18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” 19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature,that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam[f] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[g] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
I remember it like it was yesterday. March 10,2001. It was a day I won’t soon forget. It was the first time I told her I loved her as a couple. She was my girlfriend, but contrary to what I knew then, she’d be much, much more. I remember the start of our relationship, and the times even before that. So many experiences, I’d say too numerous to mention. I do remember her saying, “I prayed for you”. She said she had been very specific to what she wanted in a husband, and out of life in general. When I first met her, I didn’t really see it as such, but I know now that prayers as a child, or young adult, have the ability to take you very far in life. Not only that, but the insight she had to know what so many couldn’t see.
Skip forward 15 years later. Married with two children. Two dogs, a house, and a great life. I reflect on all it took for us to get here. And while to some it may not seem like a long time. Even to me, it honestly felt like moments ago. My faith has allowed me to see a lot of battles. A lot of tears, and a whole lot of heartache. A lot of people have come and gone. The one thing I can say that has remained constant throughout is her. She remains the one thing in my life that given me grounding and consistency the whole way. I can remember having a really tough time when I first came to California, and if it hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t have made it. Through the year my mother was diagnosed with cancer. To the deaths, of my Aunts Betty, and Shirley. She was right there. That’s not for me to say that everything has been peachy-keen. It’s not to say that we’ve always agreed, or even liked one another. In fact, there are times when it seems as there have been more tough times than easy. But God…has seen us through. They say that sometimes the way to make it isn’t by going out or around, but by going through. Believe me when I tell you, we’ve done just that.
I’ve taken two lessons for marriage that my parents have spoken of. First at my sister’s wedding, my father gave them the advice of “TALK, just TALK…make sure you always TALK…” It’s like I remember so vividly and can speak volumes on the importance of communication. We’ve done it all. Fussed, fought, yelled and screamed. We’ve gone days without speaking but a few words to each other, and even had moments of ‘how will we fix this/us?’ What got us past it? Talking. Communicating. When all else failed, we were able to talk things through. It doesn’t mean we left the conversations on the same page, but we still talk it out.
The other lesson I learned came from my mother at my own wedding, when she said…”Whatever you do, Keep God first…” Man, why didn’t anybody say that when it came to be married beforehand. What I’m about to say may apply to believers or non-believers alike. Having something to focus the attention of your marriage is important. For people like myself, it’s God because I believe that without Him, I don’t have a thing. Some focus on the first lesson, but this one has allowed me personally to sleep on the nights where I wasn’t sure if I’d get stabbed in my sleep from the arguments we had. God kept me warm on the nights when we were too mad at each other to cuddle. He also protected both of us in the moments when we were to stubborn, so we could come back to each other. I won’t even lie, it took quite a while for us to get on same page, but when we did, it made everything that God spoke about marriage make sense. She is a helper. She is a lover. She has my back, and she is submissive (not a slave). It’s all true, I promise.
Those are memories that will never leave. Memories, I don’t have watch a video for, or look at a picture to incite my memory. I will always know, because those are the two things that have kept this marriage working. Others probably see us, and maybe they don’t believe the hype. The thing is: They don’t have to. As long we know, what we have and what that means: We’re good to go!!
I write all this because, just in a random thought, I know it can all be taken away. It sounds a little sentimental, given the fact that Valentines Day just passed, or my birthday is coming up soon. Truth be told, this all just came to me, in just an instant. It’s also a really easy one to write. It’s because all I can do is think of her, and be truly thankful for all God has done in my life. I give him all the praise for what I have and even the things I don’t. She is definitely the one of the few things in my life, I know I got right. I guess what it all comes down to is, when you get married, if you get married, stick it out if you can. It’s gonna be tough. Nerve-wrecking, and even annoying at times. But 15 years later…that’s all I have to say…15 years later…and counting!