Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Note to self
One of the things I would tell younger Lori is that marriage is a lot like running a marathon.
Surrounded by a crowd of friends and family, you make promises, celebrate the new thing that is about to happen, and then you're pronounced husband and wife. And you're off. The race has begun. You have lots of people happy for you and cheering you on, at least in the beginning. Everything feels new and fresh. Your feet don't hurt, and you're not impacted by the weather. You're ready to take on whatever hill or cramp or hardship may come your way. You're in the honeymoon phase. There's no fighting. Nothing can get you down.
After you've been at it for a while, some old injuries and hurts begin to resurface, affecting your attitude and running and relating. You plow through the pain and discouragement. But then you feel thirsty and hungry, at least until you reach the next water stop, where you are blessed and refreshed for a time with gatorade and power bars. Next come obstacles with names Loneliness, Boredom, and Distraction. And then you hit the wall, where you are tested to see how much you want this race or this marriage.
You almost always start a marathon expecting to make it to the finish line, but sometimes, things don't go as planned, and the race ends in an unexpected way. You choose to give up, or the race ends early due to a medical condition, or a betrayal, or death.
But there are blessings along the way. An unexpected conversation...a new friendship forms as the miles tick by. A friend cheers or speaks words of honesty or prays for you at just the right time. Or you're having an "on" running day...the miles fly by and you're feeling great...things seem effortless for a time. You're feeling strong and that you have what you need to keep at it. And you see the finish line in this distance and remember that all of the hard work and difficult choices impact more than just you; it's worth it for your kids and sometimes even for people you've never met. Your choices and relationships can affect people in a different time and place.
When I think of marriage, one of the things that I remember is some wise advice that the mother of a very dear friend of mine gave to my friend as she was making some decisions about dating and marriage. She encouraged my friend to "run" as quickly as she could toward Jesus and then look to see who was running with her to determine who would make a good husband. Today, I'm feeling so very grateful to be running this race with Dave. I hope we're running an ultra-marathon. Happy anniversary David! I love you!
(The photo is me in my wedding gown running down the steps of the church where we were married. I even had running shoes on! The photo was not taken on our wedding day; Dave shot this in May 2009 for a school project. We got some interesting and confused looks from neighbors that day!)