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.