It was our wedding day and I was standing at the altar, looking him in the eyes with the sunshine pouring through the frosted windows of the chapel on a cold, yet beautiful winter afternoon. I very clearly heard words that now I struggle to remember exactly. My head cranes to try to hear them now, and yet I know it was the Spirit who spoke them to my heart and not audible as I hope them to be now. Something like, how He loves me so much that He gave me this man, and that this man is a reflection of His love for me, and that my time with him will be brief.
Since that day a decade ago, when the night before I bawled my eyes out over fear - not sure if I could really live up to being a wife - I've remembered that comment, that our time together would be brief. I wasn't sure then why I was crying so much on that night before our wedding day. A dear friend assured me I still had time and apparently I said something to her about how I couldn't, and it was too late, and that I just had to do it. Yet, I was anxious and tentative and just so unsure. I wasn't ready. I wasn't confident. I wasn't sure of myself, let alone my willingness to commit my life to another person, to love him, to honor him, to cherish him...to be loved by him.
Each day that I awake, and I mean every single day, I thank God for this life we share that is represented by a simple gold band wrapped around my finger. And every single day I ask for His hedge of protection over us both, as if saying that will savor another day.
I was given a gift and being thankful seems so necessary.
The limited time we may have could just be figurative, as time seems to pass all too quickly sometimes, especially for a married couple raising a family with pitter-patter of small tots in the house. The days seem to fly by in a whirl and suddenly we find ourselves standing in front of the mirror analyzing the deeper lines and darker circles that mark our aging bodies.
This week my groom was sick with a fever - a temperature nearing 104 for several days. He had such an incredibly painful throat that he could barely speak, nonetheless even move. Remnants of his sickness are scattered about in this place where I now sit - a Theraflu bottle, Cepacol losenges, a thermometer, tissues, a heavy blanket to keep a feverish body warm.
It was awful to see this strong man sick, and try as I did to make him more comfortable or better, he needed to heal in due time, and I was probably more irritating at some points over the past four days than I was helpful. And so, I learned to let him heal. And he is, slowly but surely. 104 is now down to 99.5, laundry has been started, finger nails are trimmed, shower has been taken, the latest snow flurries have been shoveled his way, our bed has been made, and now the bag of used-up tissues has been picked up.
Someday what is now a little bout of the flu could be something more serious. It scares me to think of that, and yet I know that I am not the one in control, and there is purpose in every thing, and it's not for me to question.
For now, I give thanks for each day we have, and for how I have grown into this marriage and into my role as a wife. I learn so much every single day from this man who cares deeply about me. I get frustrated sometimes and I still want to give up sometimes, yet I cannot imagine where my life would be without this gift God gave me, and the way He shows His love for me through this man - so gentle, so accepting, so forgiving.