Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The two ends of the marriage spectrum...

This past weekend was a unique one for David and I. That's because we had the pleasure of being able to celebrate two ends of the marriage spectrum.

Saturday, our friend John got married in Blacksburg. He and his bride, Ashley, had smiles on their faces the entire time, and Ashley was quite possibly the most excited bride I had ever seen on stage. (And I've seen a lot of weddings...working with a college church, we average about 5-6 per year.)

This couple was experiencing the first moments of what its like when you say your vows to each other. Long after the flashbulbs from cameras stop popping, you still have the privilege to wake up each day next to the person who you promised to cherish. The person to whom you slid a ring on the third finger on their left hand and said, "I choose you." Weddings are fun and happy occasions, but the marriages they start are what I love the most. I enjoy seeing people lock eyes when they come down the aisle. I love watching the groom tear up while everyone else is staring at the bride. The pure joy and excitement is a blessing to experience. The apostle Paul tells us it is an image of Christ and the church.

On Sunday, we got to experience the other end of the spectrum. Witnessing the first moments of a marriage on Saturday, we got to witness some of the final moments of a marriage on Sunday. My grandparents, Maurice & Katherine Carpenter, were being honored at a party for their 60th wedding anniversary (which was actually July 3).

That's right. 60 years. That's a lot of mornings to wake up and smell the kitten breath of the person on the other side of the bed. That's a lot of burned dinners, miscommunications, and apologies. That's a lot of sunsets enjoyed together, children raised, and if lucky, even grandchildren and great-grandchildren. All of these were present Sunday when we honored Mema & Papa.

Papa has been battling cancer recently, and is due to turn 85 in August. Mema turned 85 back in March and is already a breast cancer survivor. Do the math and you'll realize they were married the same year they turned 25. That's not that young to get married, and in fact, in their day, it was old. The fact that they have both stayed in strong health this long is a huge blessing not everyone gets to experience. Neither is the experience of true love and devotion. Unfortunately, so many marriages fail. When you get to celebrate ones that lasts, its such a blessing.

My prayer is that David and I make it to 60 years. Not because I don't think we will want to, but so many things can get in the way. Life can get in the way -- sickness, accidents, you name it.

We're not guaranteed tomorrow. We've been married approximately 6 years, 10 months, 7 days, 18 hours, and 25 minutes. And we know we're not guaranteed 7 years. Or even 6 years, 10 months, 8 days and 19 hours. But I hope we are blessed to experience as much love in devotion in however much time we have left as Mema & Papa have in their 60+ years together. They are great examples of serving God and devoting their lives to Him. Their faith and trust in their savior Jesus has been the glue in their marriage. David and I can only hope we can imitate this as much as our imperfect souls allow. If we can be half the married couple and servants of Jesus Christ that the Carpenters have been, we are in for a long, fun ride.

What a weekend. Happy events, happy marriages. Some in the first few moments. Some in probably the later moments. But both extremely joyous occasions. What a great God we serve.

1 comment:

amethyst said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. As your mom I am so proud of your ability to encourage all of us. We are so thankful you could both be a part of last weekend. May we all continue to seek God's guidance and help with our love and marriages.