Who Knew When We Said “I do?”

My father-in-law used to shake his head and say with a bemused look on his face, “Who knew that someday…,” then he’d finish the sentence with something particular from that season of life. Honestly, it kind of irritated me.

Like, what did you expect?  Did you think you would always be 25?  Or, didn’t you know someday your kids would be grown and out of the house? That they’d have lives of their own, jobs to do and and people to love? How can anyone not see what’s coming?  This, I’d think in my young body and underdeveloped brain.

How can you say, “who knew?” as if older age crept up on cat haunches, under radar and unexpected. 

My husband and I just celebrated some…uh, hum..big number of years together. And at some point he commented with an echo from his dad, “Who knew when we said, ‘I do?’” That phrase has been sing-singing in my head ever since. 

Indeed, even of what we knew back then, today I know…we had no idea. Seriously. 

Who knew when we said “I do,” just the two of us at the table together, one day there would be more. Of course we sorta knew, but we didn’t quite see the green peas in our hair and mashed potatoes smeared across a high chair.

Perhaps we pictured sweet babies in their sleep, but not long nights of nerve wracking wails. Stacks of diapers. Swimming lessons. Preschool. Soccer. Homework. 

Tears and temper tantrums. Theirs and ours. 

Who knew when we said “I do,” belly laughs could make us so silly? Who could predict the amount of time and fear it would take to keep four children alive? Or comprehend “don’t blink” and that heavy on the lap would morph to heavy on the heart. That little issues grow bigger as children do.   

Who knew when we said “I do” the ever present diaper bag would be exchanged for backpacks filled with books and notes from teachers.  

Who could know someday toy cars and slung-across-the-room airplanes would be replaced by real cars and real airplanes. That play dates would become real dates. 

Who knew? I guess we did. But not really. Not quite.

Who knew when we said “I do” someday our quiver might include three son-in-laws and a daughter-in-law, that giving away means loving into? That our unit grows, it also multiplies. It shrinks, grows, and then explodes with more and more people to love. 

Who knew when we said “I do” that someday we would sit by our daughter’s hospital bed while rivers of sorrow flowed down our cheeks. That nothing would ever look quite the same again. And that Jesus would become infinitely more precious?

Which of our imaginations was vivid enough to see a tiny hand again reach to caress our cheeks and call us Gampa Gamma? That little arms would squeeze our necks and smudge our glasses. 

We knew. But we didn’t.

Who knew when we said “I do” that Someone would walk every step of the journey with us. Never leaving. Always faithful. 

We didn’t really know what we thought we did till we went through it. 

Who knew when we said “I do” that someday we would look back over 48 years and say, that time is a robber and time is a gifter.  

Who knew when we said “I do” what a treasure each day together would become, and how sweet is the sun each morning.  

“For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.” Psalm 103:14-16 NKJV

With each beat of our hearts, eternity draws nearer. Who knew when we said “I do” how sweet it is to know, there is Someone who knows.

33 Replies

  1. Lois S. Reply

    I love your take-away here. When we marry, we do not know as clearly as we think and hope we know. But God does. We could never have anticipated the twists and turns of our lives, but He not only anticipated, but wove them all into His master plan.
    I remember your wedding so clearly, and the beautiful words of “Accept one another as Christ accepted you” from the wedding sermon. That was living water to my parched soul. Thanks for writing!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      The thought that you remember our wedding is a lovely connection! Thank you for your encouragement! And you are right, twists and turns and there is a Master Plan!

  2. Don Pahl Reply

    Thank you, Sylvia.

    Paul’s passion was to “know him, and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings …” (Phil. 3:10) I chose that as my life verse, too long ago, when “to know him” was academic, cerebral.

    Indeed, “who knew…?!”

    Thanks again, Sylvia, for sharing your gift of poetic theology with us.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      I also have Phil. 3:10 “I want to know Him,” as my life verse. And it is definitely a life long quest. Thanks as always Don. I’m honored. I kind of love the thought of poetic theology. Now, is that really a Biblical thing????

  3. Rebecca Powell Reply

    Sylvia, thanks for your ongoing encouragement to walk one day at a time with our Lord, never knowing what each day holds but knowing the one who holds our days. “Life is worth the living just because He Lives.“ It’s so comforting to know He knows every detail of our past, present and future. God’s continued blessings, dear friend. ❤️

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Rebecca. You put it well, on day at a time. His paths, His time. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment!

  4. J.D. Wininger Reply

    He knew my friends; and He knows the future things coming your way also. God’s blessings.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      So grateful He does know what’s ahead, because on my own when I look there, I find far too much fear. Thankful He has my days covered. I always appreciate your thoughts J.D. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Annie Yorty Reply

    Such a beautiful encapsulation of the truths and emotions we experience as we progress through the years. It made me think back to some of my “who knew” moments. Thank you!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Annie. Wish we could sit down and I’d love to hear your “who knew” moments. I think the thought of God’s knowing is so comforting. Thank you for reading and I love hearing from you!

  6. Cleo J Waters Reply

    Your words ring true…. WHO KNEW???? Loved every word that you shared. Life is certainly filled.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Life is definitely filled! Thank you for your kindness in reading and letting me know you enjoyed it. It is such an encouragement to hear from you!

  7. Don Pahl Reply

    Regarding “Poetic Theology” … I think it was first employed by David, maybe even Job.

  8. Dyann Shepard Reply

    This fabulous sylvia!!
    Thank you, so well spoken and so relatable. Have a blessed day.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Dyann! So glad you enjoyed it. I hope you have a wonderful day!

  9. LaToya Coleman Reply

    That was beautiful indeed. Who knew?

  10. Janet Ruth Reply

    I really enjoyed this. I’ve been married over 30 years, so I can relate to some of the “who knew” moments you related, but not all of them. It is good to know that Someone already knew our future when we said “I do.”

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Janet. It is indeed a good thing Someone could see beyond all that love fog!! I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment!

  11. Yvonne Morgan Reply

    I love your perspective in this wonderful post. Now, you have me thinking about all my “who knew” and I am so happy that God was with us in all of them.

  12. Carl and Anne-Marie Johnson Reply

    Great post and so true….
    Congratulations on your ‘big number’ that you celebrated. We just had our 50th two days ago!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Congratulations!! So fun to hear from you guys!! Happy Anniversary!

  13. Katherine Pasour Reply

    What a beautiful message of love and faith, Sylvia! “Who knew…?” Oh, there’s so much we didn’t know when we said, “I do.” But, one think is for sure–God’s love never fails. You have such a beautiful family–what a blessing.

    • sylvia schroeder Reply

      Thanks so much Katherine. I’m so glad God ‘s love never fails!

  14. Joanna Eccles Reply

    So thankful for all the ways that God has blessed your family.

  15. Nancy E. Head Reply

    Who knew that someday you would encourage us so well? We know the God who does! Thanks, Sylvia. God bless!

  16. Jennifer Reply

    Beautiful. I can’t imagine marriage without the help of God. He has shown up in so many wonderful ways. You have a beautiful family.

    • sylvia schroeder Reply

      Definitely! So grateful for His hand in the good and the not so much! Thanks for weighing in, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  17. Jeannie Waters Reply

    Sylvia, I smiled so much reading your humorous statements and remembering earlier times in our family. What joys and what sorrows. Thank you for the precious reminder that our Savior knows and walks with us.

  18. sylvia schroeder Reply

    The memories do come don’t they!! Glad you enjoyed it! The Savior knows and walks with us. Yes. Thank you Jeannie!