When I was a girl of 21, I stood at the altar of a beautiful church with a handsome boy and vowed to be his wife. I vowed to be true to him in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I vowed to love him and honor him all the days of my life. Looking back, I can’t say that I knew exactly what I was promising. But today, on our 20th anniversary, I know that I’d say yes to him and to our marriage, all over again.
I’d Say Yes to the Good Times
We’ve had so many spectacularly good times. Days and moments of pure joy, seconds of stolen glances and private laughs. I’d say yes to every one.
Trips for just the two of us to places like Savannah, New York, Chicago, and Denver. Cruises to the Caribbean and an epic anniversary trip to Ireland. Family vacations to the beach, the mountains, the countryside of Texas and the bustle of San Francisco.
I’d say yes to the four moments that I watched him hold each of our children for the first time. Then watching him run after them as they learned to ride on two wheels.
I’d say yes to church on Sundays, family afternoons in the pool, dancing in the kitchen, and sneaking kisses in the hallway.
Yes to the family snuggle sessions in our bed and date nights that grow more frequent as the kids get old enough to babysit themselves.
Yes to laughing and loving and growing together more every day.
I’d Say Yes to the Bad Times
I couldn’t imagine at 21 that bad times would actually come to our marriage. But what else can you expect when two imperfect people join their lives together? Ideally, though, those bad times are temporary. You love each other through them and come out stronger on the other side.
So, yes. I’d say yes to the miscarriages because, through them, I learned how strong and supportive and faithful we can be.
I’d say yes to the long and lonely nights while he worked on finishing his PhD because they led to a job that would provide so much for our family.
Yes to the arguing and misunderstanding that taught (and continue to teach) us how to better understand each other.
Yes to helping each other through grief and the loss of family and friends.
I’d say yes to the car accidents, the budgeting mishaps, and the hurt feelings. Yes to the things that seem devastating at the time, but prove to be where we learn to rise from the ashes.
I’d say yes to the bad because, so far, it’s always led back to the good.
I’d Say Yes to Sickness and to Health
Did we know when we got married that our young, healthy bodies wouldn’t stay that way forever? Probably…if we had really thought about it.
But would he have said yes to a wife with postpartum depression? Chronic back pain? Anxiety?
Would I have said yes to a husband with his particular struggles?
Yes. We both would have.
And we’d say yes to doing 5Ks together, too. Yes to encouraging each other to eat healthy, stay active, and enjoy the bodies that God gave us.
We Will Love and Honor Each Other All the Days of Our Lives
Early in our marriage, my grandad passed along this wisdom to us. He said, “All the stuff that comes along in this life…the house, the kids, the jobs, the money…it’s just not important. You’re going to think it is. You’re going to get distracted by it. But it’s all extracurricular. What is important is the two of you. Always come back to why you loved each other in the first place. Always remember why you married him and why you married her.”
We are blessed, Greg and I. We seem to have marital longevity in our genes. All four sets of our grandparents achieved 50 years of marriage or more. My parents have been married almost 44 years. His parents reached their 40th anniversary before his dad passed away. We have seen the hard work, the joys and sorrows, and the love that it takes to spend all of the days of your life with someone.
And if we didn’t quite realize what we were promising 20 years ago, I think we’re learning more and more about those vows as every day goes by. And the more we learn, the more thankful we are that God chose us for each other to be partners on the journey.
I love you, husband, with all of my heart. Know that with every new day and every moment we are given together, I will always say yes to you and to our life together all over again.