There is something significant to my life when it comes to the number 2. For starters, it was my basketball number in elementary school and respectively, 22 in high school. It’s also my Enneagram number thanks to John Crist. [You’ll appreciate that Jaclyn😂].
I got married on August 2, 1997. And guess how many years that’s been to the day...you guessed it…22!
So far, this has turned out to be a post all about the number 2. [Kinda feeling like a puppet on Sesame Street. Ha!] But really for me, it’s about looking over these last 22 years, remembering the good and the bad, the happy and sad. Reflecting on the choices I [we] made and the positive and negative consequences thereafter. Goodness how marriage can be so hard at times.
Like really, really hard!
But on the flip side, it is so rewarding! And through the thick and the thin, somehow, someway, we made it work. Can I tell you why I think it has worked so far?
It’s probably easier for me to start out by saying what I know in my heart doesn’t make a marriage work. It’s not because of the new car or SUV’s we’ve owned over the years, or the vacations down south [even though, I totally believe in “getting away” whether it’s 22 minutes or 22 hours.😉 ] It’s not because of the new job “promotion” in OKC or even the new home we moved into. [I can laugh at this today only because in a matter of 4 months of living in that new home, we found out quickly we so made the wrong move and ended up right back where we started…in our mobile home.] It’s not even the house on the prairie with the beautiful sunsets, nor the far-fetched idea that we somehow seem to “have it all”. Oh, how that is the farthest from the truth.
I wish I could say it was our children. Those three shenanigans have made life so enjoyable! And as much as I want to say they have been the glue holding us together, I also realize to some that is their reality. That doesn’t make me right and them wrong. This is my reality just as much as that is there’s. Children are a beautiful gift! In my most deepest darkest moments where I was so broken and unreachable to anyone, I pulled those babies close to me and the feeling of lostness slowly drifted from me and offered a moment of peace. That was an act of kindness from the Lord.
I love my children! Without a doubt! Absolutely love them! But I did not marry my children. Can you relate? Am I making any sense?
And because of God’s kindness in those moments of brokenness, He helped me understand no matter what we do on this earth, at the end of the day, He still loves us. No. matter. what.
He loves us with a love that is incomprehensible.
Do you hear me on that? We cannot fathom His love for us on this side of glory. We just can’t!
So, Cassie, this is great and all, but where are you going with this?
I’m so glad you asked, because I get a little sidetracked at times. Basically, in my 42 year old life, married to Stan, knowing what we’ve been through, here are the components of what has made our marriage work. It boils down to this:
1.) loving, and
2.) choosing to love.
The first one is loving in a “feel good” way. It is the easiest way to love. It makes me feel good as well as the person I’m loving.
And then there’s the “choice to love”. It doesn’t feel as good and at times not at all. It’s stepping out of oneself and into another’s, and it can feel so weird. So foreign.
I usually feel so indifferent about this kind of love because it’s not how I usually feel loved. Rather, it’s how Stan feels loved. And I really suck at it at times. Like so bad.
Even now, years later [22 to be exact], I love Stan and what we have created together. He makes me laugh so hard. And I hear he’s a hoot to work with. Ask any of his coworkers.
He is also a beautiful man God created in His image. A man that cooks awesome meals for us. A man that asks me, “What was the hardest part of your day?, or What can I do to help with the house?, or Would you like me to get you a bath started?” Yes! He says those things. He doesn’t have to do that, but he is a reader and he finds some of the best articles on marriage and relationships. And he ACTS UPON THEM!
Loving and choosing to love are THE components that when meshed together, create something really sacred in a marriage.
And if this isn’t crazy enough, I don’t know what is! I am one day behind on my chronological reading of the Bible in one year followed up with listening to The Bible Recap with Tara-Leigh Cobble. Guess how many books of the Bible I have read so far this year?
Still learning. Still growing.