This photo was taken in the darkest season of our marriage. Pretty terrible opener for a 10-year anniversary post huh? It was taken by a dear friend whose own marriage ended not long after. My hormones were out of whack after weaning Hudson, I was struggling to understand my new identity as a mother, and I relied on my job for my sense of worth. And since my job relied upon social media, I’m certain I posted it with a cute hashtag to boot. When looking for a photo today I came across this picture again. I thought I could repost and caption it with a declaration of undying love for Mr. Right after all these years, but then I also thought maybe your feed is filled with everyone’s happy grams and sometimes that makes you feel less than, when the truth is you probably just don’t know the yucky parts that it took to get there.
Ten years ago I stood across from my best friend and made a promise between us – two imperfect human beings – and a God with grace big enough to cover our failings. I naively envisioned a happily ever after filled with sweeping romantic gestures even Nora Ephron would’ve admired, but over ten years we’ve learned what pretty much any married person knows – while he may have had you at “hello,” the real hard work comes after “I do.” At our worst, Ryan and I have miscommunicated, altogether ignored, and profoundly hurt one another. I’ve never needed forgiveness from anyone as much as from Ryan. So today we’re not celebrating happily ever after. We’re celebrating the times we got back up, kept showing up, and didn’t give up. We feel our marriage grow stronger and more whole each time. I don’t feel like this photo is less worthy of being remembered, because gratefully even in our very lowest place, we found joy. Thanks for making me laugh these last ten years.