10 years ago this month. Exactly.

10 years ago that I said yes to this man. I said yes to a life lived together, instead of separate. A life of decisions to be made that benefit us, as a family, and not just me.

A decade of sacrifice and consideration of our life together. A decade of making decisions and choosing our family over personal advancement.

Marriage is many things. It’s true. But as I’ve walked this married road, I’ve realized this process of continuing to choose us over me is what keeps us going. This is the secret to our success. This is the choice we both continually make, sometimes on a daily basis.

Because when we’re honest, most fights, arguments, and struggles we’ve had came when we wanted to put ourselves first. When we wanted to disregard what was best for us and simply choose what was best for me.

Giving up what I thought I wanted for what we’ve decided is the best path for our family may look like sacrifice to some, and in many ways it is. But the benefits of living this life together, of building this dream as a couple, far outweighs anything I could have ever done on my own.

And the truth is, at this point I can’t always remember which were his ideas, and which were mine.

This man. This life. This imperfection and struggle. Joy and laughter.

This is what dreams are truly made of.

This is the life I didn’t know I was choosing 10 years ago. But it’s the life I’ll continue to choose today–because when it’s all said and done– I couldn’t imagine anything better.

Kendra Egeland Roehl

Author Kendra Egeland Roehl

Kendra received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work and has worked for hospice programs, low-income housing, and the St. Cloud Veterans Affairs Medical Center. A mother of four, she and her husband are both foster and adoptive parents. She is a speaker and writer about topics such as marriage, motherhood, foster care, adoption, and social justice at The Ruth Experience.

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