Today marks our 32nd wedding anniversary. Sort of hard to believe, in all honesty. Because it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. Because when you finally get it right, that’s what happens. And sometimes it takes a while to get it right.
Unfortunately I got it wrong the first time. All of my friends were getting engaged and getting married during the same time I had my first marriage. I guess it was the thing to do at the time. Many of them are still happily married to that same person. They were fortunate enough to get it right the first time.
Thinking back on it, I do wonder if I was in love with the guy I married in the early 70’s, or if I was in love with the idea of BEING in love. Or if I was just caught up in the excitement of wedding gowns with long trains, lacy bridal veils, (sometimes) tacky bridesmaid dresses, cascading bridal bouquets, and sugary wedding cakes with the plastic bride and groom on top! (How wedding styles have changed!)
But that marriage was only a wedding. I should’ve listened to my doubts and the “what ifs” that played through my mind the last few weeks before that wedding. But I didn’t; I thought it was just pre-wedding jitters. That one only lasted two and a half years. We just grew apart; we weren’t really in love; and it wasn’t in the Plan.
The Lord knew who He had in mind for me all along; He had his Plan. I just didn’t know it. Because I was impatient, and I didn’t want to wait.
I tried too hard to make it happen. I want to be married so much, that I made another, even worse, mistake.
I really REALLY got it wrong the second time. I settled for someone who was totally wrong, violent, and abusive, which had been well-hidden. Yes, I had misgivings before that wedding as well, but once again I didn’t listen to what I was feeling. Yes, I knew he wasn’t perfect, but neither was I, and I figured I could change him. We could make it work.
That 11 month marriage was DEFINITELY only a wedding, if you can even call it that. A nightmare was more like it. And I was fortunate to get out of that situation, both physically and emotionally.
All along, the Lord knew who He for me. And I still didn’t know it.
All I knew was, at that time I was glad to be free. The last thing I wanted was another man in my life. Finally, I started to discover who I was, and what I wanted out of my life. I actually enjoyed being with myself, instead of thinking I needed to be with a man; that I needed to be married.
And that’s what the Lord had been waiting for me to realize. I can imagine Him saying, “You finally figured it out. Now you’re ready for the one I chose for you!”
Needless to say, when I wasn’t expecting it, or looking for it, or even wanting it to happen, the Right One walked into my life. Actually, he was a store manager at the mall where I was Marketing Director, and he walked into the mall office and asked me to lunch. And thinking that he wanted to discuss mall business, I went.
The rest, as they say, is history.
And this time, instead of a fancy wedding, we were married at my mother’s house, with just a few friends and family in attendance. Instead of a wedding gown I wore a white suit and carried a few red roses. My mother’s friends provided a light lunch for us, and as we cut into our small wedding cake topped with a pair of white doves, I knew I’d finally gotten it right.
Waiting for the one the Lord has for you may not always be easy, but it’s worth it. Because His Plan is always so much better than ours.
Happy Anniversary, Ben. I love you, and I’m glad we both finally got it right!