If I Could Turn Back Time

My husband and I recently celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary which got me reminiscing. One memory that coming back to mind wasn’t necessarily pleasant, but for some reason kept intruding on my thoughts. Your wedding day should be a day of joy and anticipation, but there was one small shadow on my special day.

I was in the beauty shop getting my hair done and my veil put on. Happily chatting with my hair dresser, I was eagerly looking forward to the rest of the day – seeing Joel’s expression when he saw me come down the aisle, exchanging our vows, celebrating with our family and friends, and beginning our life together.

All of a sudden, this lady I didn’t know approached me, disapproval written on her face. She asked me how old I was, and I answered. I was nineteen which I know is a young bride, especially in today’s culture. As soon as she heard how young I was she started a long tirade. The salon got quiet as she laid into me about how I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, I needed to sow my wild oats, I was ruining my life. I sat in the chair staring at this woman saying nothing while my stylist attached my veil. She didn’t want me to say anything, she merely wanted to vent what she had probably been thinking since I walked in. When she finished, she walked out of the shop with her head held high as if she had accomplished her good deed for the day. The rest of the shop breathed a sigh of relief as the door closed behind her.

I’ll never see this lady again, I wouldn’t even recognize her now if I did, but I’ve been thinking about her a lot. She knew nothing about me, about Joel, or our relationship, but instead made a blanket judgement. Truth is, I’m guessing she was speaking from personal experience. She had probably gotten married young with stars in her eyes, expecting happily ever after, and it didn’t happen for her. But I’m not her.

Even at nineteen, I knew that marriage was work. I knew that the honeymoon would end, and life would begin. I didn’t expect Joel to be charming every single day, to never say something careless that would hurt my feelings, or to shower me with gifts and compliments, and I knew that I wasn’t going to be a Stepford wife either. I expected us to have struggles, but we’d been dating for nearly five years, and we’d already faced struggles. We got through them then, and I expected us to be able to get through them again. Even then, I went into marriage thinking that I was going to be with Joel the rest of my life. At nineteen, I knew I was an exception, not the rule. Should every nineteen year old get married? Probably not, but it was what God had for my life. Besides I was never a ‘wild oats’ kind of girl any way.

I wish I could talk to that lady again. I truly think she meant well, but she cast a shadow on what was otherwise a very lovely day. If I could turn back time and do one thing differently in my life, there are a lot of options I could choose from, but getting married when I did and to whom I did is not one of them. Joel’s not perfect, but then again, neither am I. With God’s help, we have a pretty good life together. I love my husband more deeply than that nineteen year old girl ever did. When I think about our future, I look forward to growing old with him. Maybe it’s not a perfect happily ever after, but it’s pretty close.

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