Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Just Another Ordinary, Every Day Love Story - Part 2

I am the world's fastest shopper. When I see what I like, I get it. I've always been that way. So maybe it shouldn't come as a surprise that after our first date and six more days of seeing and getting to know Shannon, I asked her to marry me. That's right, it took me a whole week to muster the courage to ask her to be my wife. When people say that you'll "just know" when you find the right one, they are right, at least in my case. A little more than a year later we were married. Shannon was dressed in a beautiful white gown that she had made on the sewing machine I had bought her for her birthday. Not being a person who readily shows his emotions, I nonethless cried throughout the ceremony, not so much out of nervousness as out of gratitude for and amazement at the gift God had given me.

When I say that ours is just another ordinary, every day love story, I mean just that. Our life together has had very little drama. We have never been on the brink of marital collapse. We have both been faithful to each other and to the vows we made in the sight of God. Our children have been outstanding and continue to faithfully serve God as Christians. Basically, if I were to write our story in a book I probably couldn't pay people to take the copies. Our life is just not "Hollywood" enough.

In spite of how mundane our life might appear to some, it has been filled with constant open communication, mutual respect and love for one another and for God. Just as a person is not fully grown on the day of his birth, a marriage is not fully grown right after the "I Do's" are said. To use another metaphor, marriage is a house constantly under construction, never completed until one of the spouses leaves this life.

Now we come to this, the final chapter of our story. Each challenge we've faced, each prayer we've prayed, each Bible verse we've read, each midnight heart-to-heart, each tear and each success we've experienced over 30+ years have made this past year and its many challenges seem, as the apostle Paul said, like a "light affliction." (II Corinthians 4:17). To get to this point we really haven't done anything that any other married couple can't themselves do. Devotion to God and commitment to one another as husband and wife are attainable by all.