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13569430155_6ff5609f9e_z (1)I’m sharing bits and pieces from the anniversary posts of ladies who have been there, done that. These ladies have been married anywhere between 3 and 26 years!

If you missed Part I of this anniversary series, check it out here.

Like I said yesterday, love is contagious, and so I had to share what these women were saying about their marriages and anniversaries.

Enjoy! 🙂

Anniversary Round-up Part II

Amy, married 14 years:

IT MAKES US BETTER PEOPLE.  If we do it right.  If we buy into the philosophy that we should give ourselves completely to our spouse.  When I focus on Dustin and not myself, I become better.  When he focuses on me, he becomes better.  And in that outwardly focus both of us get our needs and wants met.  Marriage is about sacrifice and whenever we sacrifice, selfishness is weeded out of us.  This is a good thing.  The more I give of myself to Dustin, the more blessings I receive in return.  In every way, this makes us better: More patient, more kind, more giving, and more loving.  That is what true love is; denial of self for the betterment of the one you love.  Yet, we are returned the gift when we shower it on others.”

Laura, married almost 9 years:

“It wasn’t in the plan.”  I wasn’t out to find a husband, not for a long time.  But God’s timing turned out to be better than mine. I’m not very romantic.  I never had a euphoric, crazy-in-love stage where everything felt perfect and you seemed perfect.  I was aware of your faults almost from the beginning (perhaps because they aren’t many).  Were you aware of all mine?  Probably not.  Just as well; you sure do now!  But even when you annoyed me, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that we were supposed to be together.”

Amanda, married 5 years:

“Our promise then is our promise today and will be the same for all our days to come. As many things change throughout the course of our days and will continue to change for the rest of our lives, this promise, this sacrament will always be true. The grace is real. On our wedding day it had all the feelings of magic and fairy dust swirling in the air. Today, I still feel all the magic but with eyes that have grown in capacity to receive, give, and know love. Then it felt like inexpressible joy, today it feels like being held. Held through moves. Held through new jobs. Held through transitions. Held through promotions. Held through new life. Held through a new home. Held through our ups and our downs. Held through it all.”

Sarah, married 7 years:

“Marriage changes you, but in so many good ways as you leave your individuality behind and transform into one flesh… Love is a choice, and when we said “I do,” we meant it. Daily you make this choice. It wasn’t a one time deal, but rather something that you wake up each morning with the intention to love the other. You also must trust that your husband or wife means it. The vows you say you act out daily, and it is vital for the life of your marriage for you to trust that your spouse meant it and means it.”

Jennifer, married 6 years:

“I used to think, in my days of discerning my vocation, that once I decided whether God was calling me to the religious life or married life (since those were the two I felt drawn to, but there’s single life too!), everything would be fine. I would be able to handle whatever because at least I would know I was where I needed to be. [insert laughter here] Right. God changed that mindset REALLY quickly as I held my stillborn son 6 months into marriage. I can honestly say though, 6 years into this marriage gig, that I wouldn’t trade it for anything. This life with Logan, full of ups and downs, is the life that will hopefully get me to Heaven. It’s refining me, day by day, year by year. Looking back I see that now…  What people don’t talk about at a wedding is that you’re not only saying “yes” to a life full of love – you’re also saying “yes” to heartbreak and loss. Life isn’t perfect. But I also know that God carries us through the bad times, and it’s also because of those bad times that we cherish the good times.”

Jennifer, married 8 years:

“With our spark for each other reignited, we’re finding that the love we share is much stronger than the opinions that we don’t share. Also, our renewed connectedness allows us to approach everything more gently and lovingly, and thus peaceful solutions are found much more quickly. The point I really want to make here is that relationships don’t have to be perfect to be happy. Marriage is tough sometimes, but that’s ok. It can be easy in those difficult moments to second guess your relationship or to just watch the issues pile up until the void between you and your spouse is so wide it seems you can’t cross it anymore. Vacations may or may not be the secret elixir for you, but I would like to say that if you wake up one day and find that you and your spouse are not on the same page, and you feel like you may never be again, do not despair. You might have forgotten exactly what it was that brought you together, but it’s still there— find it! I know how hard it can be, but don’t give up! It’s so worth it!”

Bobbi, married 15 years:

“The grace of God can get you through anything. God has been giving me overtime in this lesson lately. The crosses of life can rip your marriage apart or bond you and your spouse closer together. This is where your mutual faith and trust in God will help you to endure both the small, everyday crosses and the heavy life changing crosses. When a couple humbly kneels before God, figuratively and literally, they receive the grace to live out their marriage vocation together. God will not abandon you, even when things seem darkest. Brian and I had to learn not lash out at one another or close ourselves off from each other. Instead, hand-in-hand we face life’s mess.”

Bonnie, married 8 years:

“Five years ago today, I walked into a church wearing a white dress, looking for the guy I’d had a crush on for the past five years.  Yes, I was ready for our wedding before he was…”

Like what you see? There’s more where that came from!  (TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW…) Don’t miss out! Click here to subscribe to my mailing list

Photo credit: John Hope Photography