young woman I felt like I’d arrived at my own personal happily-ever-after.  But I soon discovered otherwise.

It was almost the end of us – even almost the end of me.

But thankfully God didn’t leave us there.  He gave us the strength to move past all the hurt and disappointment.  So now we can say we really are happily married.  Now we have three daughters to add to our son who otherwise wouldn’t have been born.

I could easily wish that we didn’t have to go through that pain.  But I don’t.  It was through those days of testing that we both grew in our faith, in our character, and in our love.  And now we can help other people going through the same things.

IMG_0001

It’s like any good story: without trouble, you can’t fully appreciate the good.  Click to Tweet

Advertisements