It struck us yesterday that for the first time in the two and a half years we’ve been married, things are actually going the way we had hoped. For the first time, we are not working with undesirable circumstances, or with challenges that seem insurmountable no matter what solution we attempt to mitigate them.
For two years, he couldn’t get a job (and us living in one of the more expensive areas to live in the country). We networked with friends and friends of friends, we had his resume revamped, he worked with professional recruiters. Nothing – not even an interview. Because of the damp Pacific Northwest climate, he was almost constantly sick. The investments he brought into our marriage that we counted on to supplement our income weren’t performing well. We welcomed with joy the news we were expecting our first child, only to find out our baby boy had a serious heart defect, and he died. And these are just some of the things that we faced together.
Now finally, we are in a place where -- for the time being -- things are going well. We are meeting our goal of me not working. We are expecting a healthy baby girl. Healthy. And the investments that were not doing so great are actually doing really well right now. That’s just to name a few. These very ordinary things are, to our minds, both extraordinary and miraculous. There are goals we have yet to meet, but they seem attainable now.
Thankful? You bet. Thankful doesn’t even begin to cover it. But it is a good place to start.
There have been people we have met here who, not knowing our story, say things like, “Oh, you're still newlyweds” at nearly two and a half years in. We have to laugh, having been through more major life challenges in two and a half years than many couples go through in twenty. The honeymoon was over a long, long time ago.
And for now at least, I’m breathing a sigh of relief -- a breath I’ve been holding in for two and a half years. For the first time, I no longer feel like I’m clutching with white knuckles to the rails of a wind-tossed boat that I fear may be dashed to pieces on the rocks at any moment. It is as if -- for now -- we have arrived at a place where we are meant to be -- where can let our bodies sink into a soft place, and rest for awhile with smiles warming our faces. We know only too well how quickly circumstances can change. But for now, I fully intend to soak in these moments, exhale, and say thank you.
Thankful is too small a word for this.