I’ve tag-lined my anniversaries.
Last year was the Good Working Year.
This year was a continuation of the same. In the best and most wondrous way.
After hitting rough patches in the past, I don’t for one moment take the gift of another good year for granted. As friends have experienced distance and separation and even death in their relationships, I feel the enormity of having another good year. Each year takes work. Each year we have fights. Each year requires compromise. But I think we compromise better. I think we love better. I think we recognize our mistakes better.
Just this week, I made some “outraged” remarks in response to a certain future set of his travel plans. It was completely unnecessary (and inappropriate). I left the table, put the kids in bed, and went to bed myself. When Bray came to bed, I felt God clearly nudging me to apologize for my bad behavior. I do apologize, but some apologies are harder than others and this was one.
I laid there debating whether to apologize and finally realized I’d be letting God and Bray both down if I didn’t resolve this before he fell asleep. I apologized for the way I had reacted, and then the next morning I apologized to his dad who had witnessed the whole thing. That was NO fun. But five years ago, I’m pretty sure I would never have apologized. Heck, I might not have even recognized how wrong I was.
Hanging in there through the tears and triumphs teaches us how to spot our own relationship weaknesses. Sticking it out through the best and worst of times makes you a better person. That single moment taught me how to take responsibility when I’m out of line whether it’s in marriage or parenting or friendship.
We’ve been together now for eleven and a half years.
We’ve seen pink lines on pregnancy tests after years of struggling.
We’ve learned how to be a team better than ever because that’s how we have to make it work with two full time careers and three preschoolers.
Since the day he proposed, I have never once questioned my yes was the best yes I’ve ever given to a question. It doesn’t mean we haven’t struggled. But I have never doubted that Bray is specifically who God selected to make my life fuller and saner and happier and zanier and unpredictable-er!
I am so grateful to have another year to learn how to live well with the love of my life.
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