Will and I have been married for ten years this week!
Here is a picture of us leaving our wedding on June 25th, 2005. We were 24 years old and just out of college. We thought we were so grown up, but I look back at this picture and see two happy kids with a lot to learn about life, God and each other.
That car was driving us into a future that held great plans…down a road we had mapped out to include living in Charlotte, North Carolina, having definitely no more than two children and spending our 10 year anniversary in Italy. It was a nice and tidy plan.
I smile because we spent our ten year anniversary in a town I’d never even seen on a map as a bride, but is now home: Huntsville, Alabama. Italy is a far away thought as we spend this month welcoming our third precious child into the world!
Welcome Anna Scarborough Taylor!
The plan hasn’t exactly worked out how we expected. Over the past ten years, I think of the many ways God has changed our hearts and our plans. And it’s the unexpected turns that I treasure the most. Something has become of those two people who said “I do”. And it adds up to much more than the sum of the pictures on the highlight reel. The beautiful stuff has happened behind the camera as well…on the inside of both of us through the moments we’d never put on the highlight reel. When asked if I would take Will to be my lawful wedded husband ten years ago, I said, “I will”. But that has included many more “I wills” that have not been as expected:
- I will hear the overwhelming words from my husband, “I need you to leave everything you know and love behind and move with me.” This would come when the economy collapsed and he had an opportunity for a new career hundreds of miles away from everything familiar. I will leave it all holding onto only two things: him and the hope of an unknown future.
- I will learn that the world doesn’t revolve around my happiness and goals. I will learn to sacrifice for another person, and it will be hard. It will also be worth it.
- I will fall on my knees and cry out to God, “I need you. I can’t do this my way any more.” I will see Him answer me. I will become a new creation, alongside my husband.
- I will say the words I never expected to say, “I need you. I can’t do this without you.” They would come to Will as he arrived home to a tired and bleary-eyed wife fighting back tears and holding out a colicky baby as a two year old stormed the house. I will come to the end of myself and my own sufficiency and learn how to depend on others.
- I will see someone else sacrifice their happiness for me. It will be hard to ask for help and hard to accept it, but it will be worth it. God reminds each of us, we are worthy of great sacrifice.
- I will find the courage and humility to say the words “ I am sorry. Will you please forgive me?”
- I will be given the strength to say the equally challenging response, “Yes I forgive you.” Letting go will be worth it.
- I will receive the love of Christ, which is nothing I can earn or lose. This love will enable me to receive myself. Not the person I may want to be, but the unique person God has made me to be. And with His help, I will also receive my husband. Not as the person I may want him to be or the male version of me, but the amazing person God made him to be. I will receive my children. Not as people who are to make me proud or be just like Will and me, but as gifts from the Lord.
- I will work on my marriage. We will keep dating. We will invest our savings in taking trips with just the two of us. We will invest in marriage counseling, not just to fix problems, but to keep the communication lines open and healthy. We will take the time to pray together, take the time to listen and take the time to know what’s on each other’s hearts.
Here’s a picture of us on our 10-year anniversary last night. I am so thankful for the man by my side!
So much has changed since 2005, but we have stuck together through it all, molding and growing into a unified team. On our date last night, the hostess asked us what the secret to ten years was and Will quickly and confidently replied, “Jesus”.
We don’t know where we’re headed, but we’ve learned we are not in control. We will keep learning every day to trust the One who is. He loves us in a way that changes everything, and through this love, He shows us how to love each other. He doesn’t always deliver what we expect in life but one thing is for sure; He offers more than we could ask or imagine.