The power to choose.
By Katherine Huskey

When my husband and I first got married I imagined there would be this blissful season where we would just bask in our new marriage spending days just enjoying each other’s company. I suppose I’m referring to a honeymoon season, if you will. I could see it all in my head, slow mornings of drinking coffee together and nights full of cooking dinner, talking about our day and slow dancing in the kitchen.

I won’t’ say those things didn’t happen, because they did sometimes. But, so did the rest of life. Life didn’t stop just because we got married, life kept going and no amount of honeymoon-ness was going to change that. About a month after we were married, my mother who had been diagnosed with cancer began what became a two-year stint of off and on hospital stays and treatments.

A few months after that, our church disbanded and most of our community moved away, and a few months after that, my mother passed away.

Somewhere, in the midst of it all I felt like someone had stolen a precious season from me and my husband because of all the hard things we had to endure so soon after being married. I was angry and hurting and looking for answers or someone to blame.

Coming out of that season, I look back at everything my husband and I have walked through--every hard road, every sad moment and every difficult situation--and I see a strong foundation. I see the places where we laughed in the face of pain, I see the places where he picked me up off the floor and held me as long as I needed. I see the places we stood by each other when we couldn’t see the road ahead. I see two imperfect people making the most powerful choice two humans can make, the choice to choose someone else.

The truth is, marriage isn’t built just in the honeymoon moments, it’s not built just in the slow mornings drinking coffee or with slow dancing in the kitchen. Marriage is built in and out of the trenches. Marriage is built on the rollercoaster that life can be at times. Marriage is built when all hell is breaking loose and you’re both looking for a safe place in the midst of the storm. Marriage is built by making a choice, the choice of choosing the other person time and time and time again, that is what builds a marriage to be a strong and powerful refuge that you can run to in times of trouble.

The choice to choose one another in the face of adversity is the thing that baffles me every day of my life. At my uttermost worst, my husband has never batted an eye when choosing to stand by my side. He’s never thought twice when he’s held me as I’ve cried my hardest cries. He’s never once held my pain or hurt against me and told me to get over it. I’m not naive to believe this is everyone’s reality but for me when I think of this, I can’t help but see a glimpse of the love of Christ.

Christ chose us knowing everything that would happen, knowing everything we would do, and knowing every ugly moment we would face. He chose in the garden to walk out a sentence of death just for us. He chose us in the midst of His own pain and anguish, and He continues to choose us in the midst of ours. When I think of the power of what it means to choose someone, I simply can’t get over the scandal of it all. The wonder, the beauty.

You see it’s easy to choose when you feel happy and good and everything is going well in life. But when you’re tired, exhausted, hurting and broken, it becomes much less about feeling and much more about sacrifice. It becomes much more powerful to choose when life isn’t making it easy for you. Choosing to love when you don’t feel like it, choosing to share when you want to recluse, choosing to be vulnerable when you want to hide, choosing to jump in the mess when you want to run from it…here is where the foundation of marriage is built.

Marriage can’t save us from the hardships of life, but it certainly can be a shelter when the storm hits. Because of this I choose to keep choosing my husband every single day, come hell or high water, in sickness and in health, till death do us part because life happens, but the power to choose love is an everlasting foundation to build a refuge on.