We were young–fifteen. He was wearing a Michael W. Smith sweatshirt–the first person in my school I’d ever seen wearing one. We were friends for a year before we started dating. He marched saxophone in the marching band, I was co-editor of the annual. He introduced me to Paul Simon and jazz; I introduced him to my youth group. We went to prom and on Mission Trips.
We graduated from high school, started at separate universities, but ended up at the same one after three years. I studied nursing, he studied music.We both changed from the denominations of our families and chose a nondenominational church. Eighteen years ago he proposed on one knee and I said yes.
There’s always the “in sickness and health, for richer and poorer” part in there that you recite and think you mean, but really, have no idea what you’re talking about. No one does. If you did, well, most people would probably not keep going with the ceremony. Most people are optimistic or naive enough to believe that they will be the “in better/health/richer” category. No one thinks, “Hmm, let’s go for the worse, poorer, or sick path.”
But you can’t always choose these things. Sometimes God or a sinful world, chooses for you.
There were job changes, career changes, misunderstandings, fights, problems. Trips to the emergency room, delivery room, funeral home; a trip to Disney World, camping trips and the beach. Love and laughter woven in with tears and pain. Sometimes when you look back at your life-tapestry it’s hard to tell where one begins and the other ends.
It’s been seventeen years of building those love muscles.
“In order for muscle to be built, it has to be pushed beyond it’s normal limitations. ..Lifting weights basically tears muscles. These fibers then heal stonger and larger than before.” (Ehow Health)
Isn’t that’s what life is all about? God taking us beyond our normal, natural-world limitations in our relationships? Tearing at our hearts and lives, healing spiritually stronger than before.
We choose to stay together. We choose to love. No question about it. These past 14 months have certainly taught us that–we choose love through the difficult times and come out stronger on the other side. Life with each other and Jesus is unexpected, hard, fun, exhausting, miraculous, amazing. I would choose it no other way, yoked to no other, for this never picture perfect life.