Time is to marriage as running water is to a mountain.
It doesn’t stop for anyone or anything and can slowly but surely, almost imperceptibly, chisel away at the tiniest cracks in the foundation until they widen and become insurmountable chasms. Over time, it can destroy the tallest mountain, create gaping canyons, and alter the landscape until it is virtually unrecognizable.
Nearly sixteen years ago, my husband and I stood on Madeira Beach in Florida, the waves lapping lazily at the shore before rushing back out to the waiting gulf, the sand warm between our bare toes, the future as vast and full of hope as the dancing sea. The date was April 6, 2002.
On that long ago morning, a page in our story was turned; he became my husband, and I his wife. We spoke two little, giant words—‘I do.’ Not an empty, temporary promise, but a forever covenant between man and wife avowed before friends, family, and God.
For better or worse. For richer or poorer. In sickness and in health. Until death do us part.
Take a long moment to ponder the full depths of that beautiful, timeless promise…
Like any marriage, we have experienced seasons of plenty and seasons of struggle. We have endured moments of great joy and moments of great sorrow. We have watched life enter this world— And leave it.
There is a lot of life wrapped up in fifteen and a half years—a lot of running water. It is a long time to love only one man, one woman—impossible really, and becoming more and more implausible in a society that glorifies the easy road.
Because, quite frankly, sometimes leaving would be easier than staying.
We have not always liked one another, but we have always chosen to love one another. Love is worth fighting for. He is mine, and I am his, and letting go is not an option. Ever.
It simply can’t be, because once you embrace even the remote flicker of possibility of goodbye, it will fester and spread until the once unthinkable becomes the inevitable. Time will chip away at your foundation until one day you wake up and find yourself staring at the man or woman you once loved across an impassable chasm, and you won’t recognize them anymore.
However, the erosion of time is escapable. You can fight the hands of the clock and refuse to allow them to chip away at your vows. There is hope for marriage. Don’t let the world tell you differently.
Don’t wait for the developing cracks to widen into chasms before dealing with them. You must fill the cracks with mortar as soon as they appear.
Great marriages require intentionality, selflessness, and constant forgiveness. We must deal with issues as they arise. We must choose to love one another in action even in seasons when we don’t like one another in emotion.
Remember it’s not worth winning those small battles if it means losing the war–your marriage.
Because until death do us part.
My pilot and I are living proof that two imperfect, flawed people can defy the hands of time. We have walked through the raging fires and came out on the other side still holding hands. We have shared fifteen amazing years of life together, growing stronger with every year, defying the inevitable tick, tick, tick of the clock.
Because intentional, selfless love is the mortar that defies the waters of time. Love wins.
Today I sit in awe and wonder of the last incredible one and a half decades of my life, and I sit in eager anticipation of the next decade and a half.
I am so thankful that my husband came into my life. I am thankful that neither of us chose to walk away when the going got tough–heaven knows there have been plenty of opportunities.
I am thankful we fully embraced the longevity of the vow we made at the alter, opting to fight for it even when it seemed insurmountable obstacles blocked the path to our forever.
I am thankful that we picked the narrow path, choosing time after time to love beyond the borders of individual ‘me’ for the sake of the whole ‘us.’
I pray for your marriages today and always. I hope that you surround yourselves with positive, encouraging influences. I hope that you choose a better path, the narrow path, even when it’s the harder path. I hope that you find the courage to love each other when you don’t like each other, the strength to fight for your marriage when it’s hard, and the desire to stay even when it’s easier to go.
I love you, aviation family.
~Angelia (a fellow pilot wife)