“Tell me who you like,” Ellie said as we walked up the driveway.
She was holding a cootie catcher–a first grade classic–and wanted to tell me my fortune.
“I like your dad,” I said.
She didn’t like that answer, needing at least four names to tell an accurate fortune about who I would one day marry.
“But I don’t like anyone else. I just like Chris Graham–he’s who I’d like to marry.”
She just sighed and walked away, her annoying mother ruining her cootie catcher fun.
But it was true. I didn’t want to play the who-will-you-marry game. I already knew the answer. I already knew the outcome.
A few weeks later, I laid in bed in the early morning hours listening to the sounds of my family sleeping. No matter how hard I try, staying asleep past six AM is hard for me so I waste time on my phone or with my nose buried in a book until the house comes alive and I have to get up. This morning I was scrolling through Instagram and came across a women whose husband was entering his last days of a courageous fight with cancer. He was leaving behind five small children and it hit me hard.
After a while, I put my phone down and stared at my sleeping husband. Through eyes fuzzy with tears, I prayed to God for his health and safety. I thanked God for him in all the simple words I had, but I still felt inadequate in expressing how much I loved him and how lucky I felt to have him.
Then he rolled over and sighed directly in my face with his nasty morning breath and the moment was ruined.
I instantly couldn’t remember how much he meant to me because of the disgusting wave of filth he had aimed at me. The glowy moment of love and contentment had passed.
I think that describes married life perfectly. Moments of bliss in the midst of stink and mess. You get just enough glimpses of flowers and rainbows and unicorn farts to get you through the boring bits, the ugly moments, and the hurtful circumstances.
Marriage is hard no matter who you are. Money, fame, a big house, cute kids, great jobs–none of that makes being married better or easier. Because it’s still two people, two different people with different expectations and different views, trying to do life together, trying to make it out alive.
If you could create the ultimate cootie catcher that could turn back time and let me pick my own future–let me pick my own adventure like the books I read as a child–I wouldn’t do a thing differently. I would pick Chris Graham again and again. Even though I know the heartache to come. Even though I know the struggles and pain ahead. Even though I know the devastation we will endure.
If that’s not the testimony of a really great love story orchestrated by our God, I don’t know what is.
If you would have asked me years ago what I wished for my life, I would have said I wanted an easy life. I wanted a life that wasn’t hard. But now, at thirty four, I would answer my wish for life is Chris Graham by my side. It’s not always fun, it’s not always easy. Actually, more times than not, it is hard and exhausting and boring. But then I get to crawl into bed with Chris, I get to fall asleep with him next to me with a headlamp on his head, reading a book late into the night and I know this is exactly what I would have wished for.
At the time, I just didn’t know the words.
Has this week been crazy or what? Thanks for sticking around through the mess so we could get to the good stuff today. Nothing makes me happier than telling you about the redemption of our marriage, of Chris’ addiction, of our lives. As I prepared to share our story this week, I prayed often it would be shared for God’s glory and not our own. There’s a fine line between sharing your shit for attention and sharing your story to brag on God. I hope I did the second and steered clear of the first.
It’s funny actually; I spent so much time praying this story would be good for someone, that it would shake some things up for God, and instead he just rocked my world with it. I was trying to be all martyr-like and share FOR THE PEOPLE and God used this series to start some good conversations with Chris and I. He used it to grow some things in me and affirm some other things.
GUYS, I WAS TRYING TO BE ALL SERVANT-LIKE AND THEN GOD MOSTLY JUST CHANGED MY OWN LIFE AGAIN.
Sorry about hogging all the miracles. But anyway, thanks for reading. Your emails, comments, shares, and tweets have been such a celebration of Chris and his hard work. We’ve enjoyed reading them and thanking God together. If you’re new here, know I’m not usually this depressing—I’M FUN—and I’d love for you to stick around.