June 30th is a sweet sixteen celebration in the Schuetz family. Not a birthday celebration, but a wedding anniversary for S&P (my mother-in-law’s nickname for us, aka her Salt & Pepper kids).
It is Sweet Sixteen because of how the Lord has made our sixteenth year together special. He gave us not one, but two getaways as a family in the last month. This is something we’ve put off doing for way too long. Our time together has helped us grow closer as a couple and a family. It is truly a sweet blessing from our Father, God!
Scott and I have finally found our sweet spot after sixteen years of marriage. We have learned to bear with one another out of love, not just tolerate each other out of obligation. We put each other’s needs first rather than insisting on our own way. We forgive more readily and aren’t afraid to be real with each other about our struggles.
To be clear, not all sixteen years have been sweet! Marriage is harder than I’d imagine. I wish I had been better prepared to share myself, my space, and my life with another person. We thought we were ready to take on marriage because we had been dating for seven plus years. Surely, we knew everything about each other!
Well, we were wrong :(. The past sixteen years has seen us happy, hopeful, and loving, but also disappointed, failing, frustrated, pained and challenged. I could tell you that things have been smooth and awesome because we are following Christ, but I’d be lying. The truth is, Scott and I have gone through a few rough patches in our years together. And for the record, it feels like we’ve been married much longer than sixteen years!
I’m grateful we did make it to our sweet sixteen. But let me assure you, there are days when I still ask God why I married this man who is so different from me! What was I thinking? Sometimes, I’m so frustrated with him I just want to be single again! His patience, the thing I most loved about him while we were dating, drives me crazy when I just want to get things done my way, right away! We aggravate each other from time to time and don’t always agree on everything. But with God’s help, we keep working hard for a strong and lasting marriage!
One thing I’m certain of, without God at the center of our individual lives and marriage, there would be no sweet sixteen celebration. And you’ll understand why as I uncover the veil from our marriage in the following weeks’ posts. You’ll see how the Lord carried us through real struggles, how he strengthened our bond with him and one another, and what he did for our faith in the midst of marriage-threatening challenges.