Happily Ever After

In January 1984, I took a seat on a school bus that would change my life.  We were young, only teenagers when we met.  In some ways, it was an unlikely fit.  One part poet and one part engineer.  One part song and one part soccer.

On January 4, 1992, we laid it all down, pledging love and even life to this mystery called marriage.  Twenty years have passed and I look back on it all with the gifts of time and perspective.  These twenty years have been full of days, days of living together and loving hard and being shaped together as one.

We have added new words to our shared vocabulary:  qualifying exams, precipitous labor, hemiparesis (how we love you, Michael), family housing, nor’easter.  We have learned some Latin as well, those five solas that have become so precious to us as we have rounded them out with our walk of faith.

In twenty years, we have had four addresses and half a dozen children.  We have learned the rules of field hockey, the best methods of shoveling snow and  how to make stuffed pizza.  And by God’s grace, my heart still flutters when I hear the garage door open at the end of the day.  I love it when he comes home.

Yet there have been days when the tasks of living have worn me thin.  There have been nights when I have lain next to him and offered him a only tangled mass of emotion.  He listens, he loves and he has learned not to offer his problem-solving prowess, but simply his arms of mercy.

Twenty years ago, we didn’t know much.  But we were in love and that was enough.  Now “happily ever after” is marked by a choice to live daily and intentionally in the good of the gospel and to offer that “good” to each other.

I know that marriage is a temporal picture of a greater reality.  I know that my forever Husband is waiting for me at the throne of grace, and I long for that day.  I really do.  But there is also a promise that love never ends and we are walking in that love.  We are learning to be patient and kind.  We have grown in the ways of protection, trust and hope.  We have become more willing to lay aside our preferences for the good of the other.  And in these small measures, we have tasted the sweetness of eternity.

About Julie

A happy wife, a mom on the learning curve, a daughter of the King . . .
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6 Responses to Happily Ever After

  1. juliesunne says:

    You have painted a beautiful picture of marriage with your words, Julie. Congratulations on your anniversary and also on understanding what it is that makes not just a marriage but a life together–and sharing it with the rest of us!

  2. Judy Ruegsegger says:

    Oh, Julie…how beautiful you are and how beautifully you write and express your thoughts and feelings. Your blog has brought tears to my eyes and thanksgiving in my heart. Thank you so much for loving my dear son Steve and being such a wonderful and loving wife to him. I remember the wedding as if it were yesterday, and I rejoice that your relationship has deepened and broadened over these 20 years…full of love, compassion, understanding and respect. I thank God for that school bus 🙂 🙂 and for all the years of grace and faithfulness He has given you. May you and Steve have a lifetime of joy and happiness together…and may your love for our Lord and for each other grow and grow.
    With a heart full of love for you and Steve and the kiddos,

  3. Marianne Coad says:

    Julie and Steve,
    I rejoice with you in these 20 years. You have both submitted yourselves humbly to the transforming winds of the Holy Spirit and to the Word of God allowing yourselves to be pierced through to bone and marrow for the sole purpose of sanctification. By this you have known the essence of His unconditional Love for you which you have chosen to extend to each other. I pray our gracious Father in Heaven will multiple this Love in the next 20 years.
    With deep affection,

  4. Ann (Ruegsegger) Britton says:

    Happy 20th Anniversary!!! I always remember you being a part of our family, Dear Sister!!! You both are an example to me of a godly marriage!!! I love you both! ~Ann

  5. Dawn says:

    What a beautiful post! 20 years–what a journey. I’m glad that God still blesses you through each other.My old roomate and phone buddy have always made a great couple.

  6. Amy :) says:


    Your writing is so beautiful and eloquent that whenever I come to your blog, I feel like I’m reading poetry. You have a gift. 🙂

    I, too, was in tears reading your description of twenty years of marriage. You expressed in such beautiful words the exact way I was feeling when Matt & I had our twentieth anniversary. Congratulations to you two, and may God bless you with many, many more years to enjoy together. 🙂

    Amy 🙂

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