Monday, February 25, 2013

Happily Ever After Takes Work!

This past weekend, Dave and I celebrated our twenty-third wedding anniversary. We went to Hilton Head Island, which was also where we spent our honeymoon. Even though it rained all weekend—until the morning we had to leave, of course; isn’t that always the way?—we had a wonderful trip. We walked in the rain, climbed to the top of the lighthouse, ate fresh seafood, and in the evening built a fire and ordered pizza.

Getting married was another one of those dreams of mine that seemed to take forever. I was a few weeks shy of thirty-one when we finally walked down the aisle. At the time, I thought I was ancient. I thought ice ages could have come and gone in the time I spent fretting over whether I would be single forever!

You know, in fairy-tales and movies, getting to the “I Do” is the happy ending, but in the real world, that’s just the beginning. Dave and I had both been single and independent for a long time, not to mention we’re both very stubborn people. So the adjustment was extremely difficult, and I don’t mean for a few weeks or even a few months. Sometimes I think back on the years he had to put up with my attitude and am amazed he’s still around.

Truth be told, if we hadn’t both believed that marriage is forever we probably would have separated in those early years. But we hung in there, and miracle of miracles, today we’re best friends. Happily married—ever after, I hope. But I know it’s easy to slip, and we have to guard our relationship constantly.

I try to remember all of this when I start to despair of my other dreams. I try to remember that each day is a gift the Lord has made, and that if and when I manage to cross over that magic line into fulfillment, well then…that day will have its joys and challenges just like the others.

Then again, I also know that dreams are worth working for. Even on the days when you’d rather throw the whole mess out the window. Looking at my best friend and husband of twenty-three years makes me remember that.