From today's Facebook post...
Before he became The Hubs, and I, his well-meaning wife, there was this moment...
Thirty-six years ago yesterday - and exhausted for reasons I'll not innumerate today - we stood rehearsing for the celebration of a covenant for which there is no adequate rehearsal. But pushing through while tired and stressed - and totally clueless to what the future held - was probably an accurate foreshadow of the gritty faith it would take to travel the years together.
We knew even then that the marriage out-ranked the wedding day. A single day of pretty does not a life make.
Instead, the honeymoon leads to each day’s decision to love, to celebrate joys and victories, and to bear with each other’s flaws, sinfulness, and selfishness. To forgive seventy times seven... times seven... times seven. To hold hands no matter what, and to persevere when life grinds at the frayed edges of hope. To pray for one another even when faith falters and the season feels cruel. And, for us, to savor the moments after each child's wedding and the birth of every grandchild - not only in gratitude - but in sober reverence, knowing full well how many times we could have given up on each other and missed sharing these joys together.
The pledge we made so many years ago - for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, faithful to one another always - remind me of God's promise to those He calls His own, a promise I have clung to time and time again, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5) He's kept that promise.
But what of our promises?
To have endured this long, you may think we've been lucky, perfectly compatible, or amazingly determined, but that is so far from true. We all have a story, and this ours: we know without a doubt that it was, and is, God's unwavering faithfulness to us, His endless grace, and the power of His Spirit in our lives that has enabled us to keep those vows. The only thing we determined was to follow Him, and sometimes that looked anything but pretty.
So on this, our anniversary, we will celebrate our 36 years. We will reflect, be thankful, grab hands yet again, choose to keep following. And since, for us, a perfect date day always leads to a coffee shop, that's where we'll start. To us! Cheers!
Thank you, Jesus, for thirty-six years!