there was a man, and a woman.
The man and woman had married young. Not to each other, mind you. They thought when they got married that they were doing the right thing. They had the glimmer of questioning their decision to marry their betrothed, but chose to honor their commitment and do what their parents would be proud of.
Instead of happy, stable marriages, however, they had abusive, unhappy relationships. The man and woman spent their days living with their choices, each trying to take care of their three children to the best of their ability. These were dark years. Both the man and woman contemplated suicide.
The man and woman realized they could not continue living as they had. With prayer and counsel, they decided to end the marriages. Divorce is a heart wrenching decision, no matter how terrible the marriage is. It took a lot of prayer and courage, but both the man and woman knew divorce was what they had to do. Each of them experienced backlash from their family, friends and churches. They knew, though, that life had to be better.
Through a mutual friend, this man and woman met each other. Their instant connection quickly grew to love. The woman visited the man, helping him clean his house and cooking meals for him. The man visited the woman, bringing her gifts for her and her children. This love was like nothing they had ever experienced. This was a love that God ordained.
The man and woman knew they were meant to be together. On a rainy Valentine’s Day, they married in a church, before the eyes of God and a few friends and family members. They knew their union would not be easy, as no blended family would ever be. But they believed in their love, and knew it would stand the test of time.
Out of this union came a surprise. A baby. Finding out about this baby absolutely terrified the woman. She didn’t know why this was happening- didn’t she have enough with combining two families and dealing with a busy life? The man, however, took the news of the baby in stride. His strong faith led them through.
Fourteen months after the couple married, a baby girl was born. From the first day she was born, she was adored. The man doted on his daughter, putting off chores and other outside work to come in and feed his daughter. She grew up in a house of love, knowing how special she was to her parents.
From the outside looking in, some would say the child was spoiled. As the youngest child in a line of seven children, this little girl had some advantages in her life that the others hadn’t. A situation like this is bound to cause some jealousy, and in the little girl’s case, it did.
If you had asked the man and the woman, however, they would have told you differently. Did they love this little girl more than their other children? No. Every parent knows that your heart grows with the birth of every child. But for them, this child was a completely new experience. They had never experienced having a child with a loving, caring spouse. They had never co-parented, instead of living in fear of another person. This child was born out of pure love, the love they had for each other. This didn’t mean they loved their other children less–it was just different. This child was not spoiled, like forgotten food pushed to the back of the fridge. This child was loved- as her siblings were- by caring and doting parents.
Today, the man and woman are still married, almost 38 years later. They’ve seen their share of hard times, as have all their children. But after it all, their love is still there. They long for the other person when they’re apart. They rely on each other, and end each day with prayer.
They’re living happily ever after.