This month, my husband and I will celebrate our 10-year anniversary. When my parents reached their 10-year mark, they celebrated with a large recommitment ceremony that included me wearing the 9-year-old equivalent of an awful bridesmaid dress. But despite the mark left by that dress I have always dreamed of having this ceremony with my own husband. Since our wedding was quite small I’ve often dreamed of a ceremony to rival my parents and fulfill any lingering dreams of a fancy wedding.

But as our anniversary date drew closer, it became apparent that this gathering was not going to happen, at least not this year. We’ve decided that our time will best be spent locked in a room in the wilderness, without children, with a bunch of snacks and a few of our favorite games and movies.

Leading up to the date, we’ve had the opportunity to sit and recap our ten years, and man, I’m not sure how we made it through! It seemed as though we were constantly in some sort of crisis. Just for the fun of it, I laid it all out so we could see what we’ve been able to get through together — albeit by the skin of our teeth.

2003 – Got married
2004 – Miscarriage
2005 – Baby
2006 – Baby
2007 – Adoption
2007 – Bought a house
2008 – Baby
2008 – Serious work injury that left my husband home for six months
2009 – My husband was permanently laid off
2009 – I had a heart problem that kept me in bed for months
2010 – Continued unemployment
2010 – Baby
2012 – My husband was permanently laid off again
2013 – Continued unemployment

Somehow, laying it all out like this was slightly rewarding and a great reminder as well. My husband and I both know, without a doubt, that we would never have made it through all this without including God in our marriage. That’s not to say that including him made it all seem like rainbows and sunshine, because it wasn’t — we definitely had our dark days, as well. But no matter how dark those days got, we always knew that in the end we still had each other and that God was with us.

I have an uncle who is mourning his wife of over 30 years. They went through amazingly difficult struggles, but their faith bound them together. As her health faded, I never saw him pulling away, growing weary of caring for his wife. Instead, I saw a picture of Christ’s love for his church, even in the hardest of situations.

While my marriage has made me a better person, it was definitely something closer to “Nerf sword sharpens Nerf sword” rather than “iron sharpens iron,” at most points. But we’ve seen improvement, and I think that should count for something, no matter how we got there.

While looking at the difficulties on our list makes me hesitant to say it, I’m still looking forward to the next ten years of our marriage.