On top of our bedroom dresser sit numerous frames with photos of our beloved family. There is a large framed image from a Mary Engelbreit calendar that was framed by our middle daughter as a gift for a prior anniversary. It is an image of an older couple swinging on a porch swing as they look at old photos. The Sophocles’ quote “Time eases all things” is printed on the image.
My husband and I celebrated 35 years of marriage on September 5th. Much has happened in those 35 years together — the events and seasons of life. We meet as a young, carefree college students, totally sure that we knew what we were doing. He was the handsome groom awaiting me at the end of the aisle and just a week later he was my husband standing beside my hospital bed in intensive care dealing with a life changing diagnose (click here & here to read our story). He taught me how to drive a stick shift on the western Pennsylvania hills and together we purchased our first home. We welcome 3 baby girls into our lives and raised them together. In what seemed like a few years later, we dropped those daughters off at college and missed their daily presence every day. Then the joy of welcoming son-in-laws came and now the grandchildren have added joy and reasons to continue on.
There have been many disagreements, hard discussions with anger and tears (99% mine) in 35 years. It has been a continual lesson on dying to ourselves and staying committed to each other even when we didn’t like each other very much. Good decisions and bad decisions were made. Homes established in apartments, a double-wide, and houses. And so many financial issues – failures and bankruptcy – yet those things didn’t destroy us (wounded us and left scars for sure). Somehow, through the stressful hardships, we continued on.
Saying farewell to people we loved, his Mom and my parents — so heartbreaking, but so hopeful because of Christ. And now, we watch each other age as we are different physically than we were 35 years ago ~~ less hair, age spots, stiffer joints along with the continual struggle of type 1 diabetes.
In many ways it has gone fast and yet slow. All of our days sifted through the hands of our Sovereign, Loving Lord who is writing our story within the grander story of His redemption of mankind. It has been so very harder and different than we expected. It has matured and taught us that God does write love stories that reveal how faithful God is through each season.
Has it been easy – no!
Would we do it again: yes a thousand times (we both say yes!)
Would we do it different: of course because now we see the back story – but we can’t change the past only forgive each other, ourselves and continue on in grace.
Does Time ease all things – yes, it really does. The struggles that we have now are so different than before. There is a comfort in our relationship that has come over the years.
Many have asked me, what is the secret to staying together and the only answer I have is … “don’t give up.” I know how very hard it is, but it is reverent place to arrive at 35 years after so many seasons of life together. I know that our history and our future together are only found in our faith in Christ.
God has been very faithful to us and this photos reveal His greatest gift to us ~ our family.
“We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He has done.” Psalm 78:4