“Our anniversary is a brief celebration, but our marriage is forever.”

Today, my wife and I are celebrating our 16th “wedding” anniversary. (Remember the sign from our wedding?)?

I wish I could say the past 16 years were flawless. But… That wouldn’t be true.

The truth is, we’ve faced some challenges. 

I recall at our pre-wedding shower, an older widowed lady shared, “Everyone says never go to bed mad. Hell, if Richard and I had followed that advice, we would have never slept!” Then she chuckled.

Back then, I thought, “Oh my goodness, who offers this kind of advice to someone about to get married?”

It turns out she was right.

There were times, and I’m sure there will be more when we don’t resolve our differences before going to sleep.

But, on the flip side, there are WAY MORE times when we’re excited together, happy to be with each other, cherishing every moment with our kids (while we have them), and eagerly anticipating the next step in life.

I think you get the point.

The good moments far outnumber the tough times.

You know what? I wouldn’t swap the challenges for anything.

The tough times molded us into the people we are now.

There were times when buying food for our family was a struggle. Or when we trimmed all our “extras” from life (and by extras, I mean everything—just a landline phone and only groceries that were absolutely necessary, no frills). 

During the tough times at work, we persevered.

When our daughter developed a big lump on her leg, no one could figure out what it was, but thankfully, it started gradually going away.

What about the time we chose to begin a business? And later, a non-profit too? 

These are just a few moments where we faced challenges side by side. The crucial part is being together. 

I would’ve hated to face these alone. We’ve experienced many happy moments, a couple of disagreements, and plenty of challenges where we supported each other and leaned on each other.

Jenna, I wouldn’t exchange these past 16 years for anything. And I won’t trade whatever comes in the future for anything either. 

No one God has ever created would be a better fit for me, and I’m grateful that He brought us together when He did.

To anyone going through a tough time right now, hang on tight. It’s a crazy journey, and having that special person with you makes all the difference.

Happy Anniversary, Babe. Every day, I’m grateful that God brought us together. You’re one tough gal to put up with me for this long. I love you, Jenna.

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