Joanna Gaines Opens Up About 20-Year Marriage to Chip: 'Experienced a Little Bit of All of It'

There were times "when all I could think to do was lay face down on the floor in surrender," the Fixer Upper star writes candidly in the upcoming fall issue of Magnolia Journal

Joanna Gaines
Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty/SiriusXM

Joanna Gaines and Chip Gaines' nearly 20-year marriage has weathered its fair share of difficult times, she says.

The 44-year-old Fixer Upper star penned a personal essay for the new fall issue of Magnolia Journal (out Friday, Aug. 12), and opened up the obstacles she and Chip have overcome. (Magnolia Journal is published by PEOPLE's parent company Dotdash Meredith.)

"In our 20 years of marriage, Chip and I have experienced a little bit of all of it," Joanna writes. "Losing a loved one. Shifts in friendships. Bills we couldn't pay. Moments where our hearts were broken. Times when all hope felt lost and circumstances were out of our control. When all I could think to do was lay face down on the floor in surrender."

She adds that one of the "heartbreaking things" they're preparing to experience is sending their oldest son Drake, 18, to college.

The Fall issue of Magnolia Journal, available August 12, 2022
River Jordan/Magnolia Journal

"In the grand scheme of heartbreaking things, this one comes with a lot of gratitude and excitement. But still, my first child is moving away, and our family dynamic will change because of it, and that can feel like a loss of its own. I catch glimpses now of what that life will look like and wonder if—or how many times—that might bring me to the floor."

In June, Joanna and Chip — who are also parents to Ella Rose, 15, Duke, 14, Emmie Kay, 12, and Crew, 4 — celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary.

The Fall issue of Magnolia Journal, available August 12, 2022
River Jordan/Magnolia Journal

To commemorate the special day, Joanna posted a photo of the pair cozying up in a shiny black dining booth.

"19 years ❤️," she captioned the Instagram post. To close out the special sentiment, she added a hashtag that says, "I like you a lot."

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The pair are no strangers to swooning over one another. In last year's summer edition of The Magnolia Journal, released in May 2021, Chip penned a note about how he stays dedicated to being a good husband and loving father.

"When I look out across the whole landscape of my little corner of the world, there are plenty of places where I fall short," Chip wrote at the time. "I'm known to be easily distracted, for one thing. In general, me and time have this way of losing track of one another. And sometimes, I can let some of the commitments I've made slip through my hands."

RELATED VIDEO: Joanna Gaines Shares Video of Son Crew's Adorable Routine of Saying Goodnight to His Plants

"But there are other commitments—the big ones—that I hold on to with everything I've got. Honoring Jo, being a good dad, my faith, trying to do what's right even when it's not easy, building something that helps other people. Those are commitments I've made that I won't compromise. My nonnegotiables," the HGTV star continued. "No matter how much the details and circumstances of my life may change, and no matter what storms come my way, you watch: I'm going to get those right."

The fall issue of Magnolia Journal hits newsstands Friday, Aug. 12.

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