A different kind of Happy Anniversary post

I started to put this on Instagram. Then it got really really long so I decided to blog it. It’s a different kind of happy anniversary post. Not your typical, “Celebrating 22 years with the love of my life” post. Just real life here folks. Although, I sure do love him a lot!

So, I’m sitting here working away when someone pulls into my driveway.  I don’t recognize the car and I’m not expecting anyone so I just sit here for a minute.  Watching carefully, I see my old boss Steve hop out…and he’s got a big huge bouquet of flowers!

Steve was Brad and my boss at the floral shop in the old IGA when we were in college.  I made arrangements and Brad drove the delivery van. Working with Steve was always an adventure, usually with lots of laughs. I remember when I requested off for Mother’s Day 1993 and Steve was so frustrated because it was such a busy time and he needed me at the shop, and I remember how comforting he was 6 days later when I called and told him through tears that I needed flowers for my Mother’s funeral.  He didn’t bat an eye when I told him what I wanted for my wedding flowers (all the gardenia’s in the world please) and he delivered them to Tulsa himself and made sure everything was perfect.  Eight months later, when I left the flower shop to start a new job, I showed up for my first day to a desk with flowers on them from Steve and the flower gang.

I remember so many details from that time in my life and it seems like yesterday.  Which makes it hard to believe that Brad and I are celebrating 22 years of wedded bliss-ishness today. TWENTY-TWO, what?!

This is Baby Brad making our wedding bird seed roses at the flower shop in between deliveries.

Young friends, I won’t lie.  It’s not always easy.  A marriage is work.  There are compromises and arguments and tears and sweat and selfishness and frustration.  Oh, but friends, there is also joy and happiness and sharing and laughter and love beyond your wildest dreams!  God designed marriage to be a partnership between a man and a woman.  You know that fairy tale where you are embracing and staring into each others eyes and one of you says, “you complete me”? That’s just not how He intended it to be.  GOD completes us.  If you start your relationship looking for your new husband or wife to do that for you then, sorry friends, it’s just not gonna work.  We are called to find our fulfillment and purpose in God and if we try to find it in our spouse, they will fail us every.single.time.

Did I know this when Brad proposed to me back when we were 19?  Nope.  Why?  Because although I grew up in the church I would say I was still a baby Christian.  Also, NINETEEN YEARS OLD.  Luckily, the man-child I was getting ready to promise the rest of my life to knew enough to sit me down and say, “Look..  I’m only doing this once.  So if we get married that’s it.  You’re stuck with me.” and I was all “Ok, deal.  Now give me that ring I know you have around here somewhere.”

We went into this marriage knowing that divorce was not an option.  Ever.  So throughout the last 22 years we have compromised and shared, argued and agreed, cried tears of happiness and sorrow, we’ve felt frustration but also laughed so hard our cheeks hurt.  We’ve gone through so many seasons in our marriage and the one constant has always been God.  He never leaves us, He’s always by our side.  Even on days that I forget that, He is there.  So with that constant, there has never been a time where wanting to poke Brad in the eyeballs for being a man has turned into me wanting to throw in the towel.  I believe that’s the way it should be. (Not the wanting to poke someone in the eyeballs part, cause that’s not nice.)

Twenty two years ago when Brad and I returned from our honeymoon and got back to the flower shop, I had lots of hopes and dreams for our future.  So many days working next to Steve, wondering where Brad and I would end up.  I can honestly say that never in my wildest dreams would I imagine then that I’d be sitting here today to see Steve pull up with a delivery of 22 beautiful.  You know what I can say?  I can say, that I knew without a doubt, that save from something taking one of our lives, Brad and I would be married today.

Happy twenty-second anniversary my love.  Here’s to another twenty-two!