When it comes to their wedding, some people would say, “Oh, I remember it like it was yesterday.” Well, Brad and I are celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary today, and I can honestly say that I remember….most of it and some of it. (Some days I don’t even know if I could remember YESTERDAY like it was yesterday…but that’s probably because of our children. Haha.)
Even though it was a beautiful day, I really only remember certain bits and pieces of my wedding day, such as not being 100-percent happy with my final hair and makeup, but knowing that I didn’t want to worry about it enough to be make us start the ceremony late. I remember hanging around in the back rooms of my grandparents’ church with all of our wedding party, parents, and grandparents while we waited for the moment we were all to take our places. I remember not being able to look up much as I walked down the aisle toward Brad because I was doing my best not to cry (happy tears). I remember prompting my dad with the order of the ceremony because he was a little emotional himself as he officiated his daughter’s wedding (He almost passed over the kiss! Haha.) I remember that even though things didn’t go flawlessly (our caterer was late to the reception, for one), it was still perfect enough to us.
While I know that we chose to use the traditional wedding vows, I don’t really remember that specific moment. Thankfully, being the romantic girl that I am, I pretty much had those words memorized long before the day I spoke them to Brad.
“I, Kishona, take you, Brad, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”
Over the past eight years, we have enjoyed more “better,” “richer,” and “in health” than the opposite, but we have had enough moments of “worse,” “poorer,” and “sickness” to test those promises. Because, let’s be honest, it’s easy to thrive in your marriage when things are easy, good, and happy. It’s what all the fairy tales are made of, right?
But real life is found in the struggle of the difficult moments, and growth in your relationship only comes through facing the challenges together.
Looking back, I can see that Brad and I have done rather well in working together rather than against each other, even when we didn’t agree on things. However, that’s not to say we are either one perfect or that we, as a couple, have it all together.
I think what we do have is a single focus: glorifying God through our life together. It’s not about me, and it’s not about Brad, and it’s not even about “us.” We believe that God brought us together because we can serve Him better together. Our marriage is about Him.
Even though so many weddings use 1 Corinthians 13 as one of their readings or sermon points, I really think that a different scripture sums up marriage even better:
“So He answered and said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:27)
Loving God with all you are will make you the spouse you need to be, one capable of loving your spouse, the closest “neighbor” you’ll have, as yourself.
Not long before Brad and I got married, I read a quote that said something like this, “Marriage is your lifelong ministry to one person.”
Having seen that modeled in my parents’ marriage, it wasn’t a foreign concept, but it gave me the right perspective as Brad and I started on our adventure together.
My purpose as his wife is to encourage him in his walk in the Lord, love him sacrificially, consider him before myself, support him in his goals and dreams, speak the truth in love, pray for him, appreciate him, and respect him. And his purpose is to do the same for me. Oh, and to tell me that I’m pretty. 🙂 (It’s kind of funny because if you were to ask us who the most giving person was in our marriage, we would both say the other person, so that works out nicely.)
Over time, memories of our wedding day will probably grow a little dimmer still, but with our commitment to God and each other, we’ll make sure our marriage will be unforgettable.
I love you, Bradley! 🙂 Happy anniversary!