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Rachel Allison

It’s Valentine’s Week….the week for love and romance. For those of us who are married, it’s also a time that gives special occasion to reflect on the love, appreciation and commitment to our spouse and companion.

This week I am especially grateful that my husband and I survived the difficult periods of our marriage.  There were months that I wasn’t sure we would.  But we did survive, and as a result our marriage of 37 years has been quite the learning, growing and bonding experience.

It didn’t take us long to recognize that marriage isn’t just about love…in fact there were weeks and months throughout our years together that I didn’t feel much love.  We were both just too busy and too overwhelmed.  The start up of a business, the births and nurturing of five active children, a struggling business, a failed business, health concerns, energy drain, and time commitments that stretched us way too thin, all left little strength to even think about love.

Life was a steep up-hill battle, but thank heavens we climbed together.  When I was weak, he pulled me.  When he was weak, I pushed.  Gratefully, there were seasons of our life where we were actually able to stop and enjoy the view from the top of those hills.  It was beautiful and peaceful, and it all felt right.  Too often those seasons of undisturbed enjoyment were short-lived because another huge hill was placed before us, and it too, needed to be climbed.  At times I climbed a hill or two “kicking and screaming” so to speak, but my husband was by my side patiently pulling me onward.

Years ago, if I had seen the mountain range that was looming ahead in our future, would I have reconsidered my commitment to marry?   Perhaps.  But the joy and satisfaction I feel now, coupled with what we have become as a companionship makes me sure of my marriage decision.  We’re at the point in our lives where we are one in purpose, drive, and understanding.  We are wiser, much more mature, and we are stronger. My husband and I are at the top of a mountain right now, and the memories of those past steep climbs are full of striving, challenge, hard work, dedication, contentment, laughter, and yes, love. We both have climbing scars, and we are grateful for them…they are sweet and they are   reminiscences of a marriage worth celebrating.

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