Monday, July 23, 2012

Meant to Be

As our seventeenth wedding anniversary approaches, I've been thinking a lot about marriage. Thinking about my views on relationships then and now. Thinking about people being "meant to be."

I have always been dreamy and idealistic, and twenty years ago, I probably believed more in that stuff. I'd heard the story hundreds of times of my dad, upon first seeing my mom, telling my uncle that she was the girl he was going to marry. That was my fairy tale, and I dreamed of one day experiencing that.

And I did. Upon meeting Brad, intoxicated by his beautiful lips--and Bud Light--I said that I would marry him someday. I didn't know all those years ago how that statement would impact my life.

Meant to be for us turned into jealousy and anger and unexpected pregnancies. It became sleepless nights and low-paying jobs and years of college. It brought tears and heartbreak and disappointment and disillusionment.

It brought bad decisions, terrible choices, and circumstances beyond our control.

Meant to be. Bleck.

There have been more than a few opportunities to throw in the towel. More than a few times that we could have cut our losses, divided our lives, and pursued different dreams. There have been times when it might have been easier to walk away than to stay and weather the storms that seemed perpetually positioned above our fairy tale.

So when people say we are meant to be, I laugh, because regardless of what was meant to be, we made one decision after another to continue to be. We followed one path when there didn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. We loved each other even when we didn't feel like looking at each other. We alternately blamed each other, resented each other, wallowed in self-pity and wondered why we kept getting dealt one crappy hand after another. And we kept playing those crappy hands together.

I wanted the meant to be of fairy tales. The happily ever after that doesn't involve loss or death or hardships. That meant to be doesn't exist.

But if it is true that God meant us to be together, then I'm very grateful that He has kept us from screwing things up too badly. I'm grateful that He gave us just enough happiness to make it through the heartbreak. I'm grateful He gave us just enough love to temper the anger and jealousy and resentment. I'm grateful He gave us the fortitude to keep going when it would have been easier to quit. I'm grateful He gave me one more minute, one more day, and one more year to learn to appreciate, understand, and cherish the love of my life. Because whether or not we were meant to be, I mean to be his for the rest of my life.

2 comments:

  1. Wait, you "have decided"? There was still some doubt? Really? Since there was no capital h there, I'm assuming you meant the Bradle-ee.

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    1. thank you for pointing out my ambiguity. as always, i relish your input.

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