Monday, June 23, 2014

Twelve Years



Mom arrived at 8:30 on a recent, bright Monday morning to collect two happy campers. They were looking forward to their vacation at her house as much as we were looking forward to ours at the beach. The emotional hugs I'd received from Annabeth the night before had been spent. Everything was breezy and smiley. "We'll miss you, but it will be a happy miss!" I told the kids in the front yard. That was how my parents used to say it. Their marriage is 35 years old now - 9 months and two weeks older than yours truly. 

Curtis and I loaded our small bags (I swear this was the first time I've ever packed light) into the Park and Fly bus and exhaled. Businessmen crowded around us and I felt a teensy bit guilty that we were traveling for fun. We got off the bus at E Terminal, where the international travelers go. 


After seven years Mexico had finally called us back. Back then it was for our fifth anniversary. I had taken on an editing project with one of my mom's publishers in order to pay for the whole thing myself. I wanted it to be awesome and I didn't want to feel guilty about how much things cost. It was a great strategy. I haven't made an income in a few years so nowadays I have to rely on my man's generosity. 

There was a young couple checking in ahead of us. I knew the second I saw them that they were leaving for their honeymoon. She was impeccably groomed - gorgeous hair, nails done, even tan, no body fat except in the desired places, and a flattering sundress. She was a vision. This is the kind of perfection that takes months to accomplish. If I had any sliver of doubt it was put to rest when she held up her left hand and wiggled her ring finger just so.  


I wished I could be that fresh and beautiful for my husband again. I wanted us, once more, to be intoxicated by the newness and by the beginning of everything. But time only works to stretch us farther from that moment when everything was carefully planned and groomed and fashioned and placed and photographed and celebrated wildly.  

We spent five days at a gorgeous resort. We saw honeymooners, anniversary celebrators, and wedding parties everywhere we turned. I had a few more of those wishful moments when I saw young brides with perfect bodies, but then my perspective changed. Sometimes that happens when you take a few steps - or a plane ride - back from your life. 


The joy of our twelve years together poured out of our hearts, out of our memories. We have built a life, by the grace of God, that is good. We have an endless supply of adventures (and misadventures) to reminisce about. We have a million inside jokes. Most importantly, we have two incredible kids who make us laugh and who make us prouder than we ever knew we could feel. 

This is the purpose of that. 

I had to trade in my white gown and my honeymoon figure, but what we enjoy now is more fun and even more meaningful than we could have imagined. 



14 comments:

John Harris said...

This is true for Men as well. Sometimes we "flash-back" to a (mostly mythical) time of golden rainbows and unicorn dreams. I find, thinking about what God has accomplished through "us" gives me that "warm fuzzy" which I am craving. When I realize how much the Lord can do with two fabulously flawed people to show his grace and power, it's overwhelming. I wouldn't change a thing... that time when I (could have) had my "6-pack" isn't now... but why on earth would I want to undo all that has been done! Thanks for your thoughts!

AGirlOntheDoorstep said...

I love this post. I am just about to celebrate 23 years of marriage with my husband. We have lived through 15 years of stillbirth, miscarriage, and secondary infertility along with the day-to-day struggles of everyday life. After that, it becomes hard to remember what it was like to be young, thin, and newly in love.
However, I have learned that the comfort of growing close together through difficulties ignites a passion much more beautiful than the beginning. I love him so much more today than all those years ago. God has written a story for us much more powerful than I could have ever imagined.
I'm so glad you recognize the same truth. I hope you had a wonderful time on your trip. I love Mexico!

Tara G. said...

Happy Anniversary, Amanda! Identifying and rejoicing with you!

Tara Craver said...

This is written so well! Thank you for sharing! I need reminding of this often!

Eliseo said...

Amen. As I read about the flawless newlywed and finishing munching on my dark chocolate almonds - I thought it was so ironic. We wish for the past, yet the present is so beautiful. Deeper and more meaningful even through the shifts of outward beauty we think we've lost. I love today and what I've gained to get here. I wouldn't trade it.

Sarah said...

Happy anniversary! Glad you got to take a vacation!

ccweston said...

I absolutely LOVED the intoxication of falling in love and the newness of a young marriage. Loved it. But we're now 21 years into our marriage - 5 kids down the road.....and I have to say that without a doubt, this is better. That deepness of love that comes later in marriage is a far weightier joy than the tingling of new love. And the thing is, you can only get here with the addition of time.

Melody Joy King said...

Beautifully written. Marriage truly does get sweeter with time. :-)

Denice said...

Amen and amen! Will celebrate 29 years in August and I wouldn't trade what we have now for my skinny body back then. Glad you had a nice trip!

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

May The Lord bless y'all with many more years of togetherness!

Delinda said...

Oh how I have missed reading your blog. Has been a bit. You have been on my heart. I am unaware of a Pastor's wife experiences. Please know I pray for your protection and that you are clothed in strength and dignity. And when you need, that you have a empathetic ear to hear. Thanks for your continued transparency.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

So sweet and so true

Laura Reimer said...

Good for you! My husband and I celebrated 33 years this June 6th. We have three grown children and two grandchildren. You have put it well...our wedding day was beautiful and perfect. We have been through some rough things and some great things, and through it all, God has been so faithful to us. Each year, I know it is by His Grace and Mercy that we say - we love each other more every day. I tell him all the time....We are a good idea.
Bless you for sharing your life in such a sweet way

Liz*** said...

I'm starting to pack for our 12 year anniversary beach trip. And I'm feeling every word you wrote. And now I'm crying. Thanks for your beautiful words!!