Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Fifteen years ago, half of my life ago, I spotted my future husband on a yellow school bus. I had no idea of marriage in my young 15 year old mind. I was just a girl with a crush on a cute boy!
Eleven years ago, I desperately wanted to get married. Joe was still in college and I was working full time, but I didn't have benefits through work. We got engaged but planned a long engagement. One year and ten months. We were so worried about pleasing our parents. They were supportive but there were also some concerns about Joey not finishing college, financial stability, etc. etc..... We were only 19 and 20... I worked strictly on commission, so there was no precise way of figuring out a budget, but with God's prompting, I believe, we decided to push up the wedding. I am a pleaser so you can imagine how difficult this was. I remember feeling very insecure, constantly worrying about others opinions. I recall so many people commenting on how young we were. Some people would tell me their stories of how young they got married and how it didn't work out. But as worried as I was, the plans were in place.
We rented a little one bedroom, four hundred dollar-a-month apartment. Joe moved in a few months before the wedding. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that every piece of furniture we had was given to us (I take that back, I bought a coffee table from TJ Maxx). We didn't care, we just wanted to be together!
On September 11, 1998 I said "I do" to my sweet Joey. Three weeks later, our apartment building caught on fire. We woke up to another tenant pounding on our door, yelling at us to get out! You really don't think to grab anything when you are in that kind of danger. We quickly threw some clothes on and ran down the stairs and outside. We watched as huge flames engulfed the bookstore we lived above. Joey and I held on to each other and I remember thanking God that he and I were okay. All of our things had soot damage and we had to move into my parents basement for a few weeks while they cleaned everything. Thankfully we had just purchased renters insurance (for eight dollars a month, no joke). We moved back into the apartment, but the horrible stench from the fire still radiated throughout the place and God opened the doors for us to buy our first house.
Ten years, two houses and three babies later, we celebrate our ten years of marriage. I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for all of the undeserving blessings he has bestowed upon us. Our life together is not always easy. We have our quarrels. But I have to say that I know my husband inside and out, and he knows me better than I know myself. Throughout the years we have grown up together and changed together. I know getting married young isn't for everyone, but I am so happy we did! Looking back on our youthful love I can remember all of the butterflies and excitement. The chills that ran down my spine when we had our first kiss. That teenage love has grown into something much different, more of a mature love, a love that requires a little bit more give than take, but a love that is real.
Thank you God for my sweet husband and our wonderful life together!