Monday, March 03, 2008

A Day To Remember.

Today is a day of remembering. I wish that I could say that all the memories that surround this day are pleasant. Some are wonderful and I will cherish them forever while others are still very painful.

Today marks 15 years of commitment to my husband and best friend. By the way just in case it needs clarifying this is the memory that I cherish. For those that have known us for the duration or even part of the duration you know that this journey has not always been easy. As a couple we have faced many obstacles (including but not limited to 8 years of infertility and 10 years of fighting for James' health). Of course there are the typical things that couples face...finances, in-laws, life with children (and sometimes without), grief, sex, hurt feelings, stress from jobs, or stress that occurs from staying at home full time and pretty much anything else that causes a relationship to become strained. Also if you know us well you know that God gave us both a stubborn streak a mile wide and a mile long. This can be very taxing on a couple and those around them. However with that stubborn streak comes a desire to never give up.

Because of our age people usually seem shocked when we tell them how long we've been married. The first thing that we usually like to clarify is that we did not "have to" get married. There was no rush- other than the fact that heart disease runs in James' family and if we want to celebrate 50 years then we were going to have to get a move on it. Actually we just knew that we wanted to spend our lives together and that it couldn't start soon enough. We knew each other about four years before we started dating and had become good friends while James was away on summer missions. When he came back and we decided to go on a date we had the advantage of knowing each other without the physical part getting in the way. I would like to believe that we were both easier to look at back then.

Looking back on the last 17 years I can see how much God had his hand on both of us. There is no doubt that God ordained our marriage and that his grace and mercy has covered us all these years. What started as two very young and immature kids that were focused on each other and what we wanted has turned into two young adults trying to focus on what God wants. We have not arrived but the focus has certainly shifted. I am so grateful for a God whose love and patience far exceeds our own.

I am overwhelmed that God would allow two broken people to come together and serve him. I am humbled that God has given me a helpmate that will stand beside me, that will comfort me, guide me, encourage me, help me, forgive me, trust me, and love me unconditionally. I am grateful for each and every day that God allows me to be a wife to my best friend.

With 15 years of marriage comes the reality that life gets in the way. As we remember pledging our commitment to one another our dear friend and sister in Christ is remembering the day that changed her live forever. Six months ago tonight we received the tragic news that our good friend Danny had died suddenly. As we celebrate... another family morns. This is not to say that we are not grieving the loss of Danny today. It is just not the same kind. We are looking forward to what the year holds for us as a couple while she is faced with another day that reminds her that her helpmate is gone. This day speaks to me more loudly than an other day. It tells me not to take one day with my man for granted. To forgive quickly and fuss about details less. To not waste time arguing and to spend more time listening. Loosing so many friends at such a young age that have left behind a spouse and children should cause us to not take one single second for granted. We just don't know how much time we have with the people that we love. Instead of planning out the next year of our life which is borrowed time we are trying to ask God each day what do you have for me today. If we focus on yesterday or we wait for tomorrow then we are only loosing precious time that we can never get back. It is humbling to know that a widow's only wish is to have one more chance to talk to her husband when so many times we pass up the opportunity to have so much more with our own spouse. We miss Danny, Eric, Miriam, and Granddad but we chose to live life more abundantly because God has used each of these precious lives to teach us not to take what time we have for granted.

I encourage those of us who God has blessed with one more day to not only treasure it but do something with it. Make a difference in the life of someone each day. So often we get busy doing life and forget that life is about impacting others for Christ. Weather it is your children, your spouse, or someone else that you love stop today and make sure that they know how much you love them. When you or one of them is gone it won't matter if the bed was made or if the dishes were done. All that will matter is the impact that we made in the life of those around us. Unfortunately many days the only impact that I make on my family compares to that of a tornado leaving behind chaos.

Because of His Grace


Reba said...

Happy anniversary. What a beautiful post with so many truths in it. I hope you were able to enjoy your weekend and just enjoy one another. I am praising God for being a God who carries us through those difficult times and refines us in the process...