Yesterday, Amy and I celebrated 26 years of marriage. We started Life Together on July 30, 1994 with an empty nest and now, 26 years later, we are almost back to where we started with our baby, Ezekiel, off to college in a couple weeks. It's been a lot of ups and downs. Births, vacations, job changes, 20-mile moves, and 1-block moves, graduations, a wedding, the Marines, a grandchild, surgeries, stretching paychecks, and stretching sleepless nights. Amy and I have been missionaries, a teacher, Kmart employee, DQ employee, a Merry Maid, college student, coach, cheerleader, daycare provider, Pampered Chef consultant, caterers, youth pastors, and, finally, pastor.
To say that it has been unending bliss would be a lie. To say that we have always agreed upon every decision made would be an absolute fabrication. To say that we are the model of the marriage everyone should aspire to is laughable. Ours is a marriage like ever other. We are making it up as we go along.
There have been days where Amy and I have had to remind ourselves of those vows made 26 years ago, that we would be husband and wife for "as long as we both shall live." And we had to remember that we do not walk this path together alone.
"Save me, O God, by your name;
vindicate me by your might.
Hear my prayer, O God;
listen to the words of my mouth." (verses 1-2)
"Surely God is my help;
the Lord is the one who sustains me." (verse 4)
"I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you;
I will praise your name, O Lord, for it is good. For he has delivered me from all my troubles,
and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes." (Verses 6-7)
The above verses come from Psalm 54, and I think they describe Amy and my 26 years perfectly. We have cried out in prayer to God on many occasions, sometimes in sad tears and sometimes in fearful tears. He was the one who answered in those times and sustained us when all of the world seemed to be falling apart around us. And yesterday was one of those times where we looked back in triumph for all that God has delivered us from.
I, we, DO praise Him, because we know that without His help we would not be together today, in an imperfect marriage with two imperfect people seeking to live in an imperfect world. It just wouldn't work without Him.
I'm glad we never gave it a try. ;)