Five years of marriage…And grateful to be alive

HONEYMOON Dawn

Looking back my Michael and I realize our decision to elope after 47 days {and when we recently calculated it added up to a mere 80 waking hours in each other’s company} was the CRAZIEST BESTEST thing either one of us has ever done. But we were crazy. We risked EVERYTHING on one last chance at love.

And by the grace of God…we won! In five days we will celebrate five years of marriage.

By love and by choice we have woven our hearts together in an unbreakable bond as two lives became one. And we’ve had a ton of fun on this breathtaking journey, too. Moments of laughter and lovemaking and sharing dreams and making plans, and traveling near and far, and writing and always changing, growing and healing, becoming more godly.

While not all the days in all those years were wedded bliss we are convinced beyond the shadow of any doubt that our match was indeed made in heaven. For God knew that we were the ones that together would stand strong against all odds and form a sustainable, loving marriage so unlike former relationships and, we are sorry to say, marriages that crashed and burned.

So we celebrate His kindness to us as we celebrate our “magic five year marker” when the odds that a couple will remain together suddenly shift upward, according to Maggie Scarf, author of The Remarriage Blueprint. 

From the day we met high over the river on the Walkway Over the Hudson it was him for me and me for him and our Father for us both.  Pure grace this gift of each other in the second half after many losses. And we cannot thank God enough for His faithfulness, patience, and unending love. But in order to get where we are today we needed to grow up.

But God.

We crawled on our bellies some days, but once we truly madly deeply committed our hearts, souls, minds and strength to loving and obeying God, we began to walk. He took us both by the hand and we turned a corner on our individual selfishness to more deeply sacrifice for the other. Together we began becoming a true son and true daughter of God in a way neither of us had experienced in our earlier years of following God.

Yet there were days we stumbled and one or both of us wondered just what we had done in marrying the other. Days when we wore dirty diapers and fussed and fumed from too many pieces of the past jabbing at our hearts. Sometimes we fought and cried and stormed out the door and walked for miles or ate one too many chocolate chip cookies. 

STEEPLE

But no matter what, we repeated the mantra that the only option for our marriage is success.

And somehow we always found our way back to each other where the doors of our hearts reopened and words of love and forgiveness flowed. Pressing in to find the other in that way reserved only for partners who are married, we helped each other heal. We brushed ourselves off and got back up onto the high road. Clinging to scripture for guidance, we studied, and more importantly put into practice, the commands of Christ. We desired to be good for Goodness sake and in the process began discovering the glory and the gift that is marriage.

All along the way, no matter the times that challenged us, we kept falling more in love with each other, putting a greater value than ever on our relationship, growing in our respect for each other. We even conceived a DIY marriage mentoring technique which helped us greatly in fostering healthy communication and conflict resolution. It worked so well that we continue the process even without having any dire, negative needs.

And how we love this adventure of us.

ALBUM Walkway 5th

Yet on June 2, after a splendid day celebrating the fifth anniversary of our first date, reenacting how we met on the Walkway like we always do, Michael gave me a gift unlike any I have ever received. He gave me back my life for I started choking at dinner and he had to perform the Heimlich maneuver three times before I could breathe. We spent the next four hours in the ER where it was determined nothing was broken or bleeding but my rib cartilage was badly bruised and would take six weeks to recover. OUCH!

ALBUM ER

SK ER

And in these weeks of being quiet and still and mostly at home, I drew inward to my Father. Reflecting on His kindness to me and Michael. I remember thinking at the time that I couldn’t leave Michael on our First Date Anniversary because he would be so terribly sad on what had always been such a special and happy day.

I’ve pondered the meaning of it all with a quiet gratitude, reflecting on what God has done in our life and marriage together. Wondering where we are headed in the next five years, God willing. But I wasn’t ready to write about it or share the story until today.

Not able to do my normal routines — sitting at the computer for hours was too painful — I turned my attention to fulfilling Michael’s wish for a First Five Memory Album. While putting five years of love and life into one scrapbook was a huge undertaking, the finished pages are proof of God’s incredible, indescribable love for us. It is the story of us, what we’ve done, where we’ve been and how far we have come. How God has patiently helped us. And what He may do in and through us in the future only God knows. Thank You, Father.

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So for now we’re heading back to where we began and became one, consummating our love on the “Quiet Cape” in Massachusetts. For so many reasons we couldn’t be more excited or grateful or eagerly anticipate our future together. 

I think I’ll go start packing…

Sheila Signature Reduced

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6 thoughts on “Five years of marriage…And grateful to be alive

  1. been thinking about you so much thinking you left face book or defended some including myself. I am so glad you are ok and so happy for you and Michael. I read your story above and as happy as I was for you I so felt that Tim and I were so on our way to the same.. I so wish that had been the case. Have a wonderful time on the Cape… and by the way thank you for your card. It meant a lot to receive it. Look forward to meeting Michael some time and visiting with you. One day I will see Tim again . I really loved your and Michaels story.

  2. Congratulations! I’m so happy for you both. God is good, His blessings abound and He truly makes beauty out of ashes.

    Happy to hear you didn’t die 😉
    Sorry you had to go through that though.
    Have fun in Massachusetts. I’d love to go there someday.

    God bless you with many more years together.

    • God is good. Very good!! And thanks for your kind wishes, TC. The fishing villages on the Quiet Cape are quaint and charming. You would love it! Michael and I send you and your family our warmest greetings.