Eleven years ago, I introduced myself to a random guy sitting next to me at church for what I think was the first time ever. I was out of college, single, and remember noticing for the first time ever that a handsome man without a ring was sitting next to me. I was jaded on relationships at the time, and it took a long time for me to be ready date him, but he was certainly persistent (hence why he refers to himself as a ‘stalker success story’). It was over a year before we started dating, and neither of us has ever looked back.
On May 28, 2006, I married my best friend. I took his last name and the two of us started a new life together as husband and wife. While we have definitely been riding a roller coaster of ups and downs since then, never for a moment have I regretted the decision that I made that day to say ‘I do’! He is my encourager, my protector, my helper, my lover, and most of all my friend.
When I earned my doctorate in 2011, my former boss told me that I had worked hard to be called doctor and I should make people refer to me as such. Ben got a laugh from me responding, “I worked way harder for the Mrs.” I didn’t mean that I worked hard to get married; or that my doctorate was not hard; or even that staying married was hard work. Instead, I meant that being married can be hard work. Relationships can be hard work. I sincerely hope that I continue to work hard on the ‘Mrs’ every day of my life!
In eight short years of marriage, Ben has had cancer TWICE. We suffered loss and disappointment in our struggle to get pregnant, not just once, but twice. We had twins born six weeks early, and a sweet daughter born a week late. At the beginning of 2013, I sat in a waiting room while Ben was in brain surgery wondering if he would be okay, and in January of this year he sat in a waiting room while the doctors fought to save my life. Loving someone else more than yourself is HARD work. The idea of losing someone you love that much can be devastating.
But in every one of those situations, our love for each other has made us come out stronger than we were before. Why? Because rather than living in the negatives of the past, we cling to the good. Despite years of infertility, we have three amazing little miracles that we get to watch grow up every day! Despite two rounds of cancer, Ben has never been healthier. And despite the fact that I almost died on an operating table in January, I am still here, happy and healthy and enjoying every day with my kiddos.
Ben’s faith has always been something that I have loved about him. He believes in miracles, and prays for them daily. He trusts God for the future, for the past, and for every little thing in between. It humbles me greatly when I stress about something and ask why he isn’t concerned and he reminds me that God orders our steps. I consider myself so lucky (blessed!) to be married to him.
I think if you are married to the person that God has for you, marriage itself can be easy. However, I still believe that I work hard for the ‘Mrs’ every day of my life . I work hard to make sure that I am worthy to be Ben’s wife and the mother of his children. And I work hard to try to live up to the expectations that I have for the type of wife and mother that he deserves. The day came when I finished my degree and got the “Dr.” I don’t have to do anything else to keep that title for the rest of my life. However, the day I accepted the title of ‘Mrs’ I feel like I started a life long quest to deserve it. I hope that I continue to work hard on the ‘Mrs’ til the day that I die.. because my husband works hard on the ‘Mr,’ and he deserves at least that from me! 🙂