A few months into our marriage someone said to us, “We’ll see if you even make it to five years.”

I could feel the venom from their words piercing my heart.

Did people really think that? Did they truly believe our covenant meant nothing? Do they not see how in love we are?

And then, the first year happened.

The one where we were learning how to live together, a man and a woman, young, equally strong-willed, with completely opposite personalities.

It was hard. So hard.

I would often think back to those words.

Will we make it? We’re so different. Will he truly want to walk with me forever?

I feared our differences would create a chasm in our love. That our hearts would go in opposite directions. That eventually, the newness of it all would wear off to find two young kids probably in over their heads.

Yet, something amazing happened every time we chose to keep our covenant. As we said, “I do” every day, the harshness of our differences faded away. What once pulled us apart strengthened our intimacy.

Instead of fighting, my weaknesses complemented his strengths, and his weaknesses complemented mine.

We started to fit together like two puzzles, each piece of us adding to the vision of our oneness.

Three years in, we hit our lowest spot.

My bags were packed to go home and figure things out. Away from him.

As I was about to walk out the door, we stopped, fell on the floor and cried. We were so broken. We had hurt each other so deeply.

And I wondered—

Can any good come out of this? Will this be our forever?

I wanted to run away, but I couldn’t. The covenant we made bound us to each other, even when it was hard to love.

I never walked out the door. I put my bags away. And we chose forgiveness, mercy, grace, trust, and love everyday.

We sought to serve. We pushed away the world. We reignited our passion. We spoke words of love every chance we had. We fell deeper in love.

A bond forming in our oneness having been forged by fire, stronger than ever before.

We made it to five years and remembered, kissing as we recounted the venomous words. Praising God for His faithful hand guiding the best, worst, and all the days in-between of our life together.

That was two years ago.
Here we are celebrating seven years.

Relatively young in our marriage, beyond the honeymoon, but not yet a decade, sitting on the edge of our thirties. We aren’t the kids who married young, yet our heads aren’t glittered with the gray hairs of wisdom from years of walking together.

We’ve already lived a lot of life together, but there is still so much to live.

Our differences are still there, bringing a bit of spice to our steady days. We’re settled now, years into our roles as husband and wife, dad and mom. Our family is complete. Our life is mundane, yet chaotic. Our bed is full of little bodies. Our mornings are early. Our conversations interrupted.

In the midst of it all, there is a passion in our eyes, a yearning in our hearts, a joy in our union.


We’ve chosen our covenant over convenience.
We’ve chosen our covenant over comfort.
We’ve chosen our covenant over complacency.

It’s been our choice to continue walking hand-in-hand. It’s been our choice to choose love and forgiveness over ease and walking away. It’s been our choice to fight hard for our oneness. It’s been our choice to thrive in the midst of a season of survival. It’s been our choice to find intimacy in the little ways. It’s been our choice to honor the vows we spoke day after day after day.

It’s been our choice and it will always be our choice.

We made it.
We made it past the first year.
We made it past our deepest hurts.
We made it past five years.
We’re making it beyond.
We will continue to make it.

Choosing our covenant every day.

This article was originally published on Choosing Freelen


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Arianna Freelen

Arianna is the wife of a rugged man and a mom of three little princesses. She is a photographer, professional furniture re-arranger, purger of all the things, Celine Dion karaoke queen, and Vanilla Dr. Pepper drinker. She loves to write about her Savior, her role as a wife and mother, and finds fulfillment with her arms full of those she loves most. You can learn more about her life at www.choosingfreelen.com and @choosingfreelen.