We stood at the altar, facing one another, our eyes wide open with hope and desire for our future together. And as we look back, 35 years to this day, we both realize how little we knew about each other; about what it would take to be married; and about the adventure that was to ensue.
When I said "I do" to my husband, David, little did I know that I was signing up for the adventure of a lifetime. I didn't know that, through this man, I would be introduced to and develop my greatest loves in life; the love of books and reading, nature, hiking, ideas, all-things-creative, rich conversation, art, music, good wine and food.
I didn't know that our love would procreate and we would give birth, raise and launch into life four beautiful, creative, energetic and compassionate kids--all of whom we are extremely proud and find to this day to be our greatest delight. We certainly had no idea, barely an imagination, for what it would be like to experience becoming parents-in-law and grandparents and being taken hostage by enchanting grandchildren.
Way back when, with the innocence of young love, I had no idea that I would brave the storms of life with this man.That I would experience his profound and unwavering love and companionship through the loss of our first baby; the loss of both my parents; the loss (for a time) of faith in the church and trust in its leaders; the loss of innocence of life itself.
Little did I know that one day even the honeymoon stage of our marriage would end and we would experience a season of pain, darkness, struggle and misunderstanding. And together, we would wrestle and relentlessly search for one another until we found each other in the darkness; and from there we would rebuild our trust and love and oneness.
And when I said yes to young love; to this brown-eyed young groom who had won my heart forever, I didn't realize what an interesting person I was marrying. I didn't know that I would be invited to walk with him through his many "phases"--as we call them. A phase is when David is totally into something and speaks as though it is his new and forever "thing." And it usually lasts about five weeks or five months. But during that time it comes up in pretty much every conversation he has with just about everyone.
35 years ago today, little did I know that I was signing up for the adventure of a lifetime with the most loving, patient, creative, even-keeled, interesting, curious and supportive man who said "Yes" to me 35 years ago; says "Yes" to me every day; and said "Yes" to me when I had a dream in my heart to move to the city and begin an urban retreat center in an old house in the hood. Our marriage has always been a mutual relationship, yet never have I felt more respected and trusted than when David followed me toward this dream and sunk all we had and all his heart in making it happen.
After 35 years, I can see that we've done a lot of hard work in our marriage and we are experiencing a sweet harvest in the fall of our lives. Yet, most of all, I see 35 years of grace. I see how God has offered so much grace to us who so naively said "Yes" to an adventure we had no idea we were starting. God has been our North Star; our mender of hearts; our humbler and sustain-er and friend. He has been the common ground of our individual being and the quest of our individual lives. He has been the third strand in the cord. And today, 35 years later, we bless God from whom all our blessings over the last 35 years have flowed.