My husband, Gary, and I will have been married 50 years this month. So we should have learned a few things about handling conflict. One thing I know, is that 5 months before my marriage, I had no idea. I wrote this paragraph in January of 1970.
Where will God lead me? Us? It's curious and hard to trust completely. Gary is stronger than I, I think, and he doesn't worry. Sometimes I wonder what's ahead. It's exciting being a Christian, and giving Jesus your life. I've given Gary my life, too, or will be in June. That's why we need to be Christians, so we can be one, and there won't be conflicts, I guess. Two will go two ways - mentally as well as physically. One can only go one way.
Oh, how naive I was! I came to the realization rather abruptly in the months following our marriage that Christians are not immune to conflict. We were no longer 400 miles apart, and we argued about everything. We didn't know anything about conflict resolution. But somehow, we made it 50 years. Both of us valued the vows we had made, till death do us part, and we believed in commitment. We loved each other and our Lord. We weathered the conflicts.
And we continue to do so. Stay-at-home orders are not always a picnic with those you love. But we rejoice that God has given us so many years together, three wonderful children, a daughter-in-law, and 7 grandchildren to broaden our love, and adventures too numerous to count. So we still weather the conflicts.
This picture was taken at Christmas before our wedding in June. The man to my right is my brother and his son is on Gary's lap. That little boy was our ring bearer in our wedding.
The same weekend I wrote the paragraph on conflicts, I also wrote this poem:
Oh to be in your arms again!
Sweet heaven again.
It's been so long I've been away.
Tell me that you love me, love me, love me,
And I will stay.
Surely, I've never loved before -
This is, oh, much more.
Hold me, hold me, hold me,
And I'll not leave again.
Of course, I did have to leave. We both had our spring semesters of college to complete before June. But Gary had track to keep him busy, and I had wedding plans and preparations.
Susan Lawrence taught elementary school for 33 years before hanging up her chalkboard to write and speak. She writes novels for both adults and middle grade children. Susan lives in Iowa with her husband and short-legged Lab, Molly. She has 3 children and 7 grandchildren who love to hear her stories.