"Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one's house for love, it would be utterly scorned." Song of Solomon 8:7
Today Michael and I celebrate our 21 year wedding anniversary.
21 years. Wow. How time really does fly.
There is a lot to reflect on today. So much that I have learned about the awesome man that I am married to, and about myself. This will be a lengthy post, it is just a glimpse of our testimony. Some may be shocked at our beginning. What I would say to that is we serve an Awesome God. He can use anyone's life to glorify HIM.
As of right now, we are trying our best to raise six children, pay a mortgage and serve our Lord. 23 years ago, our lives were so much different. So I want to be real with you. I want you to understand how far the Lord has taken us, and how much further we have to go. We are not perfect, nor claim to be. I felt the need to share because this is OUR love story. This is the first several chapters of the story that God is writing with our lives.
I met Michael in February of 1990. I was 14 years old, a month away from turning 15. My cousin, Stacie, cheered for Sprayberry. North Cobb was playing Sprayberry at North Cobb this particulary weekend (in basketball) and her friend, David, was having a party that night. Stacie invited my friend and I to come by the party after the game. I really do not remember going to the game, all I remember is meeting THE Michael Hill at this party. See, Michael and I had a mutual friend. I had heard all kinds of stories about Michael. Crazy stories. He liked to party, get in fights and was just wild. He was a "legend" in his own right. This particular night he had a little too much to drink. He complimented me from head to toe. My hair (you know, the big teased bangs haha), my white sweater with the back cut out and my light washed ZCavaricchis with my white leather ankle boots. He was a HUGE flirt. I completley fell for him. Needless to say , I will never forget the first night I met him.
I didn't see him again for about six months. I was working at Mountasia, with another mutual friend of ours. He came walking in one day with a bunch of his friends. We exchanged phone numbers and talked off and on. He came over for dinner a couple of times. Little did I know he still had a girl friend who was crazy, I might add. One time he was over for dinner and his friend Scott called him at my house (before cell phones of course) to tell him that she was looking for him. The story I was told was that his brother Ricky had a flat tire and was stranded on the side of the road and he had to go get him. We still laugh about it to this day.
He broke my heart twice. I was crazy about Michael Hill. But after getting your heart broken by this wild boy I wasn't going to fall for it a third time.
A year past, we went our seperate ways. I had heard through the grapevine that a bouncer had gotten the best of Mikey at Green's. Needless to say he was sticking up for his friend, Scott, and they (5 of them) took it out on Michael. He suffered a broken nose and cheek bone. He was not able to work for several months and suffered from daily nose bleeds. During this time he started calling me again. We would talk off and on, but like I said, I wasn't going to fall for it this time. My guard was up. One day while he was out with David, they were driving down Barrett parkway and passed Mountasia. The story is Michael told David as they were passing Mountasia 'There is the one that got away" and David looked at him and "Well, Let's go get her". He turned the car around and came to Mountasia, and guess what, I was working that night!! He walked through the door and I had never been so happy to see someone in my life. We really started talking again and hanging out. Movies, dinner, parties. We were always together. We decided to only see each other. We did a lot of soul searching and confessing our true feelings. I had found my soul mate. He was the one that I knew I was going to spend the rest of my life with. He had a wonderful family that showed so much love to me. I loved being around them. I just felt like I belonged.
December 14, 1991 Michael asked me to marry him. He was 19 and I was 16. We had talked about it for a while. I thought was to have a long engagement and get married once I was 18 and had graduated high school. We had picked out a ring and he put it on layway and was making payements on it. He had told me that they messed my ring up when they were sizing it, so I would have to wait to get it. Little did I know he had actually gotten off layway, took it by my parents house and had asked their permission to ask me. My daddy told him "Mickey, I just want her to finish high school first". So that night he picked me up from work and we went to dinner with some friends of ours at Cherokee Cattle Company and then went to the square to see the Christmas carolers and decorations. I have always loved the Marietta square. My grandparents met on the square and so did his parents. We were walking around and we got to the small gazebo and he got on one knee and asked me to marry him. One of the happiest days of my life. I was a junior in high school, but I knew I wanted the rest of my life to be with him.
We had plans to get married on August 15, 1993. That would be the August after I graduated. Michael had a great job at Atlanta Beverage Company (the budweiser distributor and had awesome insurance) I was hoping to go to KSU. Our plans took a detour. Eight months after we got engaged I found out I was pregnant. I was scared to death. I was 17, Michael was 20. He was happy and scared all at the same time. We were going to have to fast forward our plans and grow up real quick! The problem was it was right before my senior year and some one had to tell my daddy!! Michael was the one to do it. He told him. Daddy said "Mickey, I don't think I am going to like this!" He didn't talk to us for two weeks. With the odds against us, we set out to the challenge. We set the date of September 19, 1992. We paid for the wedding ourselves. I wanted a church wedding and I wanted it to be perfect. Mike will tell you that I was a little bit of a bridezilla during that time. (t might of been the pregnancy hormones). I wanted to make sure that I had the wedding that I had dreamed of, and pictures for my children. I was determined I was not going to be a statistic! We loved each other, it wasn't like I had gotten pregnant by some guy I barely knew. We had plans for the future! They were just changing a little, okay a lot!!
My OBGYN signed off for me to have hospital home bound with school, so I was able to take my classes at home and I had enough credits to graduate the first semester of my senior year. I held off and walked through with my class June 1993 for my parents.
That was are beginning. Six month later Devyn was born, this is her story http://www.blesdw6.blogspot.com/2009/02/blues.html That was a VERY challenging time.
It seems that the odds have always been against us. I was not saved during this season in our marriage. Michael was saved at 11, but didn't start living it until after Devyn was born. You know, God doesn't give up on us. I look back and see that He has been here with me the whole time. I was too blind to realize it and much to selfish. Four years into our marriage we had some very rough times. I was 21 and restless. It was a very dark time in our marriage for about a year. WE made it through, but with God's help. You see, you both have to want to work at it, it can't be a one way street. You have to put self aside. You have to want to do what is best for the two of you and not just you. You have to let go and let God work.
You see, when the odds look like they are against you. You have to remember, with God, there are no odds.
So today I celebrate 21 years with my best friend and the love of my life. I can not imagine going on this journey with out him. He is my rock. He is the one person that I can count on. He is honest with me, makes me laugh, he can make me cry. He has loved me when I was unlovable. He has seen me at my worst and at my best. He is my partner through this life. The one God made just for me. He is the father to my children, and I could not asked for anyone better to be the one to share in raising them.
23 years ago we never dreamed we would be the parents of six incredible kids. We have been blessed, not just with the kids, but with so many other things as well. Words can not express the love that I have for my husband, and our "little family". Words of advice if I can share. Never give up, humble yourself, try to see your spouse as God sees them, love God and learn to love yourself.
"And you'll say
Don't you worry your pretty little mind
People throw rocks at things that shine
And life makes love look hard
The stakes are high, the water's rough
But this love is ours" _ Taylor Swift, This Love is Ours.