My dear husband, Chris, and I joke around and tease each other regularly. Recently, after making some outrageous, teasing comment, he asked, “Tell me the truth. Everyday you tell yourself, ‘I really hit the jackpot when I married Chris.’” I just gave him that look which expresses just how ridiculous I think he is. He is very familiar with that look. Throughout the day I kept coming back to that playful conversation and it really caused me to reflect on just how blessed I am in my marriage.
We were not practicing a faith of any kind when we were first married, but after the birth of our first child I got the profound feeling we needed to “get right with God.” When I expressed this desire to Chris he suggested we look into Catholicism; the faith of his childhood. Secretly, I had always been drawn to the Catholic Church. I jumped right on board and within two years we were both confirmed and firmly planted on the right path.
Living the Life
In June, Chris and I celebrate 29 years of marriage. We have co-created seven living children and lost two in devastating miscarriages. We’ve moved six times and survived countless deployments and absences during his military career. We have endured colicky babies, tyrannical toddlers, defiant teenagers, and strong-willed adult children. We’ve homeschooled, sent children to private schools, and at the end of May, we will have successfully graduated five of our seven kids. We’ve advised when asked and then stood back to watch our adult children discern vocations, college, and jobs. We joyfully celebrated the sacrament of matrimony for our eldest 15 months ago and recently welcomed our first grandchild. It has all flown by so fast. Married and family life has definitely had it’s ups and downs, but I thank God I had my best friend by my side through it all.
Often I reflect upon how graced I’ve really been to have been made a Catholic by God’s Grace. Honestly, I know I did not deserve any of it and yet here I am, abundantly blessed and striving everyday to live a holy life out of gratitude for the favor bestowed upon me. None of this would have been possible without my marriage to Chris. He has steered and led this family down this road for 25 years without faltering. We would not be where we are without his headship. What a Divine favor that he took the reins without hesitation.
That evening, after he had led our family rosary and we had put our youngest to bed, we retired to the media room for the evening. I turned to my beloved husband and said, “Truly, I want you to know that I do believe I hit the jackpot when I married you.” He gave me that look which expresses just how ridiculous he thinks I am. I’m very familiar with that look.
If you are married, today might be a good time to reflect on how fortunate you are to have your spouse. Look back over your married life and see the hand of God working throughout it. Not everyday is a “jackpot” day, but you may find that overall you are deeply and wonderfully blessed by your spouse. If, like me, you feel you hit the jackpot with your spouse let him/her know. Say it. Show it. Shout it. God is so very good!