Garth Brooks has an old song, “Unanswered Prayer.” I’ve always had an issue with the title, although not the subject, of the song. You see, I don’t think God leaves prayers unanswered. I just think some people believe when they don’t get what they ask for, there’s no answer.
I’m so happy God didn’t give me what I asked (okay, sometimes begged) for when I was 17, 20, and 25 years old. I thank Him every day these days He didn’t say yes then. I know now He was preparing me for the big yes He sent me when I was 26. Those boys/men I thought I wanted so desperately were all wrong, though I couldn’t see it at the time. Yet I learned from them.
Tomorrow is the fifteenth anniversary of the day I married my big yes. He may joke about being only 18 of the 19 things I put on my list of things I wanted in my future spouse. Said list was created after my 25-year-old no. Yes, he’s not everything on that list. But 18 of 19? I think that’s pretty awesome. When I wrote the list, I never thought I’d find anyone with even half. It wasn’t six months after I wrote that list I met M. Hmmmm…I’m pretty sure God knew what he was doing.
When we got married, I had no idea what craziness life was going to hold for us. We’ve been to hell and back, numerous times. We’ve had our rough patches. We’ve fought. We’ve made up. We’ve existed as roommates occasionally. We’ve witnessed miracles. We’ve worked, loved, laughed, cried, yelled. We’ve been battered and bruised. We’ve done richer, and we’ve definitely done poorer. We’ve thrived in health. We’ve crawled through sickness. We’ve survived more moves than I care to count – thought thankfully we’ve been in the same place for 11 years now. Through it all, we have loved, honored, and cherished (even if there are some days we don’t like each other that much). We’ve created a home. We’ve created a family.
He holds me when I cry. He laughs at my crazy. He has helped me learn to laugh at myself. He makes me smile when I want to just crawl away into that cave. He makes me feel loved. He makes our marriage my safe haven. He encourages my dreams. He tolerates my OCD. He tells me I’m beautiful, especially when I’m feeling at my worst. He suffers through our daughter’s dance recitals. He coaches our boys’ teams and takes them to the driving range. He sits at the finish line for my races. He helps my parents. He gets when I need my girlfriends.
I remember clearly the night we met. I recall with great detail the day he asked me to marry him. And every minute of the day we married is etched in my heart. Fairytale ending? Not so much. Life is too messy for that. But deep, enduring, true love? Yes indeed. My prayers were all answered.