Have you been married a long time? We just had our 25th. Sometimes in a long marriage you may feel that your spouse has lost the ability to surprise you.
The last several years of our life have been brutal. The daily stress of dealing with the three c’s – cancer, kids, career – were really wearing on us. Most days end with us completely exhausted.
We needed a get-away.
Several years ago, one of my brothers moved to Mexico. He lives near a large lake in a gated community of mostly retired Americans. We hadn’t been to visit him due to the challenges of our lives. For our 25th anniversary, we decided to splurge and go down there for a visit. My oldest daughter held down the fort at home (thank you, Clare) so we could confidently leave our two remaining teens home for a week.
About half way into the air flight, my husband took his headphones and placed them in my ears. When he pressed play, I heard the strains of the old love song, “What are you doing the rest of your life? North and south and east and west of your life.” A precious song, indeed, and I squeezed his hand in appreciation.
Then, he placed about 10 pieces of Dove chocolate on my tray table. If you know me, you know my fondness for good chocolate. How could this scene get any better? A delightful love song, fine chocolate – what else does a simple woman need?
He produced a small jewelry box and set it on the tray table next. Inside were gold and diamond earrings that were fancier than anything I have ever owned. I learned later that he and one of my daughters had conspired and shopped together.
The rest of the flight was peaceful and dreamy. I felt pampered and loved. I have a pretty special guy.
Mexico was wonderous. My brother and his wife have a lovely home and a lush, inspiring garden. We were getting pretty mellowed out and enjoying our visit.
One night, my husband insisted we go down to the village for church. The service was at 6 pm, so we had an early dinner and headed off to the church. Although the service was in Spanish, I enjoyed the time to worship, focus, and give thanks.
After the service, my husband led me by the arm to the courtyard. It was lovely, with more lush foliage. He gently guided me to a small room off the church and courtyard.
We were met there by a pastor. Although his English was not good, he said, “Mark and Christine? 25 years, yes?” He then proceeded to pray for us and read a short blessing. I wasn’t sure of what he said because I was crying pretty hard then, but I was certain that I was indeed blessed and that God was in our marriage.
Twenty-five years, yes? Yes, it has been a long journey. It hasn’t always been joyous and we’ve had more than our share of challenges, but after all these years, we’re still a solid triangle – me, him, looking to the Lord.
Lord, grant me 25 more. But if it’s Your will that the time is shorter, I will yet thank you and bless Your name for all You’ve done in us and through us. Thank you for the privilege!