It’s been ten years since my husband Jon and I committed to share our lives together. We were very young when we got married. I was 21 and he was 23. We had no idea what we were getting into. Let me get a little nostalgic here for a minute…
We met at Bible College. He was studying to be a pastor when we met. I swore I would not marry someone from Bible College and never a pastor! Thankfully, before we started dating, he had changed his vocational goals at least. We got really serious pretty quickly and got married 20 months after we started dating. We had no money and a ton of student loan debt but Jon was still in school so we were able to pretend the debt wasn’t there!
He proposed at a park while he serenaded me on a picnic table with “Green Eyes” by Coldplay. It was sweet. I totally knew it was coming. Our wedding was lovely. We planned it in only 4 months. It was in my Great Aunt and Uncle’s backyard. We said our vows under a canopy of trees. Jon’s Dad married us, Jon wrote our vows, and I planned the party. Our vows tried to captured expressions of the Love of God: Eternal Love of the Father, Co-suffering Love of the Son, Dynamic Love of the Spirit. The reception was an open air coffee house, complete with an open coffee bar and jazz trio. It was such a special day.
Just before our 4 year anniversary, our lives started to change. We were forced to really become aware of what our issues where. Our marriage had been easy up to that point only because Jon never let his real feelings be known and I walked all over him. I don’t think it is much of a secret that I can be dominating and Jon can be passive. We are both overly stubborn. Resentment built in Jon and I was oblivious. Around the same time we had a lot of external influences push us down a different path. I was pregnant with our first child. Jon began experiencing deep and clinical depression which ended in him dropping out of his Master’s program. Jon’s dad died suddenly and unexpectedly. Livi was born a month, to the day, later. Jon continued experiencing mental health issues that manifested in different ways. My sister cut herself off from the family to be with an abusive boyfriend. I also, illegally, lost a job I loved but had no energy to fight for by that point in my life.
Livi was the one good thing in our lives in that time. I’m sure if it wasn’t for her we would not be here together now. She is not the reason we are still together but she did help us not give up in the moment, which would have been easy. She gave me the motivation to change myself and something to focus on other than my frustration with Jon. She was a beacon and distraction for Jon too. We were as close to a divorce as I ever want to be. I had a plan to leave one day if our talk that evening before didn’t go well. It did go well… as well as it could have I guess. We committed to and started some individual and couples therapy. We fought hard for ourselves and our life together. Over the next few months we worked hard, separately and together. Six months later we were a different, stronger, healthier and more respectful couple.
In the 5 years since our ‘year from hell’ we have continued to grow and shape our future. We became a real little family and our priorities evolved. Jon changed career paths and has been quickly advancing up the ranks of his new fulfilling career choice. When Livi was 18 months old we started our journey to adopt Sofie who came home in 2011. We moved twice and at the end of 2012 our precious Evelyn showed up! I’m a stay at home mom currently, taking care of my kids and playing domestic goddess and chauffeur. Jon works hard at supporting us and spending as much time with us four girls as he can! We are happy and content. It’s a pretty good thing we’ve got going on here!