Years 1-7 were....pretty good, but we were young. Didn't know much about love at all.
Years 7-10, were....pretty good, but I was sorta messy. Having babies and all.
Years 11-14, were....pretty good, but he was sorta messy. Has his own reasons.
I can pick it all apart, remember phrases spoken, specific offenses. Birthdays that were ruined. The time he made me so mad because he forgot to install the carseat back in my car. Or the time he had to work late and missed the special dinner I worked so hard on.
I can put our relationship under a microscope, and suddenly, fifteen years can feel like a really long time. I've now known my husband longer than the years I lived before I knew him.
But last night, an email from my mom reminded me that all of that is simply my view from my limited perspective. She said she realized that in a few weeks, it will be my grandparents 65th anniversary.
65 - 15 = 50 years longer than we have been married!
I just can't wrap my head around that length of time. I cannot comprehend what it would be like to be married for 65 years.
I wonder what their perspective looks like? Do they think back over the years and remember hurtful phrases and day-to-day offenses? Missed dinners and ruined birthdays?
Or is nearly all of it awash with grace? Forgiveness?
Unconditional, courageous, heels-dug-in commitment?
Wouldn't it have to be?
I know my grandparents did not have an easy life. They were poor, migrant farm laborers from the Midwest who traveled westward for work during harvest seasons. My grandpa was the survivor of two accidents that could have taken his life, but instead left him disabled for extended periods of time. He also suffered chronic illness from his exposure to chemicals in the second world war. And when their children were grown, they owned a meager carpet store in rural Oklahoma, an hour outside of a city.
And they followed Jesus all the way. My grandmother played the organ at their tiny church for decades. They prayed and sang and gave thanks every time I saw them. Every meal. Every gathering. God's name was spoken and revered.
Their lives were marked with worship. In picking cotton, in raising children, in laying carpet, in serving others, in suffering, in loss, and in this final season of their lives. They worship.
From my perspective, that must be the key. A marriage lived out under God is one that can survive 65 years.
Well, it's a new day, which makes me one day closer to that goal.
Not the goal of 65 years. The goal of scrubbing clean my memory of hurts, not with unhealthy burying, but with forgiveness. And the goal of worshiping my Strength and my Shelter, the One who is on the throne, the One who sees me, every day.