As I wake this morning, the unseasonable cold, snowy Colorado weather has reminded me of this same day, 30 years ago. I am thinking of weddings and celebrations of love. I am also thinking of a bride waking to huge sobs that are her own. It is her wedding day. A day girls dream about all their growing up years but this is not the day in her dream. It is extremely cold, snowy, and windy. She was notified yesterday that her wedding rings were lost in the frantic Christmas mail, her veil had not arrived and her dress is not finished. Keep in mind this wedding has been planned in 6 short weeks through the Christmas season. Both the bride and groom are working retail management jobs. Cold weather, snow and holidays can have a big effect on weddings and celebrations of love. This story does have a happy ending but the start was truly a challenging one. There were phone calls; quick shopping trips and lots of tears but the bride and groom were at the church with rings and full regalia in time for the wedding that evening. It had been a long day full of blessings even before we knew the fullness of God’s abiding love.
Yes! I am the bride with all the tears and the red eyes. The groom is steady, dependable, persevering Matt, the gentle young man who calmed me that day and set me back on my feet. He reminded me of how much he wanted to share the rest of his life with me no matter how the beginning looked. It was just a ‘ticket to punch’ so that the business of life could happen.
We persevered and today is my 30-year anniversary! Is it possible? Oh, yes it is. The memories flood back to that day and its beauty, even with the difficulties, so many expressions of love shining through them. Matt and I stand today as a testimony to the fruit of commitment and hard work, as well as, God’s infinite grace and mercy. We pause to give God the glory for this milestone. We both know that the trials of life would have taken their toll had we not committed ourselves to one another and most of all committed our covenant relationship to God. He is the One Who has been the glue to hold us together when we wanted to give up or give in to selfish temptation and pressures in life. It is only by His grace that we are here today; more in love than yesterday and still less than tomorrow. That cannot be stated too boldly.
I thank my best friend for so many wonderful memories, his dedication, his patience as I ‘grew up’, his leadership and strength, for his unconditional, uncompromising love. I am also grateful for friends and family, some of you even reading this, that have held us as we cried through different chapters of our lives, spoke counsel we didn’t want to hear, loved us unconditionally even when we were ugly, warred for us in prayer, gave us the medicine of laughter and joy as we shared life together. We are and will truly be eternally grateful for ALL of it! You are a part of our celebration! Thank you! May God richly bless you for all you have planted in us.