Chad and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary on Sunday- woot woot! In honor of this momentous occasion (and because we’ve worked our booties off to get here), I asked Chad to share his perspective on our first 6 years of marriage with you.
If you are still waiting to marry or are widowed, or no matter what state your own marriage is in- I pray Chad’s testimony will encourage you to make your life a wonderful one. We are not asking you to ignore or minimize whatever pain or suffering you may encounter, but to walk through all of it with hope- allowing God and those around you to help you turn things around, making something wonderful from it over time.
Our marriage will never be perfect, but we are making it into a wonderful one…
When I reflect back on the last 6 years of marriage with Tracy, I must begin with our first date and where “our magic” started: on a group date at The Yardhouse restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona. For the record, I caught Tracy staring at me numerous times, and I’m fairly certain there was a wink directed my way!
I think that most of our friends envisioned our season of dating as something resembling Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis’ romance from Top Gun. After marrying and moving to Tucson, the same folks probably envisioned me living the life of a pilot flying all over the world (with occasional volleyball tournaments and stare downs with Iceman), and Tracy as a contented housewife- keeping things going on the home front with style and grace.
our life as newlyweds was not the sequel to Top Gun. Staying home was a challenge for Tracy. 3 months after our wedding day, Tracy also became pregnant, I deployed, and the rest is some crazy history.
Our 6 years together have included: 4 moves, 4 cars, 2 children, and vacations across the US and 4 foreign countries. We have also experienced or are experiencing the grief of losing a parent, shattered dreams, illness, and 1 deployment. I cannot imagine doing all of that with anyone else besides Tracy. She is NOT the Kelly McGillis “Charlie” character from Top Gun, and I’m no Maverick. (In fact, my aircraft goes about 1,000 knots per hour slower than Maverick’s plane.)
Rather, Tracy is my Mary Bailey.
Choosing to make a Wonderful Life
I see our marriage and family as a modern Bailey family from It’s a Wonderful Life. To be clear, neither one of us has had a George Bailey-esque meltdown that has led us to reevaluate our existence. Rather, we have built a home up from scratch, adjusted to the curveballs that life has thrown to us, and well… we laugh a lot (and usually at Tracy and her attempts at Pinterest perfection).
Although we do not have a Bedford Falls that we call home (yet, that is…), we hope to make a difference in our community and world. I am so proud of Tracy for her devotion to our family and to ministry, and the fact that she is happily transforming her ministry to one that is from within the home.
Even on the nights where I do not return home until 3 am (due to late-night training flights), or after a rough day with the kids, I still thank God allowing for me to kiss them and tuck them into bed at night.
Just like George Bailey’s story, our marriage has its peaks and valleys. All of this to say… life happens. Life happens to everyone, and each of us with God’s help, can turn our lives into a wonderful one despite whatever happens.
Do you see yourself as living a mundane life, filled only with arguments and money issues (like George Bailey did in the beginning of the movie)? Or do you choose to see yourself as a part of God’s plan for the world- realizing the impact you have on those around you, rejoicing even though your mouth is bleeding (like George Bailey at the end of the movie)?
As for Tracy and I, we choose to have a Wonderful Life.
Despite the constant threat of deployments, the short notice moves, and the stresses of life, I could not be happier that my life is more akin to George Bailey than to Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell from the movie Top Gun. It is all a matter of perspective. As I reflect on these last 6 years with Tracy, it has (and continues to be) a Wonderful Life.
By the way, our daughter’s middle name is “Bailey.” Now you know why 🙂