Yep, 28 years ago on 8/4/84 family and friends joined us as we committed to one another for the rest of our lives. Sheesh, WHAT were we thinking?!!! We were young (19yrs old, we would both turn 20 the following month) and we were in love. There was no way we could have fathomed all the nooks and crannies of life’s journey. I suppose it was enough that we determined to walk it together no matter what came along, no matter the circumstances.
As one should with anniversaries, I have been thinking a lot about this special date in my life and the man with whom God, in His amazing grace to me, placed in my life. It is not enough to say I have been blessed.
I suppose good scripture reference for this day would be 1Corinthians 13:4-8….Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous, love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly, it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account wrong suffered….love bars all things, believes all things, endures all things, love never fails… These words are a perfect template for living out a love for someone else, but I cannot help thinking of a different scripture reference.
Scott and I have a scripture we have shared over these years. It was one my mom instilled in me and continues to be a source of encouragement as well as an ongoing battle in my heart. It is Philippians 4:6&7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
These words remind me that peace is NOT circumstantial. The peace of God, the kind that is difficult to comprehend, the kind that protects your heart and mind, DOES NOT require life to be perfect. God’s peace is something that He places within us even when things around us are less than peaceful. My peace does not rely on my circumstances.
Happiness is based on circumstances. When things are good, we are happy. When things are bad, we are unhappy. I think the world sells us the lie that LOVE is also rooted in circumstance. We “love” someone because of things such as personality, looks, compatibility, family, life style, and beliefs. These are all important to our relationships, but they are simply circumstances in life. If our love is based on them, what happens when they change?
Let’s say you cooked dinner for me every night for a year, and each meal was one of my favorites. I would enthusiastically tell you, and everyone else, I LOVED your cooking and I would be telling the truth. I would mean it with all my heart. Eventually, and possibly inevitably, you would prepare a meal containing chopped liver. No offense to liver loving people around the world, but that would be disastrous for me. Your intensions for our dining experience would not matter. This would change everything. My choices would be to pretend I liked it and suffer through, chew it in your presence but spit it into a napkin when you were not looking, or walk away from the table angry, hurt or disappointed you served such a thing to me. I would no longer love your cooking. My relationship with your cooking was simply circumstantial.
I think love, like peace, is not dependant on our circumstances. Love is God given. The love I have for my husband cannot be based on circumstances, ever. Circumstances change, love cannot. Oh, we have been happy, BUT we have also known unhappiness. We have seen tremendous change. We married young and still had lots of growing up to do. Neither of us is the same person we were when we married. There have been physical changes, emotional changes, variations to our beliefs and even changes in our life styles over the years. If our love depended on all these things working perfectly together, we would not be where we are today.
Society encourages relationships to wait for perfect circumstances, to fear the impact of changing circumstances, attempt to avoid conflicts and to assume the difficulty of these things means the relationship is not of value or has run its course. If we have mistaken happiness for love, then this is true…but that is not true love. True love is not bound by circumstance and like the peace mentioned in Philippians 4:6&7, it comes from God, surpasses our ability to comprehend, and guards our hearts.
I am thankful to God for Scott. I am thankful for all he has been to me over these years …he has been my champion, my challenger, my partner, my anchor and my inspiration. I am thankful for the adventures and even the challenges we have met together. Today especially, I am mindful and thankful that I have known a love that sees beyond imperfection and remains unchanged in changing times.
Happy Anniversary Scott!
Thank you for loving me regardless of circumstances and with a love that is beyond my comprehension.