"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens." Ecclesiastes 3:1

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Hand in Hand: 11 Years of Marriage

11 years ago today, I married my best friend. We were still babies to most of the outside world, but together, we felt like old souls. Desire for marriage had been in our hearts for years, but we wanted the best for our future together, so we spent a lot of time talking and praying about what that meant.

The two of us had big dreams, and our young love required making big sacrifices with those dreams in mind. One reason we put off getting married was because we wanted to make sure we finished college. When we finally made it to the altar, we still had one semester left to complete, but we knew we would finish. It was only one semester, right? 

Hurricane Katrina hit just a few months after we said our vows, which sent our perfectly laid plans out the window for a while.  Our last semester had to be postponed to the spring, which meant our hopes to start a family looked like they were also going have to wait. 

(Again with the waiting!)

We were crushed.

Then, we did something crazy. Despite some pretty convincing reasons why we should avoid getting pregnant at the time, we opened our hearts to whatever God decided for our family. 

It was scary and exciting all at the same time. It felt like Buddy took my hand and helped me climb onto the roller coaster that was officially our new life together. 

At the time, our house was smashed under a tree, Buddy's job status was unknown, and we still had to finish school. And yet, even amid all of that chaos, God decided to send us a child.

It turned out that our original plan to get pregnant at the end of that fall semester would have been disastrous. I got so sick during my first trimester, I could barely hold anything down. I lost a lot of weight and barely made it out of bed most days. 

By the time the spring semester started, I was finally feeling mostly back to normal. I was able to eat again and getting out of bed was no longer impossible. By the time we turned in our final exams, I was officially waddling. We never did make it to our graduation ceremony, though. I was 8 months pregnant and already having contractions strong enough to worry us about braving the crowd, but we did it. We both graduated college.

And exactly one month later, our baby girl was born!

Our first year of marriage was quite the roller coaster ride, and each year that has followed has proven to be its own adventure. We've gone through so much together already--mostly good, but we've also had our fair share of scary dips and turns that have sent my stomach into knots.  But no matter what craziness was going on around us, Buddy was always right there next to me with his calming smile and reassuring presence.  

Hand in hand, we continue to ride through this life together, sharing every feeling--anticipation, excitement, fear, and love--just to name a few. And deep in my heart, I know that the success of our marriage all goes back to how we approached the ride.

Because when Buddy took my hand in his, our life became our prayer.

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