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Tindell Baldwin »

They Told Us it Would be Hard

Today marks ten years since we said I do! In the weeks leading up to Ben and I getting married I told my family I was so tired of everyone telling me how hard marriage was going to be. I was blissfully in love and didn’t want anyone to bust my bubble. They laughed at my inexperienced yet overly confident view of marriage. So, ten years in this is a tribute to all the things we heard before we were married and once we were about how hard it would be. The things that I didn’t want to listen to and to all the really beautiful things I had no idea were coming our way.  

They told us it would be hard.

When we were preparing to get married and the future was full of great unknowns. They warned us there would be days where we didn’t like each other. Times when we fought more than we agreed. Seasons where our voices would be raised and our hearts would break and we would maybe wonder what we did. They told us that it would take hard work, that marriage was a battle you don’t enter into lightly. They told us that ups and downs would come and expectations would go unmet and tempers would flare. 

They told us it would be hard.

As each new milestone approached, as circumstances changed, and as moods shifted. They told us we would have to learn to grow together instead of apart. They told us our differences would try to divide us. They told us our upbringings would cause each of us to write a different story of what our love should look like. They told us that we would say things we would regret and have fights that didn’t matter. 

They told us it would be hard.

They told us kids would change us. They told us that our dynamic would shift each time we made room for another little person. They told us that busy seasons would try to separate us and opportunity would try to divide us. They told us sleepless nights and job stress would threaten to break us. They told us our sin would ultimately break each others heart. They told us that more kids than adults would make things challenging. That schedules and everyday would cast out romance and replace it with routine. They told us years 7-10 would be our most challenging. They said the statistics weren’t in our favor. 

They weren’t really wrong. The last ten years have been a battle, a fight to stay in love, to stay in the game, to stay committed, to stay dedicated to what we entered into. The past ten years have been a beautiful picture of God’s unending grace and forgiveness as we’ve had to humble ourselves and ask on more than one occasion, will you still love me?

There are so many things they forgot though. In all the warnings they didn’t mention that the hard things would be like a refining fire making our love more beautiful than we knew possible. 

They forgot to tell us how much richer love is when you’ve been through the flames of hard times and sleepless nights and phone calls that brought you to your knees. They failed to tell us how much our differences would make us grow and how much more of a complete person you become if you let the challenges shape you. They forgot to tell us that you get to let your guard down and accept the scary reality that love takes vulnerability. They didn’t tell us how much we would laugh. They didn’t tell us that we would know exactly what to say when the other person needed to smile. They didn’t tell us we would always have a friend in the lonely times, a champion in the good times, and a hand to hold in all the hard times. 

The truth is I knew it would be hard, I was just scared we didn’t have what it takes. I was scared I wouldn’t be the woman I had promised to be on the day we said I do. I greatly underestimated the transformative power of sacrificial love and a God who is always willing to help you grow. 

I was convinced I knew so much back then but I didn’t know that sitting next to you would always be where I felt most at home.  I didn’t know I would still miss you when you went to work even years in. I didn’t know that these kids that helped us form a family would have your smile and your eyes. I didn’t know watching you be a dad would actually make me fall more in love. I didn’t know that some of our most mundane moments would become the most magical. I didn’t know that personal accolades would pale in comparison to what we would accomplish together everyday. I didn’t know that I would learn how to be truly dedicated no matter the circumstance. I didn’t know that I had so much growing up to do on that day ten years ago. They tell you its hard and its true but anything worth having takes hard work.  

We still have a long way to go, still so much to learn, so many more chances to fight and grow and we will. We will fight and cry and laugh some more but today I’m grateful for all the things on the other side of the hard times. All the little things that add up to really big things. Today I’m grateful that in all the things they told us there was so much more they forgot to mention.

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  • Lisa Condrey Sheffield - So well written, Tindell! ReplyCancel

  • Anna - Loved!! Shared with all the young marrieds I know!
    32 years in- it only gets better 😉ReplyCancel

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