I microblog (write and share in smaller snippets) over on Facebook and the other day, the Wizard of Zuck showed me this photo—wanting me to know it was my most commented on photo of 2016.
I’ll roll witcha, FB. Not sure it’ll be what you had in mind, though. Because this was back when I only shared the happy. The joy. The triumphs. The highlight reel. I didn’t know any better back then. I didn’t yet know it’s sharing our truths and our imperfections that help us all the most.
I shared this photo on our anniversary. Our 20th. We were twenty years in and doin’, um, ok. I thought.
Only nope, nope we were not.
I posted this photo in commemoration of two decades of marriage together and the week after, Erik told me he’d been unfaithful with a co-worker and was being forced to leave his career as a result.
I lost my marriage as I knew it and we lost the bulk of our income in one fell swoop. Along with our health insurance. And then our son slid into second base and broke his ankle in three places. When it became clear he’d need surgery, probably twice, I nearly lost my mind in the ER that night.
For the way life was crumbling around me, I wanted to leap over the hospital bed and strangle my husband dead. I guess I made that clear because at one point, our son’s doctor actually pulled me aside and asked as sweetly as possible, “WTF is wrong with you?” Ish.
So I told her. All of it. And her demeanor changed in a heartbeat. Her eyes softened. Her head tilted. She reached out to touch my shoulder and murmured, “Well, no wonder.” She turned fierce ally then and piloted me through that awful night.
By the grace of God and every last vapory dreg of strength, stamina, and determination I never knew I had—I’ve navigated through a thousand more nights to arrive at today. At twenty-three years in. Or rather, three years into the new marriage we began after the old one failed.
Because I love this man. Full stop.
And today—though I don’t fully understand the mechanics of this truth, the mystery or the miracle—I love him better. Bigger. Bolder.
I don’t like how we arrived at today. I’ll never say I’m grateful for the path we took. But I might.
I truly may.
Because our marriage of today was not to be missed. And I’m beyond glad I didn’t.
Since we’re not promised tomorrow, since we can’t know what’s coming and we likely don’t want to, we’ll focus on today and be glad in it. We’ll no longer take today for granted. For it won’t always be.
Since we’re not looking back, because we’re not going that way, since we’ve forgiven and atoned, since we’ve learned to love for no reason and without conditions, we’ll celebrate today and rejoice in it.
Because for us and our marriage, today wasn’t a given.
No matter the state of your own marriage today, it doesn’t have to repeat itself tomorrow. Or at least not all of your tomorrows.
You can nearly lose your mind in the grief and heartache of it all today and still begin to find a way forward together tomorrow. Or the next day. Someday.
I just wanted to make sure you know that, in case today finds you utterly unsure.