On Tuesday, my husband and I celebrated 19 years of marriage. To some that may seem like so few years and to others a lifetime. To me it is a picture of pure grace, I do not deserve what I have been given. When I look at the photographs from that day, I am transported right back. It was the perfect fall day and our family and friends were seated in the pews. It was a big day and I wanted a big entrance. The aisle seemed a mile long, but I knew who waited at the end. Truth be told, I knew you were suppose to feel beautiful on your wedding day, but I did not. Nothing seemed right with my appearance, but that was a normal feeling. Never quite right, but close. However, that faded away when I saw how he looked at me. Jesus has had the same affect on my heart too.
When I finally made my way to the platform, everyone else disappeared. We exchanged vows, promises to each other and to God. When we said the “richer or poorer” part, I actually laughed. We were on Young Life staff and I thought we would always be financially lacking. Sometimes this was true and sometimes it was not. Either way, I am loved and have seen the Lord be faithful.
We celebrated with a great meal and the best cake I have ever eaten. We danced and I tried to keep the look of shock from my face with the DJ’s song choices. Why was “Strawberry Wine” played when I danced with my dad??? I was thankful when the last song played, which the DJ dedicated to his daughter. We left in a golf cart and checked into the hotel. People thought we were dressed up for Halloween. It made us laugh and added another fun memory to our day.
We spent a week in Hawaii, in a suite that was huge! It was actually bigger than the house we would share on our return. The honeymoon ended and years have come and gone. Real life sets in and for that I am thankful. I do better with real.
Neither one of us could have known what all these years would hold and how we would change. I started off as a girl who was insecure and selfish, full of pride and lacking in humility. He, well, he has remained steady, humble, a servant and kind. He has no need to boast and lives planted in the knowledge that he is loved by God. It took me quite awhile to catch up. The biggest change I have seen in him is the color of his hair. Me and kids can have a greying effect.
Looking back through these years, we have known joy and loss. My mom, some grandparents and two babies have died. However, we trust that the Lord is faithful and loves us even when loss does not feel loving. The Lord has also given us more than we could have imagined. When I look around our table, I am astonished and full of gratitude. What we have been entrusted with is much and I will spend my days not taking this lightly.
I pray that I do not waste time on the things that do not matter. I pray my words are rooted in love and encourage, not tear down as they often have. I pray our children know we as parents love each other and them, from hearts that believe they are loved and forgiven by God. Knowing this in my heart and head makes all the difference. If you do not yet know this, your family and everyone around you suffers. I know this to be true. Just think, you could be the most loving person around the Thanksgiving table or the Christmas tree this year if you will only believe and accept the gift of Jesus! Why not today?
May the Lord continue to draw us close and equip us to point our children straight to Him.
“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven – for she loved much. Be he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Luke 7:47