Today is mine & my husband’s 14th Wedding Anniversary.
If you’re hear to read about what a glorious 14 years we’ve had then I’m afraid you’ve stumbled upon the wrong post because that’s not what this one is about. You won’t find a bunch of fluff here. Nope, what you’re gonna read is the truth…
the good… the bad… & the ugly.
You’re going to read about a real marriage.
I am going to share with you a little of our journey. All the pictures may not be good but they are us.
Ruth Graham once said that a strong, long lasting marriage consists of two good forgivers. This woman was brilliant because that’s exactly what it is! If you’re not ready to be a good forgiver, my advice to you is don’t get married because I can promise you that your spouse will need forgiveness. (as will you) I don’t care what your beliefs are. No one is perfect.
Forgiveness is essential for a lasting marriage.
When I met my husband I was a mess. I was married legally to another man who had left me for the gazillionth time so he could cheat on me yet again. I was hurt and I needed a Savior. My now husband and I were together for 6 months before I went back to my ex. (when he was done cheating) My ex and I stayed together for one more year until I walked out and divorced him. Tyler (my now aka real husband) had touched a very special place in my heart and my heart ached without him. He had become my best friend and without him I felt unbelievably sad.
God brought us back together in divinely inspired ways and he and I were married one year later. As we said our I do’s I thought everything would be perfect. After all, I was with my one true love. I was marrying not just a man, but my best friend. However, there was one problem. I was living in a dream world. My definition of marriage was the worlds definition and it almost cost me dearly.
There is no room for selfishness in marriage and yet I was.
I am about to share with you some pictures of my marriage. During these times there was much darkness and much sun.
My husband and I have had a rough 14 years. Marriage ain’t always easy, my friends. Today my husband said something to me that I just loved. He told me he was sorry that the past 14 years have been challenging but he couldn’t think of another person that he would rather have spent them with.
That is exactly how I felt.
My husband and I have gone through times where we looked good.
And times we didn’t.
Yes, I totally just shared that picture. Ugh… lol
We’ve had 5 beautiful girls together.
We’ve also lost children.
Here are some flowers Tyler bought me on the due date of the baby we lost when I was 5 months pregnant. This loss was very tough and almost cost us our marriage.
I was a mess… again.
We’ve dealt with me almost filing for divorce. Losing my father and then our baby was almost too much for me to bear.
After losing the my father and then our baby I began focusing on my singing career and my body. I eventually went to NY and almost didn’t come home.
It was then, during that dark time I became an adulteress.
Yes, you read that right. I’m a Christian woman willing to expose herself for what she is… a sinner in need of a Savior. Many who know Tyler and I personally do now know this about me, nor would they ever suspect it after being around us. This was almost 11 years ago.
We had been married 3 years and had one daughter at the time.
The story was not over… by a long shot.
(Most people wouldn’t share the darkness of their past. As ashamed as I am about mine, I am sharing it so that I can be an example to those who believe there is no hope. With repentance and Jesus there is always hope.)
When I returned home and told my husband I wanted a divorce and what I had done, not only did he tell me that he didn’t want a divorce, but he also took the blame for my adultery. He said that if he had been as good of a husband as he should have been I wouldn’t have felt so lost. I was floored.
Things weren’t perfect after that. Why would they be? The deed had been done and I hated myself for it. Guilt washed over me with a fresh wave every time I looked at my husband.
And yet he never gave up on me.
And now the story of healing begins.
I walked away from my singing career and began reading my Bible. My life would soon be changed forever.
In less than a few months we were expecting our second child.
After that our life wasn’t perfect either. Even though God was blessing us more challenges arose, yet we were learning to depend on God more and more.
Thne one day my husband would say a prayer that would alter the course of our future. After almost a year of trying to get pregnant he laid his hand on my womb, and for the first time ever he blessed something. He blessed my womb and asked God to make it fruitful.
We were pregnant with our third child the next month!
Yep here’s another bad picture of me for your viewing pleasure. You’re welcome. lol
That was a hard birth y’all! Posterior… all natural and the midwife had to assist in getting her to come through my pelvis. There are no words. I think I look pretty darn good considering. I actually popped some blood vessels on my face with this kid.
After this little one was born our life was about to change even more. We had just moved across the country with no money, no friends, no job, and we knew no one. However, God was about to reveal Himself to us through a seemingly simple ladies retreat I was invited to.
I began to read the Bible… from cover to cover.
Something was about to change.
Our family was.
As I would read and discover the truths of the Bible, I was on fire. I was so excited that I shared everything I was learning with my husband. I couldn’t believe how much I didn’t know. I had entrusted my knowledge to man all the years of my life and now, for the first time, I was learning God’s truth from His Word.
Soon my husband began leading nightly prayer time.
I took this picture with my phone.
We began to call out to God as a family, not just individually.
Reading the Bible didn’t change our life overnight, but it did change who we were, one day at a time.
My husband would soon join the military at 35 years old.
