Oh boy, slap on the forehead with one hand. I had thought I had written a very moving account of Riley & I renewing our vows on the 27th of July - our 37th wedding anniversary. Must have been one heck of a great dream since I couldn't find word one on the event.
So to backtrack....
On July 27th, Riley & I renewed our vows in our church after the service. Friends & family witnessed the renewal - and many photos were taken. It was quite an event. After our pastor read several passages from the bible (please don't quiz me - I haven't a clue what was said by the pastor - sorry, pastor....nervousness does that to me), Riley read a beautiful piece he wrote - and I read mine. Riley's words.....
From the time you gave me a note in a matchbox with the single word “chance”
Which led to a kiss under a tree
To 6 weeks later when you thought I was going to ask you to go steady. Instead I asked, "Do you want to get married in 1 week or 2 weeks?"
We have done "in sickness and in health" - We have done "for richer or for poorer" – We have done “for better and for worse”
And now we gone through our longest separation with a longer separation in front of us - still God keeps us together.
12 years ago on our 25th anniversary we had a full wedding where we dedicated our marriage to Christ.
Today our marriage still belongs to the Father, who put you in my heart the very first time I laid eyes on you.
Today our marriage belongs to the Son - Jesus - whose wonderful grace we enjoy and bring to each other in our marriage.
Today our marriage belongs to the Holy Spirit who somehow keeps us close though we are half a world apart.
I cannot imagine what my life would have been like without you nor do I wish to imagine it.
Through God's good graces, you are my wife - my life mate - I would not have it any other way.
And my response....
When I first joined hands with you 37 years ago, little did I know what our lives would be like.
You promised then to love, honor and cherish me though life.
While we had difficult times, God always was there for us – early on we just didn’t know His presence.
We realized together God had to be first in our marriage and our life was so much better.
You have made my life complete and full.
Not only have you kept your promise to love, honor and cherish me, you’ve made our lives together an adventure.
You’ve been there for me when I needed comfort, you’ve listened to my fears and you’ve held my hand throughout it all.
We made a commitment to each other.
Some days it wasn’t easy for we both let pride get in the way of love.
God’s greatest commandment is LOVE.
And I do so love you and pray we can renew our vows every year.
You are my husband, my soul mate and my best friend.
And so shortly, Riley will be leaving to go back to Iraq until February 2009. Somehow, our renewal of vows will make it easier when he leaves. Life moves forward - God's grace covers us all just for the asking - and God is so very good.