On May 17 we were married for 25 years. A milestone in so many ways. When we were married neither one of us knew the Lord as Savior.
We had several “strikes” against us. I was a divorced single mother so we were trying to blend our family into one new family. Rick was from Connecticut. I was from Indiana. He was classical music. I was country. He was and still is a very tidy, neat person. I am a not-so-neat person. 🙂
We grew up in different worlds. Even our attempts at discipline were vastly different. But even before we accepted our Lord as Savior He was already blessing us. Rick and I both wanted a strong relationship. I wanted someone I could trust and count on. Rick wanted someone to verbally and physically show him affection. I married a man who is my steady rock. His word is truth. I can lean on him and he will catch me when I fall. Rick married a hugger! I hug strangers after a few minutes of knowing them because now they have become friends. I gift Rick with words of appreciation and respect. We both thrive!
Now that doesn’t mean we haven’t struggled. We have shaken the rafters clean over and over. We have shouted and cried and I have walked out of the room and even out of the house once! We have fought over our kids, money, family, jobs and even God.
God used Rick to penetrate my heart. Rick was given the gift of knowing that he was looking for God. God knocked on his heart and he responded. Then God used Rick’s love for me to knock on my heart. 11 years after we were married we both accepted Christ as our Savior! Our life, our marriage and our kids were changed forever.
Then we lost our daughter, Tonia. The loss of a child usually ends up with the divorce of the parents. The statistics are over 60% of couples divorce after the loss of a child. I believe it. This loss shakes the foundation of your relationship. Communication hurts. Not talking hurts more. The world invades!
But we made it. We survived! We continue to grow closer to God and closer to each other. We learn daily what it means to think of each other before ourselves.
So, on May 20 in front of family and friends, we united in marriage with God as our center. We wanted to renew our vows for so many reasons. We renewed our vows as a declaration of how important God is in our marriage, as a declaration that our marriage is thriving and as a re-commitment to each other for the rest of our lives!
Our celebration was so much more than I ever expected. Friends came to be with us once again but this time in joy. Celebrating with us and promising to stand by us yet again. The music spoke to my soul. It nourished the part of me that hears music in every moment of the day. Our son honored us with his words, with his presence and with his love. His tribute to our marriage was his promise to his future wife.
Pastor Jeff delivered his message to us and to every couple who was listening. His challenge to us and to every couple married or planning on marrying was; If God is at the center of your life and your marriage then your marriage will grow stronger.
This is the scripture verse that Sean read:
Matthew 7:24-27 Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
The evening was wonderful! God was present. God was honored. Rick and I declared to the world our promise to stand together no matter what. Family and friends shared in the celebration. It was more than I ever dreamed it could be!
Thank you Father for once again blessing us.