Today I have been married to Tom Hartley for 35 years. My parents will be married for 60 years next year and we have some friends who just celebrated their 70th anniversary, so 35 years is a drop in the bucket compared to them. But you have to start somewhere . . .
It was pretty much love at first sight when Tom and I started dating. Our first date was to a football game (and we have been to hundreds of games since then) and after that we were a couple. We decided to get married after six weeks, but waited to be formally engaged. We got married six days after I graduated from college and I graduated a year early so we could get married earlier. When you are young you are in such a hurry to grow up.
After a short honeymoon we moved 400 miles away from all our friends and family to go to graduate school in Nashville. This time away taught us to rely on each other. We were poor graduate students, so it also taught us to rely on God. We learned to trust God for our future as God provided in the present, time and time again. We learned to be a team: the two of us and God. “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
We have had some tough times. Occasionally we still have tough days. But we have stuck together and I am glad we did. Tom is the only man I can imagine spending my life with. We know each other very well, but there are still surprises. Tom is funny and brilliant and I am constantly amazed by all the things he knows. Sometimes I wish he didn’t know so much! I am pleased that, after 35 years, we can trust each other and respect each other. We are both eager for new experiences and rejoice in being able to share them together.
So, Happy 35th Anniversary, Tom. You are still the love of my life. I’m glad we said “I do” because we still do! God was so good when he brought us together. Here’s to 35 more!