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Thirteen Years Ago

wedding cake and a kiss

Thirteen years ago, I said “yes” on a bridge spanning an ice-framed creek. He had created a scavenger hunt of sorts. I was searching for Box #3 when he emerged from the creek bank with the box and a question I’d dreamed of for many years.

We couldn’t imagine loving each other more than we did that moment.

When we exchanged vows five months later, I thought I could never be happier.

I was wrong.

I wouldn’t know until I experienced:

the blessing of being loved and forgiven when I wronged him.

…the heart-bursting joy of meeting each baby, slippery and protesting the light and the cold, for the first time.

…the bitter-sweetness of sobbing together in the face of the news that our newborn was on the edge of death, instead of throwing walls up and becoming islands.

the way we’d draw on each other for strength as we walked the hard road of caring for our sick little girl

…the paradoxical love of seeing him risk my wrath by challenging me when I am wrong, selfish, or out of control.

the new depths of connection built when, after sharing new bits of me long hidden away, he simply replied, “I love you, Joy.”

the pleasure and healing of still finding each other funny and laughing together.

…the confidence we would instill in each other with advice and encouragement to build on the strengths God has given each of us.

Marriage has been far more complex, challenging, painful, and beautiful than I thought possible.

I love you, Scott..

Linked up to the Faith Barista’s Faith Jam February series, “Unwrapping Love.”


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  1. It is a remarkable thing, isn’t it? This thing called marriage, I mean. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. NIce! I love the statement, “the blessing of being loved and forgiven when I wronged him!” I’m so glad you were able to draw strength from each other and sob together 🙂

  3. Happy anniversary! This month is my 14th anniversary. Isn’t amazing how much growing up happens in that amount of time? I wish you another year full of beautiful moments!

  4. Happy Anniversary–and great post.

  5. This is a wonderful testimony of marriage and the hard work it takes to stay together. We had our 37th last November and I never thought it would be ‘this hard and this good’. It is worth the challenge and the journey.
    God made it to be good.

  6. This is beautiful. The pure joy of dating, courtship, engagement, even honeymoon days…pales in comparison to the “bittersweet” and “paradoxical” moments that follow. What a window into Christ’s sacrificial and challenging love of the church this is!

  7. @my_motherinlaw says:

    This post is beautifully familiar. We haven’t been through the unimaginable experience of losing a child but I feel like what you’ve written beautifully expresses ways that I feel. Marriage is not anything like what I thought it would be, but it’s wonderful.

    Happy Anniversary to you and your hubby. 🙂

  8. Happy Anniversary!

    I love Bob more now than in 2000 because he is fallen and then was reedemed.

  9. This is so very beautiful. Happy Anniversary.

  10. Joy, what a beautiful and real homage to the man who loves you and who you’re still in love with. Even when life was hard. I was thinking you both are a touching picture of what marriage was designed to be: a joy and a salve. Happy proposal anniversary – thanks for sharing your love poetry in the jam.

  11. What a beautiful post! I know there are things about my hubby that amaze me so much more now than they did 14 years ago. I feel remarkably blessed.

    Thank you for sharing this with us!

  12. I love this — such an honest acknowledgement of all marriage is and does for us. The good and the bad, the paradox of it all. I love it!

  13. what a blessing your post is! i’m so happy your marriage is growing stronger and stronger!

  14. So beautiful, Joy. And a testament to the enduring nature of love, through valleys and peaks, glory and grit. I’ve stumbled on you here, and I’ve taken a bit of time to soak in your story. Glad to meet you tonight. Thank you for lovely words.

  15. What a wonderful tribute to your husband, to your marriage!

  16. This is so beautiful! What a beautiful tribute to your husband and your marriage. Congratulations!!


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