This is another update of an old post from a former blog...
Our 10th anniversary was March 1, 2007. All the plans I had been formulating in my brain had been shredded when my husband disclosed to me that last November (funny--his company has a document-shredding division). I really had only mildly hoped that there would be a meaningful celebration of our years together; pretty much all my expectations in marriage of your basic love, respect, teamwork, honesty, had all been given up on and my heart was so full of disappointment, there wasn't much there for hope to stick to. Still, it was a definite bummer to hear that what I thought we had left between us was really a total mirage, a lie, a joke...whatever. However, I'm thankful for the Holy Spirit within me (I don't know how to say that without it sounding bible-y) that pointed my heart toward the future, and the big picture, and wrapped my brain around the realization that time means nothing to God, and that it is possible, even at this very moment of devistation, to look forward to better celebrations at 15, 25, maybe even 50 years. I believe in a God that can do that!
When March 1st rolled around, we were actually in the middle of our 90-Days of Celibacy, probably one of the most helpful exercizes in our healing process. Yes, that means that we didn't have sex or do anything alone or with each other that was sexual in any nature. We actually started this 90 days in November, but we messed it up twice and had so start over...from...the...begining... This is no easy feat, but I'll say it again: it was one of, if not the most important things we did to heal ourselves and our relationship. I'll explain more of the wonders of celibacy in another blog.
But now back to the Archive Post. Our 90 Days ended just after our anniversary, and my husband had asked me to renew our vows at that time (you know, so we could "honeymoon" properly). It was all tied in: moving back in (we were separated for about 2 months), ending the 90 days (which meant he could sleep in our bed again), and renewing the vows...and our counselor made it very clear that I was not to take my acceptance of any of these things lightly. I wasn't to just let my husband move back in because it would make my life easier, or end the 90 days just because I like to have sex and a warm body next to me in bed at night. It was a VERY hard decision to make. It was like there was no right answer, no way of knowing for sure that it was safe to make such a committment to this man who had done such horrible things. But there was evidence that he was changing in ways that are only explained by the supernatural. Stuff that doesn't look extremely convincing yet... you know that it seems to be growing in a soil tended by the Almighty, and just might be worth making a leap of faith.
So leap I did. I accepted his proposal, and it was insane how opposite these vows were from the originals. Not just in the words, but in the conviction of them. We were damn serious, let me tell you. This was no light-hearted act of commitment; I believe it was more of the kind of ceremony that the angels sing at, because we were knowingly taking a step forward in full trust in the Father that loves us more than we could ever love each other. Renewing our vows meant we were giving God a chance to heal our hearts, mend our marriage, and live through our redemption. It was the most beautiful ceremony...the beauty being mostly unseen.
We renewed our vows on St. Patrick's Day, next to a very green duck pond (God's little irony, perhaps?), hence the title. But it's true: luck had absolutely nothing to do with getting us to that point. It was pure providence. A series of miracles, and this St. Patrick's Day marked the begining of a whole new set of miracles to come...
Original Post: March 17, 2007
We renewed our vows to each other this St. Patrick's Day, after 10 years of marriage and surviving more than a couple of marital crises...
My Beloved, this is my covenent to you and our God:
I will be faithful to God by seeking His truth and guidance daily
I will be committed to honesty and integrity.
I will connect regularly with God-fearing men in our community to help strengthen my faith in the Lord.
I will be committed to maintaining sexual purity and obeying His commands.
I will be faithful to you, Beloved, by loving you as modeled in Ephesians 5, "just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her to make her holy..."
I will love you as my own body and self.
I will continually lift you up in prayer, and will pray with humility, out of submission to God, so I may admit when I'm wrong.
I promise to continue taking spiritual leadership in our home as God has placed me as your head.
And, I will be proactive in planning for our future together, and the future of our children.
I love you!
My Lover, my Husband:
My promise to you is to--first and foremost--be faithful to our Lord God.
I will try to always be teachable, keeping a soft heart toward God.
I will strive to understand His Word, listen to His voice, and always be obedient.
I promise to be faithful to you emotionally, physically and spiritually, regarding you as my head, submitting to you in everything as to the Lord.
I will continue in my quest to be a wife of noble character, so that everything I do will bring glory to God and will bring good to you all the days of my ife...
I love you!