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An Open Letter to My Husband on Our Anniversary: I Would Choose “Us” Again

Twenty-four years ago today I made one of the scariest, yet bravest decisions ever – I said “I Do” to you – not because I was head-over-heels in love with you, but because I was pregnant, and I wanted to offer our child a permanent and loving family.

Our Wedding Day – June 5th, 1994

It didn’t matter what society said, I knew better. I knew that a loving, intact family is what children need and deserve. So we got married – nine months pregnant, with both of us on church discipline and my mom boycotting our wedding; tying the knot a mere eight days before our little bundle of joy was born.

By anyone’s definition we had a really rough start, and we made a ton of marriage and parenting mistakes along the way. By all accounts we shouldn’t be here today – happily married with a beautiful family. We watched many couples who had really good starts crash and burn (breaks my heart), but today we are 24 years old and going strong.

Married 16 years – at my 40th birthday party

Today, our marriage is not just surviving, it’s thriving, but it’s not really because of us.

I know that the chief reason we’ve made it this far is because of Jesus Christ and God’s work of grace in our marriage. Still, we had to put in work – the hard work of submitting to God’s Word and bowing our hearts to our First Love – Our Heavenly Father, to make our marriage and home life thrive.

Even my love name for you – Prince Charming – is a complete and utter testimony to the work that only Jesus Christ can perform in a person’s heart, for I remember when I believed you to be anyone but my Prince Charming, or my knight in shining armor. I almost thought that you were the destroyer of dreams. After all, you were supposed to save this young, single mom and her seven year old daughter, but blending a family was hard! Way harder than either one of us had anticipated; and everything seemed to be blowing up in our faces.

pre-wedding days – my friend and my Ashley’s godfather

Truth is, you really were my Prince Charming, but I didn’t see it because I was blinded by my pain – I just couldn’t see the hand of God working in our lives. Not only that, but I was spoiled and filled with the worldly wisdom that ravages most present day marriages. And I was just plain ol’ weak: I lacked the emotional grit and mental fortitude required to deal with the rough parts of life.

No, you were not perfect, but looking back, you were a rock. You were steady, consistent, devoted, 100% all in, and always home and dedicated to our family.

You were, and still are one of the most unselfish people I’ve ever met. You routinely put our family’s needs ahead of your own. I remember the nights that you said you had enough to eat, or that you weren’t hungry.  I know you weren’t satisfied, but you never said a word.

Dad and his boys, the early days

I remember the day when we were college age and “just friends” – actually, we were the best of friends! I looked at you across the room when you weren’t paying any attention to me, and I had this inner certainty that who ever married you would be one very happy woman – and somehow I knew that woman should be me.

Well, today, after 24 years of ups-and-downs; after laughter and tears; after diapers and potty training six kiddos; after nursery school and homeschooling; after several high school and college graduations; after years of financial struggle and minivans with no air conditioning (how fun was it riding around like bandits with the door open?); and after a couple of weddings and two grandchildren, I can honestly attest that I AM that happy woman who I envisioned your wife to be.

Christmas 2016

I love our life together, Honey. I love our kids who keep us up all night – no matter how old they are. (When they were babies, it was the endless diaper changes and bottle feedings; in their teens, it’s chatter all night at the foot of our bed; older than that, it’s the scary call we’d sometimes get in the middle of the night – boys!) And I love this little house that we dwell in and are virtually bursting out of, and the way we manage to find room to fit just one more. BUT MORE THAN ANYTHING, I love the way you love me.

I want you to know – I need you to know – that if I had to do it all over again, I would choose you . . . I would choose “us” once again, my darling Prince Charming.

Thank you for loving me like Christ loved the Church.

Your Bride,

Tiffiney. ❤

photo credit

shared with love where I party

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Comments

  1. Tiffiney this is such a sweet, honest and inspiring post! Congrats to you both and wow, thank you for sharing the hard and the lovely — because sometimes we get only glimpses of the good, and I guess to me it is neat to hear the beginning parts too. My husband and I have been married almost 15 and a lot of it has not been easy. I love reading stories like these!

  2. Tiffiney!! I love this post. It’s amazing the ups and downs of a lifetime marriage, isn’t it? Young women need to know that it’s not all sunshine and roses, but God really does bless us in our marriages if we’re open to it. And husbands need to be celebrated! These days especially, when men are being denigrated in so many ways, good men need to be thanked and appreciated by those who appreciate them. Yes, a good man is hard to find, so when you find one you need to celebrate!

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week.

    By the way, you’re even more beautiful now than you were as a young bride! Just sayin’.

    • Hey Richella, I do believe in celebrating the men, and celebrating the good. Thanks for the feature, and thanks for stopping by, it’s always a pleasure to have you!

  3. What I love about this most is your honesty about how it all started, the challenges you faced along the way and how you and your Prince Charming have come out on the other side. We need more people who are willing, to be honest about marriage. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on 24 years. Many more to you and yours.

