our wedding anniversary – 2018
Thursday, June 14th, 2018
Just a couple of days ago – Jason and I passed the 18-year mark in marriage.
While most couples would celebrate this with a card to each other at a minimum and a dinner and night away at a hotel at the other end of the spectrum – Jason and I did none of the above.
In fact, it wasn’t until I was driving to Red Rocks for an early morning workout that I realized…. it’s our anniversary!
As Jason and I went through the day together – we started to be silly and hug each other – then look at each other with one eye brow raised and say – Happy Anniversary. I know what you are thinking so I’ll just say it out loud – this was the most non-glamorous anniversary imaginable. No cards, no gifts, no nothing.
At least that is what it might look like from the outside.
However – on the inside there was so much more happening.
For starters, we talked throughout the day about how grateful we were to be married to each other. And how innocent and naive our 23-year-old selves were on that day as we walked down the aisle.
I realized that – at least for the day – I had much less bitterness toward Jason than I had in the past on our anniversary. In the past – I’ve felt so much hurt on our anniversary. Because our wedding was a big fat lie. What a waste.
Yet fast forward to this year – and I felt more grace than ever before for our younger selves. More grace for Jason – knowing he was in a vicious cycle that was trying to forever take him down. More grace for myself – that I wasn’t stupid or ignorant or blind but that I truly loved him and saw the best in him, not the worst – and certainly not his sexual integrity issues.
Second, I was able to take the day to remind myself that I have no regrets in staying with Jason. Sure – there are no promises – I realize he is always one step away from blowing up our lives again. I also realize that I’m one step away, too. We are simply not the best CEO’s of our lives. That’s why we need Jesus.
This – in fact – might be one of my biggest take-aways from this journey to date – we are all just one step away from blowing it up.
I used to think I was about infinity steps away – because I would NEVER hurt Jason by being unfaithful to him. But as God has chipped away at my hard outer shell of arrogance and pride throughout this journey – I now see my faulty ways, too. I need Jesus every. single. day.
Maybe I haven’t hurt Jason in the same ways he has hurt me – but I’ve hurt him nonetheless. I am broken too.
(One caveat I need to mention here – you don’t need to look at your brokenness at the on-set of this journey. If you are new in this process – you work on grieving – which includes a lot of kleenex, tears, snot and anger. You’ll know when it’s time to work on you – but this is not the time and you are not the cause of your husband’s choices.)
And last – I was reminded of how much more I like myself today than ever before. Girls – this one is just as HUGE. Because when my marriage started to blow – I was convinced I was ruined. My heart would never repair. My soul was damaged for good. Heaven come quick.
My biggest fear was I could never get the images, the stories, the experiences that my husband had without me – out of my mind. I was tainted. Ruined. My life was over.
I am SO grateful to sit here in this coffee shop today as I type this post and tell you this – that has NOT been the case.
Sure – it has taken years to get to an inner peace in my heart and soul. It’s taken a TON of grieving – more than I’d like to admit. It’s taken going round and round with God and with Jason to get that repair work done. Dang – it’s been intense.
And it’s been worth it.
So if you’re down and out and wonder – how will I ever get there – know that it’s one small step at a time. It’s about the process. Whether your marriage makes it or whether your marriage goes down in flames – know that YOU can and will make it.
What is God calling you to do next? Step out and do it – for yourself, for your marriage, for your children, for the legacy that you will leave behind. Don’t wait. Go now.
xo – Shelley