Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thirty-four Years On

At one point, he told me he felt like a yo-yo.  I had stopped, then resumed, then stopped, then resumed dating him 2 or 3 times.  I think he asked me to marry him just to get it over with.

I made him wait 3 days for my answer while I consulted the urim and thumim (according to ancient Hebrew theology), fasted, prayed, and ran through every conceivable reason why I shouldn't say yes.

I think it was his patience in waiting that finally won me over.

1978bride and groom copy

And so, much to the delight of our parents and friends, and in spite of having second thoughts the night before ("are you out of your mind?  You don't really know this man!"), my Dear Professor and I found ourselves standing in front of the altar of Houston's First Baptist Church on December 20, 1975, me in my mother's wedding dress, he in a rented black tux, saying "wherever you go, I shall go" and pledging our troth for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.  Inside his wedding band I had the jeweler inscribe Hosea 2:19-20.  Some friends sang the words in a song I had composed for another's wedding 2 years before,  "I betroth thee unto me forever, in loving kindness forever."

Writing that song had made me aware of an ache inside, an ache to be known and loved deeply.  And now, standing in that place I had known all my life,  I cried . . . for the beauty, the joy, the holiness of that moment.

Yes, in these 34 years together there have been other moments I am not proud of.  Moments of selfishness, anger, hurt, missing each other. I think a good marriage is like a good pair of jeans. It takes the wear and tear of everyday life and laundering to make them soft, comfortable, and fit.

And lots of talking.  "Keep talking, from the talking comes the love."

And Jesus. He is the source of love that can overcome our selfishness and brokenness.  I don't know how other couples manage without Him at the center, drawing their hearts to Him and through Him into the other.


I almost gave up on him.  When our children were young and he was preoccupied with his career, I decided one day I had had enough.  I'd take the kids and move back in with my parents until I had sorted out my life.  The next thought sobered me up--it wouldn't work, my parents would send me right back to him!

I'm glad I didn't listen to the voice of anger that day.  I'm glad we stuck together through the difficult times.  What we have now is worth it all.

If I had it all to do over again . . . I wouldn't make him wait 3 days.

Happy Anniversary, my Truth Seeker, my Atticus Finch, my Braveheart, my Darcy, my Dearest Professor.

 "Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith "A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!''
Robert Browning


Jennifer said...

Aww, hooray! Happy anniversary, you two. I love these two photos!

Toni said...

That's some pretty high praise - Atticus Finch, William Wallace and Mr. Darcy. It MUST be love!