I have no idea how I could possibly be celebrating my 40th wedding anniversary on July 14th (yes,Bastille Day.)
I am so young. (Well, I feel young, does that count?) And my husband and I act young–we have grandchildren, which helps.
But really–forty years? Four zero. That’s a long time—longer than some of you are old, maybe.
I never thought I’d be married this long.
Actually, I never thought about marriage at all…..not the little girl dreams of white, satiny dresses and coquettish veils. No visions of a handsome lad taking me away to live with him forever in bliss.
Bliss was not part of my early childhood make up. Sorely missing, in fact, because I was too busy raising my 4 brothers and sisters and wondering why my parents argued so much and why didn’t we have enough money and why couldn’t my mom stay married?
Yes, stay married. Husbands always left.
She was wed three times and there was little joy in the unions, no reasons I should aspire to this state of marital happiness. My life experiences of husband and wife were distorted and sad, leaving me to run away, at least emotionally, until I couldn’t run away any more.
Then Jesus found me when I was 19; He’s been saving my life ever since.
Saving and redeeming and making me whole and teaching me that outside of Him there is no love deep enough, no spirit strong enough, no patience endless enough that His is not greater still.
Not long after I gave up and let God have the reins of my life, I met a man who loved Jesus more than me, who kissed me tenderly (can I say that out loud?), and treated me with grace and kindness.
I was 19, this gentle man (divorced!) and 26. He asked me to marry him, I said ‘yes’ and we jumped in. Then God began the gluing together of broken people that only He can do. Times have been hard and happy and healing, over and over again.
God has given me the gift of a husband I didn’t know I needed, full of patience and care and diplomacy and never-give-up-ness that I was desperately searching for.
My husband knows His redeemer and he knows God’s word and He’s patient with me and well, I could go on with 40 wonderful things about him.
But more than all that is God’s faithfulness to use this 40 year journey (there’s something about that number) to teach me how to be His bride, to trust Him, to abandon myself to him in love over and over again, because He will never leave me.
This little girl is learning how to love every day from my heavenly husband, Jesus, and through the earthly man with whom I share a saving faith day by day by each new day.
Here’s to 40 more years.
Photo credit–Victory Fellowship Women’s Retreat
New Orleans, Louisiana