On a very hot and humid evening, 20 years ago this past Wednesday (September 22nd), I married the man of my dreams, the GENTLEman I believe with all my heart the Lord created just for ME!
Our beautiful wedding took place at my 'home church', in Riverdale, Georgia. I literally grew up in that amazing church. I spent SO much time in that great big, majestic place as I grew from an infant into an adult. I crawled around in the nursery there as a wee little baby. Our grandparents always took my siblings and me to Sunday School and 'big church' every weekend. I attended VBS every summer as a child and later helped teach the little ones as a teen. I even received my very first 'real' kiss there and discovered my first 'love' there when I was about 12 or 13. I asked Jesus to come live inside my heart when I was 13 and was then baptized there shortly after. Once I was in junior high, I became part of a phenomenal youth group, filled with passionate, dedicated leaders and young people. I truly enjoyed spending time there with some of the most awesome people in this world, each of whom left a mark on my life and heart, in their own special way....and I will never forget any of them. Some of my life-long BFFs were made there and, although we don't get to see or talk to each other nearly as much as we would like, they are still very much part of my life.
Those days a RFBC were truly some of THE most special days in my life and I wouldn't trade the memories we all made together there for anything in this world! Therefore, when it came time to pick a location for our wedding, there was really no other choice! I asked David what he thought and, even though it was 30 miles from where we lived (and still do), he agreed.
The ceremony was fairly simple but was just absolutely perfect! I’ll never forget the look on my man's handsome face as I walked down the aisle (which suddenly seemed as though it was at least a mile long!), holding on to my Daddy for dear life and shaking like a leaf! When David and I finally took each others hands, he was smiling and I'm pretty sure I saw a few tears of joy trickle down his face, just like they were mine. What I didn't know was that he had a very special surprise waiting for me as we exchanged our vows.
You see, David and I had gone to pick out our wedding bands a couple months before the wedding. I already had my engagement ring, a beautiful three-quarter carat marquise diamond solitaire. When we were shopping, I saw the most GORGEOUS ring guard that has a ton of beautiful diamonds in it. (Remember, it was 1990 and those were all the rage back then). It was so beautiful and I just had to try it on with my solitaire. Of course, then I didn't want to take it back off! :o) However, it was absolutely too expensive for our meager budget because it was 18 karat gold and had a half carat of diamonds in it! So, we settled on a nice gold band for my soon-to-be husband and a beautiful gold ring guard for me, one that wrapped around the solitaire, not dissimilar to the one the I had fallen in love with, but without all the bling!
On our wedding day, someone came to the bridal dressing room, the way we had planned, to get my engagement ring, so it could be put together with the wedding band for the service. I thought absolutely nothing of it. Then, during the ceremony when it came time to exchange rings, David took from his dad, his best man, my ring and began to place it on my finger. OH. MY. GOODNESS!! It was not the smaller, plain gold band that I was expecting, but the BIG, GORGEOUS ring guard with all those gorgeous, sparkly diamonds in it. I was so shocked and so thrilled, I could hardly finish the ceremony because I was definitely in tears by then! :o) It takes a lot to surprise me, but he truly pulled it off, BIG TIME!
I love reminiscing about our wedding day. It’s hard to believe that our marriage has endured for just less than half my lifetime. Since that amazing day 20 years ago, it has been a very long, often winding, bumpy road. We've both gotten lost a time or two and been too stubborn to ask for directions until we absolutely had to. I would definitely say we've seen far more 'worse', 'poorer' and 'sickness' than 'better', 'richer' and 'health'. We have suffered unbelievable trials, pain and heartache that most people will never, ever experience, even if they were to live to be one hundred, but we have also experienced lots of love, happiness and immeasurable joy that only the Lord can give.
We've discussed all of this on numerous occasions and we always come to the same conclusion; we wouldn't trade these past 20 years for anything in the world because the Lord is the ONLY One who knows the plan for our lives. He is the only One who can see the whole picture, not us. We know He uses everything, the good and the bad, in our lives to mold us into the people He wants us to be and to bring glory to His Kingdom. We would never want to interfere with that!
As I've told you all countless times, I am so blessed and thankful to call this man my husband. He takes care of me no matter what. These last few years of my illness have been very hard, but he takes in all in stride. He treats me like a Queen and loves me despite how sick I am and how much this sickness has taken away from us. He constantly reassures me that he loves me and that he isn't going anywhere. That gives me such a sense of peace.
If you made it this far, thanks so much for taking the time to read this. I truly appreciate it. I'm going to attach a song by Alan Jackson that I have always loved since the very first day I heard it. It truly speaks to me and I think it really describes the life David and I have made and lived together.
Click on video to enlarge for better viewing!
By: Alan Jackson
Remember when I was young and so were you
and time stood still and love was all we knew
You were the first, so was I
We made love and then you cried
Remember when we vowed the vows
and walked the walk
Gave our hearts, made the start, it was hard
We lived and learned, life threw curves
There was joy, there was hurt
Remember when old ones died and new were born
And life was changed, disassembled, rearranged
We came together, fell apart
And broke each other's hearts
Remember when the sound of little feet
was the music
We danced to week to week
Brought back the love, we found trust
Vowed we'd never give it up
Remember when thirty seemed so old
Now lookn' back it's just a steppin' stone
To where we are,
Where we've been
Said we'd do it all again
Remember when we said when we turned gray
When the children grow up and move away
We won't be sad, we'll be glad
For all the life we've had
And we'll remember when
Happy 20th Anniversary, Baby!
I love you with all my heart and soul....and I always will.
I love you with all my heart and soul....and I always will.