She was just seventeen. She was wandering, floundering, utterly clueless. She wanted to do what was right … what was “normal” … what was expected. She really did. But yet she didn’t. She REALLY just didn’t want to.
She was a rebel. She had her own ideas, her own vision. She was different. Always different. She thought deeply, searched deeply, felt deeply. She didn’t let many inside – they wouldn’t have understood, anyways. So she hid behind her music as she was slowly, painfully becoming herself.
She was complicated.
She was only 17 when he walked into her world. Suddenly, everything just felt right. He “got” her. He understood. He taught her that it’s good to be different. The world NEEDS different.
He was a rebel, too – but he didn’t hide behind anything. He spoke his mind. She had never met anyone so bold. He was refreshing. Intelligent. Hilarious. Plus, he had those amazing curls. One day she realized that she’d never needed to let him inside – he magically WAS inside. He had filled a hole she didn’t even know was there.
Suddenly, she didn’t feel quite so complicated anymore.
She was only 18 when he took her hand and promised to be there forever. In front of God and everyone – he promised to love, honor, and cherish. He promised to never leave, never forsake. Rich, poor, sick, healthy – it didn’t matter. He would be there. Always.
She was only 25 when they had their first baby. She was scared. A daughter! How would she know what to do? He held her hand and promised to be there forever.
She was only 27 when their son came along. Beautiful, but sick. She was scared. How would she know what to do? He held her hand and promised to be there forever.
She was only 39 when he said, “Let’s have an adventure. Let’s move to the mountains!” She was scared. Such a different life! How would she know what to do? He held her hand and promised to be there forever.
She was only 43 when he said, “Let’s move back where it’s warm!!” This time she smiled because she knew what to do. Still, he held her hand and promised to be there forever.
She was only 44 when she said, “God’s calling me to become a nurse!” For five long years she studied and read, practiced and studied. He patiently held her hand and promised to be there forever.
She was only 50 – a newly-licensed nurse – when Lupus entered her life. She was sick. She was scared. What does this mean? How will this change us? Still, he held her hand and promised to be there forever.
She was only 52 when she woke in the night. She couldn’t breathe. She had been so sick lately, everything had been so difficult. She felt so weary. So scared. She didn’t know what to do. But he was right there by her, sitting in the chair in the darkness. He knew she needed him close by. He just knew. He held her hand that night and promised to be there forever.
She was only 54 when she put him on that airplane to China. After all their years together, she knew it wouldn’t be easy to be separated. They’re like two halves of a whole! Nothing feels right when they’re apart. Nothing. No matter how many times they do this.
And today … it’s their 36th wedding anniversary. He’s still on the other side of the earth, she’s right here at home. Resting.
In their hearts, they’re holding hands today, yet thousands of sad, lonely miles actually separate them right now. But this lifetime they’ve had together … the memories … all the laughter as they grew up side by side … no miles can ever erase any of that. And they sure can’t dampen their celebration.
Plus they both also know that the very same God who brought them together, also drew each of them to Himself. His mercy bonded their hands not only to each other’s, but also to His, never to be separated from His care. This is the purest, most beautiful forever that can ever possibly be promised. Being made whole, healed, and new, dancing through eternity in Paradise. With Him. Such unspeakable beauty.
I think this makes any distance we might be feeling tonight seem pretty darned insignificant. Happy Anniversary, baby – please hurry home.
Thanks for growing with me. ❤
“My beloved is mine, and I am his.” (Song of Solomon 2:16)