I've been taking a trip down memory lane. Do you ever do that? Do you ever wonder what your life would be like had you made different choices? Do you ever think you could have made better choices? Do you ever wish you had?
Being 42 and looking back at the 19 year old girl I once was I sometimes wonder... What if?
What if... I had never said yes to a date with that 20 year old boy in the wool sweater with the leather elbow patches, Levis, penny loafers and fedora that was hurting over a recent break up?
What if... We had never taken that drive up to Snoqualamie Falls and on the way home I had never looked over at him as he sang along to John Cougar while bathed in the sun's late afternoon glow?
What if... We had never gone to Mary Moor Park and swung on the swings before holding hands for the first time?
What if... He never kissed me on my parent's front porch?
What if... We had waited until we were married... ?
What if... He hadn't asked me to be his wife on Christmas Eve?
What if... He hadn't been there for me the two months I was hospitalized with an eating disorder?
What if... I hadn't found out I was pregnant in time to step off the path of self destruction?
What if... He gave up on me the day I threw my engagement ring at him at a park and then drove away?
What if... He never talked me into swallowing my pride and walking into a marriage class at a church with him... obviously pregnant?
What if... He never held me as I wept in the parking lot of the church after the pastor told us that if I wasn't pregnant he would have advised us not to get married due to the results of our personality tests?
What if... I hadn't been six months pregnant by the time we finally married?
What if... We hadn't fought so much once we were married?
What if... A couple at church had not befriended us?
What if... That woman had not taught me to pray for my husband?
What if... That woman had not taught me to search the Word for how I should respond?
What if... It hadn't taken me years and years to learn those lessons?
What if... After 10 years we hadn't experienced the worst year of our marriage?
What if... We chose divorce?
What if... We weren't both brought to our knees?
What if... We hadn't been surrounded by the love and support of the friends that knew the truth of what we were going through?
What if... We hadn't consistently chosen the hard way to do things?
What if... Through all of our bad decisions... through all of our individual selfishness... we had not cried out to God for the help we so desperately needed?
What if... We never learned what grace and forgiveness really means... ?
What if... I never learned that life is not easy... that it is messy and that you will get hurt... but that in the midst of it all... pain, sorrow and fear... there is also joy?
What if... Our marriage had never been redeemed?
What if... I wasn't sitting here this morning... on our 20th Anniversary... thanking God for everything in my life that has brought me to this place?
Mr. Macchiato, you have been worth every single moment. The good... the bad... the ugly. I wouldn't trade a moment of my life for the possibility of a different outcome because it might change where we are at and what we have now. Happy Anniversary... I love you.