June 5, 2012 § 6 Comments
Five for Fighting
It is hard to put into words what it means to get to the 30-year mark with a spouse, especially when our life together started in our twenties! But here we are – Katherine and me – 30 years married. Frankly, I’m blown away.
But first, about my girlfriend and wife. We met in college. Belhaven is a small liberal arts school in Jackson, Mississippi. It is now a university, but when we attended it was a small institution of less than 1000 students, tucked in a beautiful Jackson neighborhood. I was in my fifth year, and through a set of cool circumstances, we sat near one another at a Christmas party, where I was able to hear and see Katherine sing – up close. We began dating. Katherine was a brilliant student, and had a promising singing career before her, had she chosen so. And I – well I was in my fifth year of college – what more do I need to say?
She rocked my world then, and she does today. Between her remarkable musical gifts accompanied by stunning inner and outer beauty and strength, I was hooked – immediately – and have been since. It seems every day I see new manifestations of that beauty.
Two-and-a-half years later we married in Nashville, where Katherine’s family lived, and where she grew up from Junior High, on. This has translated into a lifetime together that has yielded the fruit of enduring love. From before and since the time of our wedding, I was involved in ministry, with Katherine by my side, who somehow was able to teach music and lead churches in worship, all while instilling her strength and beauty into our three children. When my seminary studies were complete, we were off to three magnificent years of youth work, and then three churches I have been privileged to pastor. With each stop Katherine made every house into a home. I am most blessed.
The preacher in me wants to write a few points on relationships, but that would inadequately shift the storyline. Katherine and I are two people that God brought together, and held together because of Jesus. Somehow He took these two immature, flawed and insecure people, and made them into a couple. He protected them on a journey of love, pain, mistakes, ministry, friendships, fun, laughter, trials, troubles, triumphs, tears and joy. He graced us with three amazing children whom we continue to enjoy and adore in mutual love, a precious daughter-in-law and three congregations, along with lifelong friends, all of whom have added lovely chapters to our already-blessed lives. Each person and every experience, along the way – our children, the congregations, the seasons of our lives, and our beautiful friendships, like photographs taken throughout decades, have contributed ‘pieces’ in the shaping of the tapestry that is our marriage – we are humbled and thankful.
I don’t mind admitting that I write with the sweetest of tears…
And to reduce our marriage to a list of ‘how-tos’ would be to miss the point. This is God’s story –Thirty years ago He invited us to enter into it as husband and wife – in spite of ourselves.
Happy Anniversary Katherine – I loved you then, and I love you now.