At the end of December my sister-in-law got married. The ceremony was beautiful, intimate, and so full of love. It was a joy to witness her and her husband becoming man and wife.
As I sat in the pew, watching them exchange their vows, I wondered what their future would bring. I have no doubt that they will love each other until “death do we part,” but what about the stuff in between? What trials will they endure? What joys will they celebrate?
Looking back on my own wedding day three and a half years ago I marvel at my own vows. They are heavy words. Promising to love in sickness and in health and for richer or poorer isn’t easy. I remember fully understanding the commitment I was making to Adam, and yet at the same time not really understanding it at all. The thing is, I don’t know if anyone truly can. I knew we would be faithful to each other in whatever life would bring, the question was, what would life bring?
Already life has brought us much joy: two beautiful children, new jobs, and countless moments of laughter. But we’ve also cried as we struggled to get pregnant with our first child, have dealt with difficult family issues, and have had our fair share of disagreements. Love is risky, yes, but a risk well worth taking. Prior to meeting Adam (and even in the early stages of our relationship) I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to open myself up to another. There was the potential to feeling pain and I wanted none of that. Foolishly, I wanted to guard my heart so that I’d never be hurt. However, eventually I realized that that was no way to live. In avoiding the pain, I was also avoiding the opportunity to feel love and joy—the things that help make the trials in life bearable, especially when you share them with the person you love.
I often wish I could go back to my wedding day and resay my vows. While I was more than sincere when I said them then, it sort of feels inadequate because my love for Adam has already deepened so much since then. And while it can sometimes be a bit intimidating to wonder what sorrows and joys still await us in this life, I’m also excited that through them my love for my husband will grow deeper still. In the words of John Lennon, “Grow old with me, the best is yet to be.”
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