Today my precious grandparents celebrate 54 years of marriage!
If you asked them right now, they both would give God all the credit for their marriage. Marriage is a beautiful institution, and Jo Helen & Lynn Carr have a marriage like none other. It hasn't been without difficulty, and it's far from perfect. What I love most about it, however, is that it's grounded in unconditional love.
Unconditional love is not something one gets to witness often anymore. Far too often these days, people are too busy searching for perfection, comfort, and convenience. I've alluded to it before that Joe and I have been through the ringer in our almost 12 years of marriage, and honestly I needed to witness first hand the beauty in the art of unconditional love.
Since moving back to Tennessee abruptly 2.5 years ago, I've been able to sit and watch their love be tested by forces completely out of their own hands. I've seen dementia & other health issues wreak absolute chaos in their lives & their marriage. I've seen my grandmother completely forget who she is, who I am, and who my Poppy is all in the same day, but I've never seen him forget who she is. I've seen my grandfather weep because of my grandmother's declining health, and yet he continues to wake up every day more in love with Jo Helen than the day before.
When our marriage crumbled, I had no idea how I would ever be the same. I was a wreck, and I was completely raw. Slowly though, I saw that same love from my own husband towards me. I am happy that I'm not the same naive girl, but that I'm a very loved, strong woman. Not every day has been rainbows and sunshine since reconciling, but I honestly see unconditional love from Joseph. I just pray that if our marriage is tested like my grandparents' that we continue to show each other & our kids that unconditional, inconvenient love to one another. I pray that we are an example of a God-honoring marriage that may fail, but doesn't give up or quit on each other.
Today, on my grandparent's anniversary, I challenge you and myself to love big. We aren't guaranteed anything, so love those near you right now. Also, I want to challenge you to not give up when the road gets tough or difficult. Choose the path that honors Him, and use your marriage to praise God.
I'm so beyond blessed to have such a strong marriage to look up to as an example.
Thank you Jo Helen & Lynn for setting the bar high in the marriage department. Thank you for loving each other & your family unconditionally. WE are the lucky ones in this whole big thing!