Once upon a time, in a land far away, there was a boy named Rich. He was a lonely boy, who prayed for a friend. One day he was roaming town and met a girl, Khadijah, who was trying to figure her path in life. While walking she ran into Rich. The rest is history.

If only their story was that simple. Instead, it is filled with twists and turns; highs and lows; lessons and blessings. As, they celebrate 20 years of marriage today, it is interesting to look back and see how far they have come. To see that in-spite of the obstacles they have had to overcome, they can still laugh. They are able to hope and share fairy tale dreams.

We all love the once upon a time, fairy tale stories; however, that is not the reality for most marriages. Marriages require work. And not that half-assed kinda work to just get by but that nitty-gritty, intentional work. Some days it is a push, others it is a pull but every day it is a choice. You choose what you put in and accept what comes back. One of the greatest contributions a person can make to their marriage, is a commitment to loving their own self — first. To be willing to grow spiritually and emotionally so they can love and experience their partner fully. In learning to love one’s self there are bumps and you get bruised but you get better, you love deeper, and you are free-er.

20 years has given Rich and Khadijah the time to learn this and so much more. Here’s to even more. Here’s to greater. Here’s to LOVE.

Happy UNION-day Rich and Khadijah.