On top of that we would find out we were pregnant with our 4th baby the day before he was supposed to leave for Basic Military Training. Tyler would be gone for 6 months, and I would be alone with no family, no real friends, and no church. I was devastated.
He’s the one holding the flag.
That year was awful. For the first 9 weeks I was only allowed to talk with my husband 7- minutes once a week. That’s all. That time gave me a bad taste for the military. All the while I was being told stories of how someone above my husband in rank went to his basic training while his wife was pregnant and he was allowed to keep his cell phone on him in case of an emergency with her and the baby. Why? Because he had a college degree and was going in as a higher level. It was unbelievably unfair and I wanted to run away. I bled during the pregnancy and had to drive myself to the emergency clinic at one point. My van was almost repo’d. Once I got that taken care of it broke down. The garage flooded. I could go on and on. Throughout all of this I couldn’t talk to my husband… at all. It was beyond tough, and once again thoughts of divorce ran through my mind. I was mad at Tyler for abandoning me. I was mad at the people of the church we had attended who took part in praying with us about Tyler joining the military. They were the same people that had said they would be here for the girls and I when he left. When it came down to brass taxes, as my dad would have said, those very people who were so involved were no nowhere to be found. I was alone. And now I wasn’t to fond of most people I knew who labeled themselves as “Christians.”
To this day I believe that God sent us our 4th baby to save our marriage. It wasn’t as appealing to take all my girls and my pregnant butt across the country by myself to escape the loneliness I was feeling.
After the 9 weeks were up my husband went to Tech School and we had more phone time, not a lot, but way more than before. I could now at least
cry on the phone with him talk to him everyday. Eventually he would come home, and as glorious as our God is, He would make it to where my husband would not only come home 9 days early, but it would be our Wedding Anniversary! Tyler left on the anniversary of when we met and returned on the anniversary of when we married. It was all God ordained.
Soon we would welcome our 4th baby into our family.
Then only 8 months later we would find out that as crazy as it seemed, God was blessing us again. We were now pregnant with our 5th daughter!
After that positive pregnancy test our life was about to change once again, this time with the loss of another child, my first.
You won’t hear me speak of her often, not because I don’t care, but because I do. The story of her loss is very painful to me.
This was another blow to our family.
Yet God was there… He was always there.
With my husband’s constant prayer over me I would pull through. Once again, it was my best friend sitting beside me, this time with his hands on me, calling out to Jesus for all to hear. This rough time brought our little family even closer.
And soon we would welcome our little Ashlyn Faith into our family!
And as God would have it, He began to pour His salve on our souls, healing our wounds one day at a time.
Baby Ashlyn will be one and a half years old on August 2nd of this year.
She has grown and so has our family in love.
Recently we had even more trials in our life.
We found out we were infected with black mold, had severe allergies to gluten, soy, corn and were told we should avoid dairy, peanuts and more. The military didn’t pay my husband when they were supposed to and right after that I lost a baby. Yet here I sit on our wedding day, still married.
But why? Why would I still be married with all the drama that has come with marriage?
Because marriage is a blessing. Sure, Tyler and I have had some downright nasty moments in our marriage but we’ve also had some that trumped the nasty ones by far. Marriage is alive. People are fallible. And quite honestly, I have no doubt that being married to my husband has made me a better person.
Do I always like him? No. Hey, I’m not going to lie! I always love him but sometimes he’s a pain in my hiney. I would assume that I am in his too and yet we both wouldn’t want to be without each other.
Look at those faces. If he and I would have given up on each other… if he would have given up on me 11 years ago those precious angels wouldn’t be here.
The worlds view of marriage is warped and the divorce rates show this. We (myself included) go into marriage all excited thinking that this person we’re marrying is going to make us happy forever. That simply isn’t the truth. Will they make us happy? Hopefully, yes. lol However, in my personal walk I learned that I needed more. No mere human could fill the ache I had inside. I needed my Jesus. Only He would never fail me. And when I began looking at life through those kind of eyes, my life with my husband got better.
I expected him to make mistakes… some big and some small.
My job is not to tear him down and gripe about his imperfections. (which sometimes is sooo easy to do) As his wife, it is my job to help him be a better person. It’s my job to stand beside him and encourage him to become more like Jesus. This is what marriage is about.
If you’re not ready to get your hands dirty, then marriage isn’t for you because I guarantee that there will be times you will need to jump on into the murkey waters with your partner and push through until you make it to the shore… together.
Our journey hasn’t been an easy one and it isn’t over. I know this. I also know that life is about choices.
And today… 14 years later, even with all the poop we’ve been through, I would choose Tyler again.
We reap what we sow and I plan on sowing in my marriage until I can sow no more.
Happy Anniversary to my imperfect husband! I love you tons!
If you’ve made it this far and aren’t sick of pictures yet, then here are some more for y’all.
If you’re marriage is struggling… don’t give up. If you do you will never know what blessings God may have had in store for your future.
*Just a side note. I do not know why the pictures are all blurry. I figured y’all might like to see them anyway. I’m not complaining. The blurriness makes the bad pictures look better, if you ask me. lol*