Don't just think outside of the box. Destroy the box.
God might use this in some way for you, too. That'd be great. It's also possible this might cause you to look at me differently or judge me for it, but I basically roll that dice every time I sit down at my computer, so here we go.
Our wedding anniversary is today.
24 years ago, Ron and I had a wedding.
I treasure it as the day I legally married my best friend, and we celebrate it accordingly, but we all know the wedding anniversary symbolizes the wedding and that's the part I could've done without.
As is probably the case with most weddings, everyone had opinions, all of which were openly shared with the 2 young (or as many would've said, "too young") delusional engaged people who obviously had no idea what was "proper."
You see, we were the couple who wanted to elope, but that wasn't an option, (what would people think?) anymore than Ron wearing his baseball cap at our wedding was an option. (in a church? never!)
A few of our other controversial preferences were to have only one bridesmaid and one groomsman, (rude!), black for our wedding color (insert all the "symbolic" jokes here), we wanted our pictures taken before the wedding (yes, he saw me in my dress before I walked down the isle, *gasp!*), chose our favorite song by heavy metal band 'Firehouse' to play after our vows (scandalous!), and wanted dancing at our reception. (Sweet mother, nooo...*thunk*) Thank goodness I didn't start drinking until I was 40, because I feel like I would've lost the margarita battle of 1993.
As it turns out, all of those things are now totally Pinterest Wedding Approved. See? We were just ahead of our time.
But let's be perfectly honest here. Judgment of our wedding choices was simply a symptom of deeper issues. The bottom line was, there were people who didn't approve of circumstances surrounding our marriage and tensions were running at an all-time high. Therefore, our wedding is forever tainted by the memories of disapproval of others. Not exactly a feel-good anniversary story to publicly share, right? And that's why I haven't.
So when I read a blog entry by Beth Moore last month and hers was laced with the same undercurrent, I was shocked. Beth Moore? Thee Beth Moore had people throwing shade at her wedding? Maybe there's more of us out there than we think.
I mean, I get it. We were seemingly the most mismatched couple in the history of ever. Totally non-traditional. Unconventional. Many would argue, rebellious. Solely focused on loving life and loving each other. Everything was laughable. To heck with what people thought. Clearly in denial of the trials that awaited us. All of which was chalked up to the naivety of being 21 and carelessly in love. Even God must've cringed when our worlds collided, right?
Or is it possible, God brought 2 broken pieces together to make a whole?
My strengths where he's weak. His strengths to carry me in my weaknesses. Both of our strengths to stand against outside forces that continually try to divide us.
And God is the cord that ties the whole thing together where we're both weak, pretty much suck, and without Him, would've shredded each other a long time ago.
God was there when we met on a blind date. He created the magnetic force that wouldn't allow us to remain apart when Ron left for the military. He didn't walk away or turn His back on us when we chose to go against His perfect plan by moving in together a month before our wedding, and He not only forgave us, but blessed us. He was there when I walked down the isle in a white wedding gown and He looked at me with love instead of judgment and disdain. He was there when my cousin Susan, dressed in black, stood by my side as my only bridesmaid that day, as He knew she'd be the one who'd always remain there. He was there when my heart thumped to the beat of a 90's love song as it filled the sanctuary after Ron and I said our vows, and He was watching when, more often than not, we were the only ones dancing at our reception.
Then in 1998, He took us by the hand and led us to our church family, who opened their arms unconditionally to a couple of misfits like us, who to this day can still be found sitting in the front row center, my husband raising his hands in worship, with a ball cap on his head.
"...The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
~1 Samuel 16:7~
24 years later, 4 kids, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, and 2 grandkids so far.
Started with a mismatched couple. Grew into a family. Non-traditional. Unconventional. Many might argue rebellious. Focused on loving life and loving each other. Everything is laughable. To heck with what people think. Possibly in denial of the trials that await us, which some might chalk up to the naivety of being 45 and still carelessly in love.
If anyone disapproves of us at this stage of the game, I've got good news for everyone.
The part about "for better or for worse till death do us part" doesn't apply to you.
Raise your margaritas. Cheers all around.
God is here. Every single day, every single moment, every failure, choice, regret, and success.
He is here. Always has been. Always will be.
Thousands of things I'd change if I could.
A million things I wouldn't.
I'm sure the same will be said over the next 24 years.
Welcome to life.
But today isn't about regrets. It's about celebrating a love that beat the odds, a lifetime of both good and bad choices that God is using to mold us into who He desires us to be, a determination to keep submitting to Him, always trying to do better, and looking ahead to another year of loving each other even more fiercely than the last.
Now if you'll excuse us, we've got a song to dance to...and I've got a killer air guitar solo that I held back at the wedding, speaking of regrets.
A big THANK YOU to Zac for putting the song from our wedding to our picture dancing at Aubrey's.