On this day, 10 years ago, 18 year old me and 20 year old him, made a huge, life altering covenant with one another.
On this day, 10 years ago, we promised before our God, our family, and our friends, to love and cherish one another until we are parted by death.
Today, we are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary.
And you know that I could show up here and share all of these pictures with you and make you think that everything is wonderful and perfect between us.
But you know me, and you know that isn’t how I operate. Two tickets to realville, please and thank you.
As most of you know, an absolute nuclear bomb was dropped on our marriage this summer. It completely shattered everything that we had ever built together. It was the darkest, hardest, worst time of my life.
I remember a dear reader emailing me and mentioning that sometimes she would look at her wedding pictures on the walls of her home and expect them to just burst into flames. And I have to say, I very much felt the same.
Everything was gone. Obliterated.
Except for one thing.
I remember the day we got married. I remember walking down the aisle after it was over and thinking, “that’s it? that’s all it takes to be married?” I mean, all of that time waiting and working and preparing, and just like that, it was official.
But now I know that “it” wasn’t all it took- it was everything.
The covenant that we made to God and to each other supersedes everything else in this world. It carries more weight and more power than any promise we could make anywhere else.
It changes you, it transforms you, and it gives you the ability to hang on to something when there is nothing else left.
So that’s what we did. From the ground floor up, we have been clawing, scraping, clinging our way back together.
And oh, no no, it has not been easy. It has been the very hardest thing we have ever done- ever.
When “they” said it’s hard, they weren’t exaggerating. I’m in counseling. He’s in counseling. We’re in counseling. (If you’re not in counseling, you probably should be, lol. We all need counseling!)
So that’s why, this year, as an anniversary present, I hired a friend to write out our marriage vows. They’re going to be hung up at the top of the stairs, so we can see them and read them every day.
Because honestly? In all of our years of marriage, I don’t know that I had ever read what we promised each other that day. But when I took the time to write them out and remind myself of what I had promised him, it was transformational. (So, what I’m saying is, go back and read your marriage vows. And then print them out and then hang them up in your house)
Because the thing that held us together wasn’t ourselves- it was the covenant that we made. And it’s so incredibly beautiful and freeing to rest in that, to know that our foundation really is unshakable, that we can truly move forward.
And that’s exactly what we’re doing.
Happy anniversary, husband.
Happy anniversary!!! Enjoy your special day!
What a good reminder! Happy Anniversary! Our 6 year is on Sunday! Love december weddings!
Happy Anniversary and thank you for your honesty! It’s so refreshing to see someone being real. Many blessings to you and your husband!
Happy Anniversary to you both 🙂 Chelsea @ thewilliamsjourney1.blogspot.com/
You’re amazing Courtney! Thank you for sharing your heart. Troy and I celebrate 5 years tomorrow and I think I might just take your advice and write out our vows. A great thing to do indeed. Happy anniversary and may it be filled with extreme joy and peace.
🙂 big hugs!
Happy anniversary, sweet friend! I wish you both all of the happiness and MANY more years together. You two are an awesome example of MARRIAGE and of working through the tough times. Marriage is HARD the easy way would’ve been to give up and move on. So happy you read your vows and clung on and have worked through your issues.
This anniversary is surely one to celebrate!!
Courtney, you’ve got me in tears. This is beautiful. Happy Anniversary! Cheers to the both of you and many more happy years together’
Courtney!!!! First of all happy anniversary!! Second THANK YOU for being real and honest… I’m so sorry that you two are going through a rough time. I whole heartedly agree that EVERYONE could benefit from counselling, Adam and I have both gone individually this past year and it’s made a world of difference, I still think we need to go together as well but taking that step is hard, admitting that there’s a disconnect is HARD. So often I see other couples who appear madly in love (in pictures) and I think my marriage is a failure because of it… the truth is they’re just pictures, I wish we could all be a little more real and support each other going through things like this. Marriage is NOT easy, you’re right… it definitely comes in waves but when you’re in those lows it’s hard not to feel alone.
Anyway sorry for writing a book, I just am so thankful for this post and so happy you and Jim are working on committing to your vows and working through this difficult time! XO
I love you both so very much! ?
Love your honesty! You are so strong and I am so happy that things are moving in the right direction! Happy anniversary, friend! XO
Oh Courtney, this has me in tears! You are a strong woman, my friend! I give you guys a lot of credit for not just giving up in tough times like so many other people would. Thank you for always being so real and not sugar coating the idea of marriage. I love, love, love the idea of printing and hanging your vows! Your friend did a great job with yours! And finally, happy 10 years!!
Happy Anniversary!! Thank you for being honest and real! A picture is worth a thousand words, but no one knows what’s hiding behind those smiles except the people in the picture. I’m going through a rough patch in my marriage right now and it’s terrifying to me to realize that even though we’ve only been married a little over a year now, we aren’t the same people who stood on that beach and promised forever to each other.
You and your owning it self are my favorite. Your testimony will (and is, I am sure!) moving mountains. A covenant is holy and supernatural, and you do such a beautiful job not only explaining that with your words but also with your actions. Rock on, mama. xx
Happy Anniversary! Thank you for keeping it real. I admire you guys.
Yes and Amen. Every day is a choice to go forward and love your spouse. Highest highs and lowest lows and everything in between. God bless you guys! Happy DECADE anniversary.
Happy Anniversary Courtney! I don’t know your situation, but marriage is definitely a LOT of hard work. Especially after kids are in the mix. Either way, I love your honesty, and I’m thinking and praying for you both!
happy anniversary to a strong and inspirational couple!!! i LOVE what you wrote here, and i think your testimony is huge given the fact that these days no one would bat an eye at a broken promise to God regardless of the cause. for so many it doesn’t take much more than “oh we just weren’t in love anymore.” so it’s completely admirable for you no matter what you are going through in your marriage to say proudly that you’re sticking with your vow and plowing through the tough times. and heck, at the very least when you decide to spend the rest of your life with someone you were with as a teenager it’s not necessarily the easiest path! [we know this one first hand ha!!] so happy 10 years!!! and gorgeous photos of you guys!!! <3 oh oh and LOVE the vows!!!! i had ours printed on a small printout a while back but i've always wanted to get them big in pretty gold writing!!!
This post is amazing. Happy anniversary! Still praying for y’all.
Happy Anniversay! And this may be one of those most real and perfect posts I have ever read. I love this.
Happy anniversary! You look great two kids, and ten years of marriage, and you still look 17yoa. Wow! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family
Marriage is work, and it only truly works when God is present. I hope you and Jim had a great day together, and continue to work and build and grow.
Such an inspiration of unwavering faith and commitment. Happy Anniversary!! I pray for a strong, joyful, and wonderful new year ahead for you and your family. Also, beautiful vows. 🙂
Happy anniversary! I appreciate your beautiful and honest words.
Love this so much. We have two sets of friends going through a divorce and it’s so hard to watch it happening basically right in front of our eyes. And it can happen to anyone. That’s so sweet you had your vows written out. I love that!
I love the idea of your anniversary gift. A gentle reminder. I am sorry you are going through a rough time. I really hope everything works out for your family. Hugs.
happy belated anniversary girl! 10 years is amazing. i’m sorry you had a tough spot this year, i truly hope you’re able to recover and sort it all out and never have any problems ever again 😉 i love the vows – i honestly don’t even remember ours lol. oops. i have wanted to get our first dance song lyrics written out though.. same thing? lol.
Tears! This is such a real, raw and honest post Courtney. I commend you guys for working through the hard times. I hope you guys had the best anniversary!