It’s national women’s day today. We did not know when we picked a wedding date, whose only qualification was to match our spring break, that we picked National women’s day.

I, personally, find it fitting. It’s not often talked about, accepted, or PC to talk about the way a husband supports and maintains a strong woman. There are so many examples of how abusive men hold women down, push women down, and try to strip us of our strength.

But that isn’t the whole story. Those negative examples do exist, but so do the positives. There are men in relationships with women who support them and build them up. Men who compound our inner strength by combining it with their own. Some men know a strong man does not need a weak woman to ‘balance’ them. They know two strong partners make a partnership stronger.

Today marks 13 years since Bycemaster and I began the process of learning how to pour our strength together. It took many years from the day we walked down the aisle promising to love each other through sickness and health, richer or poorer, and all of the in-between, to even begin to figure out how to be strong together. I am also certain we’ve more to learn.

We started deep in the poorer, two college students making no money and have travelled to the bills get paid and there’s some savings! We’ve had many years of health and are now walking through a season of sickness. There are some serious health concerns going on with Bycemaster’s family of origin right now. Things I don’t feel are my place to share here (but we’d still love prayer!)

But the sickness is also within our own family. It started last Saturday with what we now believe was a massive panic attack. It unfortunately did not stop there. Bycemaster has continued to have weakness and shaking as well as continuing attacks almost everyday, many days more than one. He is moving forward, but it’s been a 2 steps forward 1 step back kind of dance, and treatment feels slow to take affect.

It’s been debilitating to watch, I can only imagine what’s its been to experience. Life has been slower since. Most everything outside our home has been cut. There’s been lots of sitting, lots of holding hands, lots of breathing together as we wait for the anxiety to lesson and his heart rate to drop back down.

These past few years especially, as we’ve walked this adoption road (more than 2 years since we started researching agencies) I’ve rested on, relied on and channeled his strength for my own. Through my identity crisis leaving the office to come home and our homeschooling transition (and continuing journey!) I’ve relied on him to hold up my arms when I could not go on. I would often hear top executives at work talk about how they never could do it without their wives there to support them. To be honest, it felt like lip service at the time. But I’ve felt it in action. I know, my greater strength comes not from me, but from us. As I’ve watched him ‘down’ this past week I almost didn’t remember how to go on, on my own.

I know I’m never truly alone. I know God is always there for me. Even know He’s given me little reminders lest I forget. I also believe he’s given me this partnership. Functioning without it’s strength has been a stumbling, draining process, but it is one I feel honored to do.

This man has been my rock through so many break downs, family drama, work insecurities, baby struggles and a whole host of anxious thoughts. He’s been there for me to lean on and cry on. He’s prayed for me and leant me his strength so I could go on. There’s been relatively little in comparison where the roles have been reversed. So even though it has been so hard to see him ‘down,’ and even though it’s been hard to single parent and take care of him for the last 11 days. Even though I’ve had my own moments of breakdown and fear, I am honored to be able to lend him my strength as we lean on God together.

We promised lots of things on this day 13 years ago. Things neither of us knew much about. Life has a way of teaching, if you let it. It has imparted much wisdom and much love.

I would marry him again in a regular or racing heartbeat. Here’s to lucky 13!

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