We've been married exactly 15 months.
One could possibly argue that we are still newlyweds.
An "Oh ya, you just wait. Wait until the hard years come. Let's see how you feel about him then."
Recently, my mom even said to me "I don't think you're even capable of being mad at him."
"Oh Yes, yes I am, Mom," was my response.
Little did she know that we had a very diffciult first year of marriage. Doors slammed, voices raised, heads hit the pillows without as much as a good night from the other person. I, some days, wondered if I had made the right choice. I'm sure he may have wondered the same. It is just too hard. This being married thing. Maybe I'm not meant to be married. Maybe, just maybe I was created to be alone. Alone seems easier. I already had one failed marriage under my belt. And the first few months of my second marriage didn't look to promising.
From the outside, no one would have guessed at the fighting behind the scenes. We fought hard, and made up even harder. But there was a time period that, that one fight would end and another would pick up. We couldn't seem to go one day without it.
We fell for each other hard and fast. Him faster than me. My own bruised heart, just wasn't quite as open as his. It took convincing. It took a sign from God. It took God being in the middle of it. And that's the thing...
You can have the best thing for you right in front of you and still abuse it--see it through your own lense of past hurt. You can take what God has for you, and mis-treat it, stomp on it and say "I don't want what you have for me, God."
Or you can recognize the damage that you are doing, and correct it.
I had prayed and prayed and wished on a star for a man like James. After years of being mis-treated, I finally was being treated like a queen. He is the most kind, warm hearted, thoughtful human being. He is a natural giver, and trust me, I am not. He saw past my broken-ness, and loved me anyway. He forgives easier and let's go faster. He sees me for who I am and just gets me. And for someone that could have only dreamed up such a man for me, I surely didn't treat it as treasure for many months.
I've seen quite a few marriages in trouble recently and one thing stands out. Marriages in dire straits don't start there. They start with an argument, they start with hurts being held too tightly to begin anew. Dire straits begin with a lack of respect for the person they married. They begin with an expectation that isn't met and end with deep rooted bitterness.
We all fall short of being the perfect partner. We all have woundings, we all are broken. We all mis-treat at times, we all say things we don't mean and do things we don't really want to.
But can we stop for a second?
Can we start over?
Can we hold on to that FIRE that yearned for our partner when we first met them?
It took me losing a friend suddenly, to wake me up. Her death shook me to my core because we are not guaranteed tomorrow. It is a gift. It took, sitting quietly and really reflecting on what I wanted in and from my marriage. What kind of wife did I want to be? And what do I need to do to be that woman? What changes do I need to make?
I needed a heart change.
I needed to get over myself and my past woundings in order to walk forward in my future.
I needed to FOCUS on all the blessings that James adds into my life every-single-day. And remember that I prayed for this man. I prayed to receive him long before I met him.
He is an answered prayer.
He is a treasure to cherish.
I choose every day start new with James, to show forgiveness and to ask forgiveness. As he does with me. I choose to dwell (meditate on, and think upon) on the gratefulness and love, I have deep in my heart for who James is and how God gave him to me.
Our wedding video song lyrics bring me right back to that beautiful day when the fire burned bright and high.
"All the wonder that awaits. Here we are, Forever starts today. This adventure we were meant for, Every day is a chance to discover. You give me reason, through every season. Together we can do anything, if we believe it. You and me will find a way. Here we are, Forever starts today." -Tim Halperin
Forever starts today because your decisions/thoughts/feelings/actions towards your partner start t-o-d-a-y. Not tomorrow, not in five years but today. What kind of marriage do you want? What actions can you take?
The one I want one burns not red, but blue flames for my husband. Flames that burn so hot that others take notice.
Happy Birthday James, I love you