One of my favorite things about being married is that you have somebody to fall in love with over and over again for the rest of your life. It is a gift, this having someone to walk with on your journey. But sometimes, I take that gift for granted. Sometimes, I forget that marriage means not only that they walk with me on my journey, but that I have to take roads I never intended to go down, to stay by their side on their journey.
Anyone who knows my husband and I, knows that we have not had the most storybook of romances. While there has been lots of dancing, we have never locked eyes or dropped glass slippers at a ball. My husband is much more likely to eat an apple and take a years long nap, while I fight the dragon and then have to figure out how to wake him from his slumber. My hair is far too short to allow him entrance to any tower. And,unlike the little mermaid, I haven’t been willing to give up my voice to win any guy since I was a sophomore in high school.
But here we are, five kids and twelve years later. Still going.
I often think about how I will explain our story to our children. How I will tell them that I divorced their father, then how I fell in love with him again, and remarried him. How I will explain that I have made him leave since then, but how we have come back together again. Our story is not that is easy to understand. It hasn’t always even been easy to live. But we have. We have made it through so much of the muck in this life, and somehow come out on the other side, cleaner.
We have had the unlikely fortune to become stronger than we were before we were broken. While the breaks have hurt in ways that I never would have imagined, somehow, they have healed. Like a bone that has to be broken in order to set the body to rights. But without the doctors warning or valium. Slow and painful, but sure. Which is also how healing has come. But even in the midst of all of it, there has been grace.
Not necessarily on my part. But for me. For him. Inexplicable grace. And laughter. Which is really just another form of grace anyway. To be able to laugh in the midst of this world and all its suffering, that’s grace. And we have worn it. Have used it. Have laughed our way through our journey. Sometimes with tears in our eyes, others with unencumbered joy in our hearts. I am so glad that we have.
I always tell people who look shocked by how many children we have, that it is not a quiet house, but it’s a happy house. As much as there is laughter ringing off the walls, there is even more love. Like a balm, it fills up all our cracked places and makes it so they don’t hurt anymore. And there is second chances. It seems to be the hallmark of our story. Redemption and restoration. Trying again and again. Waking up every morning and getting out of bed, and being better to each other than we were the day before. And before you know it, we have fallen, so deeply, so completely, in love with each other all over again.
No, our story is not in any fairy tale. It is better. It is real and raw and ongoing. And it is ours. Let Snow White live happily ever after. My husband and I will be here, together, living hilariously ever after.