Friday, July 24, 2009

My Sweet Sixteen

I was 15 years old when I stepped into Logansport High School for a speech team meet. It was one of the first meets I had competed in and I was nervous. Hours had gone into memorizing, practicing and delivering my Drama. Standing outside the classroom, waiting for my turn to compete, I watched the other students hustling to their speech rooms. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the boy who would someday be my husband. I remember thinking he was the cutest boy I had ever seen. All memorization of my speech was forgotten as he smiled at me and introduced himself. My heart went weak when I looked into his brown eyes.

Somehow, in that moment, I knew he was for me ... forever. How is it that your heart knows these things?

Today marks our sixteenth wedding anniversary.

Fooled you, didn't I? Of course, my sixteenth birthday was sweet. That day, I was able to go on my first date with Jerry Willis. I wasn't allowed to go out on dates until I turned sixteen. We spent 8 months, from the time we met until my sixteenth birthday, writing notes and calling each other on the phone. We were from different towns, so we went to different schools. That meant, no seeing each other in the halls at school, no sharing classes ... The week I turned sixteen, we went to our first dance.

The distance between that first dance and today has been paved with better and worse. I am thankful for the worse and blessed by the better. The worse has brought us closer and made our marriage stronger.

All too often, I think two people enter into marriage with "rose colored glasses." You know the ones I'm talking about. The glasses that say your marriage is going to go down in history books as being the first where no one argued, disagreed or hurt each other. I wore those on our wedding day. Go ahead and laugh, I am. They came off the first day we argued. Imagine my disappointment when I found that Jerry Willis did not always think I was perfect. Go ahead, laugh again, I am.

I remember thinking that day our marriage was over. How could he possibly stay married to me and how could I love a man that didn't agree that I was always right? Lucky for me, Jerry didn't wear "rose colored glasses." He was somehow better prepared for that first argument. After my yelling and crying ... he sat me down and explained that disagreeing wasn't a sign of his love for me ending. We were going to have our arguments. That was just part of life together.

On the day of our wedding, I slid a gold band on his finger inscribed with 1 Corinthians 13:13 "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." Since that day, my husband has unknowingly taught me the scripture that comes before that verse.

1 Corinthians 13: 4 - 8 " Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."

My husband's love for me is never failing. At the end of each day, I know I am loved.

I have a picture frame. It was given to me on my wedding day by the boy I married. A poem is penned on one side ... " To The One I love" ... " I cannot promise you a life of sunshine ~ I cannot promise riches wealth, or gold ~ I cannot promise you an easy pathway that leads away from change or growing old ... But I can promise true devotion, a love to last forever ~ All the happiness love can bring as hand in hand we walk through life together, I do love you ~"

I'm not sure of the author. So, I give credit to the person that wrote this poem. And, I give credit to man who has kept that promise for sixteen years.

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