Sat., Aug. 26, 2017
John 15:12 – This is my commandment: love each other just as I have loved you.
Seventeen years ago, we said “I do.”
It began as a stormy, wet morning and turned into a muggy, humid day. It was also the day Rick decided to wash his car rather than make sure a couple more fans made it to the reception area to keep our guests cool. This would not be the last time we would disagree on a choice.
But when you say, “I do,” those words are more important than who is right.
Who wants to be right.
Who was right last time.
When you say, “I do,” two people make a choice in which individual feelings are not always more important than a joint resolution.
It’s a choice to stay together … no matter what.
It’s a life choice that is about the long game and not just the short game.
For us, saying “I do” means we don’t give up or give in.
We figure it out with no other alternative ever voiced, explored or contemplated.
Because, there is only “I do.”
Yes, we have disappointed each other. We’ve let each other down. And wished we could take back some sentences that should have been kept private and not spoken aloud.
Our marriage hasn’t always been a pretty field of flowers. Rick was still wounded from the unexpected death of his oldest 21-year-old son who died just months before we said, “I do.” We had both recently changed jobs and careers. We moved twice within a few months of becoming Mr. and Mrs. I commuted to school, as we tried to figure out how to be a married couple who saw each other only on weekends.
While the years have been peppered with wonderful and joyful times, the challenging days and weeks are not forgotten. A grandson who slipped away after being present for 16 short days. Three of our parent’s health changing significantly in 10 days. We have packed, moved and unpacked our belongings several times. We’ve helped clean out homes no longer occupied by our parents. We have physically been apart more of the last 6,205 days than we have been together. We’ve witnessed divorce, death and disappointment.
Yet, we’ve always come back to “I do” because it gives us hope.
For us, continuing to say, “I do” is an everyday choice. It’s our choice. One we gladly make. One we don’t take for granted. One, I pray, we get to make for many more days into the future. It’s a choice always grounded in knowing that God loves us more than we love each other. A choice which reflects our belief God brought us together to be one. A choice to keep God as the third and most important leg of our marriage.
We’re not perfect. But we laugh together. And we cry when one or both are hurting. We’ve experienced family, grandchildren and friends together, as well as we have seen some amazing places together. We’ve collected treasure chests full of special memories. We say, “Please,” “Thank you,” “I’m sorry” and “Please forgive me” regularly. We count our blessings daily and know where they come from. We try to respect, honor and uplift each other daily, even when apart. We pray together. Worship together. Hold each other’s hand together.
This is our “I do.” Thanks be to God.
Lord God – thank you for the gift of our marriage and your presence in our relationship. May we always keep You as the safety net which surrounds, protects and guides us. Help us continue to say, “I do” for every day we are together on this earth. Amen.
Rick & Dianne Vielhuber
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