Do you ever want to go back and punch the old you? Well I do. Seriously, she had no clue. She had no idea what hardships were. Sure she suffered some things and sure times were difficult. But my goodness, she had no idea. If I could tell myself then what I know now I would say a lot. I would probably smack her first and then I would sit her down at the kitchen table. A place where I truly believe lives can and are transformed.
I would tell myself that all the stuff I thought was tough I had no clue. I would tell her that fighting with your husband sometimes doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you or that he wants to move on past you. I would tell her to quit making him prove it over and over again. I would tell myself that marriage for the two of us has always been about making life better for the other and that our true love exists there so trust it. It is love that has no boundaries and breaks the ones that exist. But for her to see that she had to go through stuff. Not hell. Just stuff. A loss of a pregnancy, the up and down of OCD and anxiety, struggles with our children both small and gigantic. I would like to tell her that in all of that one thing remained the same and that was your guy standing next to you. He didn’t just stand next to you, he made the choice to stand next to you and loved you so wholly.
But she didn’t see that. She made tiny remarks or long ones I am sure on the blog about the toughness of life. The hard parts of being a staying at home when her husband had to work hard and a lot to afford the opportunity. I would remind her gently that he didn’t just work and do that all of that, but he managed to come home and be an amazing father, an amazing husband and never made anyone in the family want or need more.
But all of that. That wasn’t tough. That was building in her a toughness and a tenderness that she would later need to love him through his toughest hours. I would remind her she would need that strength to get through what would come. I would tell her that she would realize that love always wins and in it it would create a beauty and strength that she could have only ever dreamed of having.
But alas, I am her. I didn’t realize it then. I am glad for what I have gone through because I am not one to live with regrets. But I do wish I didn’t make it so hard. I resisted it. But now staring in the mirror back at me is a woman who sees the beauty in the toughness. Life is hard. I got it eventually. I realized that true love endures because it is God’s promise. A promise that we made to one another and to Him, but that the rewards and benefits of that promise are why people do this.
In the beginning I thought it was about the dress, the location and the frills. 16 years later I know my actual reward was stronger and more rewarding than any moment in time could ever be. There are multiple moments in time all mushed together to make a lifetime of amazingness. They keep us going. When things really suck one constant remains. That is my guys hand in mine and that is because love always wins. I know I say that so much sometimes it becomes redundant, but I mostly say it for me. When things get truly tough I forget to remember that love always wins. I need to start following it with But you have to let it because that is the truth. So often I resist and fight it. Remember that girl up there? Those moments she thought were truly hard? That was her resisting love. Even today I do, even when I know and see better.
This past year has been hard. We have gone through so much and it isn’t over. But there is a peace there. Sure it exists for right now in this moment. But that peace comes from me letting go and trusting that promise. Trusting my guy and trusting love.