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Unlikely Valentines | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

Unlikely Valentines

Twenty years ago, I married my total opposite. I suspect there were bets on how long our marriage would last.       

How were we incompatible? Let me count the ways:      

  • I was a mouthy Scot-Irish harridan; he was a quiet German worker.
  • I was raised a wandering Protestant but was so angry at God I wouldn’t argue with Him; he was a cradle Catholic.
  • I was the product of divorce; he had parents who loved each other.
  • I loved classical music; he was a rocking blues guitar player.

Our priest insisted we have 10 1-hour 1:1 pre-marital counseling sessions to build a strong foundation. At the end of the 10 weeks, the priest said, “You’ll help each other grow. Mary, you’ll say whatever you think and will venture where angels fear to tread. Richard, you see God in silence and contemplation.”       

Photo courtesy of Michael Gray Photography

We had no idea what we would face together:      

  • The loss of a baby.
  • Fertility issues and a high risk pregnancy that sent me to St. Louis for treatments and the birth of our son.
  • A home and business fire, a year after we started our business.

With every challenge, we grabbed our shovels and dug our way out together. We celebrated great times too:      

  • The birth of our children.
  • My children and I survived their child births against tremendous odds, thanks to modern medicine and the hand of God.
  • My husband’s steadiness gradually wore down my anger so I could first argue with and then listen to God.
  • The Sunday morning after our fire, we were on our knees together in church, wearing borrowed clothes and praying, begging God to help us.  Our family and business are still here 10 years later.

What helped 2 opposites who attracted stick together long-term? A Marriage Encounter weekend 15 years ago helped. Also, we’re still at church every Sunday.  Each time we kneel together, I remember that terrible Sunday 10 years ago after the fire and thank God He’s providing for us.      

No matter what happens, we’ll work our way out of it together.      

For a girl from an unstable childhood, choosing a good guy husband was the road less travelled. And that made all the difference. I got the happy ending.      

Thanks, Richard.  

(Thanks to Michael Gray Photography for letting me use this photo here and being there way back when.)

3 Responses to “Unlikely Valentines”

  1. Ryan Deeds February 14, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    Great post Mary,
    it reminded me to make sure I tell my wife how much she means to me. its cool seeing people in love and its cool that their are couples that can overcome hardship together. I appreciate your post. thanks a bunch.

  2. nibbyp February 14, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    “We wonder, with so many miraculous testimonies around us, how we could escape God. But somehow we do. We live in an art gallery of divine creativity and yet are content to gaze only at the carpet.” Max Lucado

    Sometimes when we are caring about God in or life the least, He is working the most! So happy you found Richard!

    Great blog as usual Mary. You blow me away with your diversity and creativity. Keep them coming “Computer Coach!”

  3. Dave Holland February 14, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    To both of you let me say this, we know. We have learned to lean on God and everything else will fall into place or fall off. We love you guys and miss you much. We always make it a point to see you whenever we’re in town. We too have survived loss of jobs, homes, vehicles and children (two moved in with their mother after ten years with me). In all of that we kept sticking with God and it made us stronger. Sometimes even the fights are stronger but they cannot outlast, outdo or out-sustain our love. Thank you for a wonderful post!


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