Last night my husband left the house with all three of our children in tow. He knew that today is the day my blog is posted and it’s hard for me to focus on writing when I’m hiding from my children, trying to write. Yes there’s something sacred in a little “me” time, but there’s something very unholy about blogging for the Lord, while shouting “CAN YOU NOT LEAVE ME ALONE FOR ONE MOMENT?! WHERE IS YOUR DAD?!!”
No sooner than the garage door closed signaling their departure, I decided to do what any tired woman with a few extra moments does…I turned on my favorite romantic comedy.
Our wedding video.
Now, it’s not the original version that I watched last night. We’ve been married long enough to need the “digitally remastered” version. Our original wedding video was VHS.
We no longer own a VCR so after some rummaging, I found and popped in the dvd of our wedding. The dvd copy was a Christmas gift one year. No sooner than the music started on the disk, I began to cry. Everything about life was so different back then.
Our wedding was a humble affair. I wore flip-flops with my wedding gown, and my husband wore no shoes at all for the ceremony. On our way home that night he wore sneakers with his borrowed tuxedo and I wore my great-grandma’s mink coat (with flip flops) because I didn’t think to bring a coat for our wedding night. Teenagers *sigh*
There was no elaborate ceremony or reception for us. We were married in the livingroom at my aunts house, surrounded by our closest friends and family. There was no DJ playing music, there was just a cd I made, by downloading music illegally from Napster.(I didn’t know it was illegal at the time!) We didn’t have a limousine to whisk us away, instead we had a relative drive us to the hotel in our dirty 1989 Chevy Celebrity. We were so young at the time, my husband didn’t even have a drivers license yet. (Legally, he could have, but he didn’t…but that’s a story for another time.) There was no honeymoon destination calling our names just a room at a local hotel, paid for so generously by my cousins. We spent our first day of marriage on the back deck of my grandparents house opening our wedding gifts. We didn’t even serve a meal at our wedding. We celebrated our new life together by sharing a beautiful cake my aunt made, and toasting our love with some sparkling cider.
We were two teenagers in love back then, and in that moment we required absolutely nothing more. All I wanted was his last name, and his heart forever and ever. The details of how that happened, didn’t matter to me.
All these years later I can honestly say, marriage has been absolutely nothing like I imagined it would be.
I popped in our wedding video last night, because I wanted to go back and be reminded of what we promised to one another. I know I said my vows, and he said his too, but it’s been so long since that beautiful day, I wanted to listen again, to all we promised one another.
I’ve thought so many times lately, that there were so many vows I never planned we’d have to keep. I mean, sure, we promised, we VOWED-before everyone present and the Lord, but how many of us expect to actually have to keep those vows? We’re different than everyone else right? We’re madly in love and nothing difficult/bad/exhausting/traumatizing/stressful will ever come our way. Our love is a shield over our lives. Our blissful hedge of protection right?
I sat down and listened intently as our wedding video played before me. I rewound the DVD and listened over and over again, taking in every word multiple times. I wanted to hear again for myself, and realllllly take in what exactly we promised to each other so many years ago.
When I stood there promising my husband to love him and honor him in sickness and in health, I never planned that one of us would be sick. I mean sure, there’s the common cold, or a stomach bug. And sure husband of mine, I’d be happy to put vapor rub on your chest and bring you a cough drop every once in a while, but a woman can only care for a man-cold so long before she cracks, am I right? My beloved sweetheart has himself a tummy bug?! Sure thing! Your precious little Mrs. can definitely hand over a giant bowl if you need to throw up (quietly in another room, far away from where I can hear you) or bring you another roll of toilet paper and throw it at you from a reasonable distance (while holding my breath) but I had no idea the depth of the vow we’d have to keep. Honestly my love, I planned for health, I never planned for sickness.
I never imagined that the word sickness in our vows would include words like surgery, miscarriage, anxiety, or post partum depression. I never imagined sickness would include an accident would leave me struggling to brush my hair and teeth, or leave me unable to fully dress myself for months on end. I didn’t realize there would be months one of us couldn’t put our own socks on and our vows would become a daily task we’d have to keep. I didn’t realize when I promised sickness and health, I would be the one that was always sick. I never realized that guilt would come with sickness, and that I’d spend so much time feeling like a burden, (although he has NEVER complained) because my husband has had to faithfully keep his vows to me, over and over again. I had never planned for sickness when I thought of our life together, I only planned for health. Teenagers are optimistically naive I suppose.
I never planned for poorer. I mean, we were teenagers when we got married, we definitely didn’t have much. Both of us were making just barely more than minimum wage at the time, and we started our lives together living in a cute little apartment in a questionable side of town. When I promised for richer or poorer I hoped for richer but never planned for poorer. I had no idea that poorer would disguise itself as doctor bills, and debt. I never planned for job losses or times of workmans comp. I didn’t realize there would be seasons where the utilities would almost be turned off, or times when someone else would have to help pay our mortgage. I didn’t plan for times where we would have to put baby formula and diapers on a credit card we didn’t know how we would pay, because the baby had needs we couldn’t meet. We vowed for richer and for poorer but hoped there would only be richer.
What about your marriage?
Are there vows you never imagined you would have to keep?
I may not know what your situation is, maybe you’re facing things I would never understand, but I hope you know that I’m praying for you whatever your circumstances may be. Maybe keeping your vows to one another has been the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do. I hope you know you are not alone. Many people have been in your shoes and their marriage withstood the fires life has thrown their way. Although my marriage may look different than yours, and your trials and struggles may be lighter (or much heavier) than mine, it is my prayer that in the good times and the difficult ones you will find the strength to keep the promise you made. May the Lord carry you, and continue to give you strength the seasons you can’t do it on your own.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV
“Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes of the people of Israel, saying, “This is what the Lord has commanded. If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.”
Numbers 30:1-2 ESV
In His Love,