    • Hey Yvonne, for so long thoughts of our beginning were so painful that I couldn’t discuss it. I thank God for the work of healing He has done in my heart. Thanks for stopping by. Good to see you again.

  4. Hi Tiffiney, love the openness about the struggles you two have encountered and the faithfulness of God in yours. May the two of you enjoy many more years together.

    • Thank you so much for your well wishes, Wanda. I am truly grateful that you stopped by to read and comment. Blessings!

    • Thank you for reminding me of that, Ashley – that I would do it all over again. I love that truth! Let’s keep having coffee together. Lol!😉

  5. This was a great post!!! Thank you for your honesty and words. If was a beautiful truth. Even though I’m not married, it still spoke to me.

    • Well, praise the Lord, Dana! I’m so glad this was an encouragement to you, even in your singleness. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Absolutely beautiful, Tiffiney! Congratulations on 24 years with your Prince Charming! May God bless you with many more grace and love filled days ahead!

  7. What an absolutely BEAUTIFUL letter to you husband! Your story is truly a testimony of God’s faithfulness in your lives, and in the lives of your children! This inspires me to keep loving and appreciating my husband–through the think and thin! Blessings to you and your beautiful family!

    • HOT DANG, Christin! If this blog post has inspired you in any way keep on truckin’ for Jesus in your marriage and parenting journey, then it was worth posting. 🙂 Blessings to you, too, Dear Heart!

  8. I just love this Tiffiney! That must have been hard not to have your mom at your wedding. Oh, the ups and downs of marriage and of our emotions as well. I remember being a newlywed and driving home after work in my red Nissan Sentra without air-conditioning. I would pray for the light to turn green! Our husbands work hard don’t they? Your post made me think of how my husband was the first one to change the diapers. He was so good at changing diapers and wrapping the babies up perfectly in their blanket. Happy Anniversary!

    • Yes, it was really tough not having my mom there, Val. Sometimes, I really don’t know how I continued to put one foot in front of the other. But you are a hoot with your “praying for a green light” comment. And your husband was the first to change the diaper? Really? (Don’t say that too loudly. The other moms who read it will be livid!) 🙂

  9. A real Prince and Princess story. Keep loving each other and your beautiful family! We are proud of you always and forever🌈😍❤️🙏

    • Hello Rudnicks! I’m truly grateful for the knowledge and wisdom you both have deposited into my life. Where would this little girl be without the guidance of loving educators. 🙂

  10. AWESOME! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO PRINCE CHARMING AND HIS BRIDE. THE BLESSINGS OF THE LORD OVERTAKE YOU AND GIVE YOU 26+ MORE IN HEALTH, PEACE, PROSPERITY AND LAUGHTER GALORE
    THANK YOU FOR SHARING!

    • Hey Barbara, thank you so much for your blessing over us. And thank you for being a part of our lives back at Triumphant. Those were good days.

  11. Happy anniversary! You are a beautiful couple. My husband and I have the same anniversary date you do. We’ve been married 19 years but together for just over 24. May God bless you with many more wonderful years!

    • Hey Heather, how awesome that we have the same anniversary! Congratulations to you and your husband! I am wishing you many more.

  12. What a testimony of God’s work in your marriage! Happy Anniversary to you and may the Lord continue to bless your journey together. You and Mr. Holmes and your family are such a wonderful example of what a God filled marriage looks like!

    Loving the pics!!

    • Hi Diane! I appreciate your encouragement, well wishes, and blessing. Thank you so much for stopping by to read and comment. 🙂

  13. I love celebrating marriage! So often we spend time talking about or hearing about divorce, and celebrating marriage feels like it gets swept under the rug.

    What a blessing to see a couple so committed to God and their journey together! Happy Anniversary!

    (my hubby and I just celebrated 20 years of marriage!)

    • I couldn’t agree more, Brenda! God amazes me all the time and I stand in awe at his grace and work in my life.

  14. Breath taking!
    And I’m so glad to know that in spite of a rough start ( a beginning that has doomed many a marriage!) you guys have done more than just “hang in there!” I honor your commitment to God, to your family, and to one another!

    • Michelle, I’m truly amazed at how our great and glorious God always causes us to triumph in Christ Jesus. Thanks for stopping by. I always love when you visit!

  15. What a beautiful letter to your hubby! I think most couples who have been married as long as you have had their share of ups and down in their relationship. My hubs and I certainly have, and we will celebrate 40 years this summer! Your love for each other comes through. Thanks for sharing.

    • Wow! 40 years, Laurie?! How awesome! Congrats to you, dear sister. I’m looking forward to reaching your milestone. 🙂

  16. Oh, you are gorgeous Tiffiney … and your love for each other sparkles and shines. Thanks for sharing a bit of a family photo album. Oh so sweet and romantic …

    ;-}

    • Hey Linda, one of the things that I love most about this website is sharing our family photos. I’m such a mom. LOL! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by to share in our joy!

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