So there we stood, two hopeful, middle-aged lovers with history. And failures. And children old enough to speak their minds. A diamond glittered on my finger and I was hopeful that somehow our families would understand the risk we proposed to undertake.
Risk is a fair topic when you have history to live down. We’d made, and broken, covenants before. And the family saw it just that way. “Who gets married at YOUR age?” one demanded. “It’s not like you’re going to have kids or anything.”
Even the respected older sister, more circumspect, ventured, “Maybe you should wait a while. This seems awfully soon.” I responded with only a smile. But later, alone, my tears shimmered more brightly than my engagement ring. And when his man-child shrugged and said, “You know, I have nothing against you,” I shrank inside.
I didn’t know I wanted love until it tripped me, one day. But now a promise sparkled in my heart and on my finger. I wanted him. I wanted us. And I wanted us without complications, without the reservations of well-meaning and well-loved family.
Doubt stretched before us like high, high hurdles.
“I’m not worth the drama,” I thought. “His family is so dear to him. This opposition will end us.” I sobbed silently into a pillow whose summer-fresh cotton case mocked my despair. Sleep came hard that night.
I awoke in the morning with a healing heart, remembering the price that was paid for my ransom, remembering how perfectly I am loved by the One whose love matters most, the One who gave us love.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:18-19
So I went to my beloved, and I told him perhaps we should part. “We both are loved by the King,” I reminded him. “If our marriage is going to bring this kind of pain to the family, perhaps we need to forsake each other and rest in His love.”
Before my eyes, my gentle, kind man drew himself up and showed steel. “No.” He said. “They’ll see. I am pledged to you, and I will honor my promise.”
I knew when the phone calls were urgent suggestions to reconsider, because he would not discuss the conversation with me. I knew he withstood pressure, because sometimes, when he thought I wasn’t watching, I saw him sag a little.
“As the Scriptures say, ‘A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:31-33
Our day came and my white-haired father guided his gray-haired daughter down the aisle as the organist played and the pastor nodded and the groom waited, steely and smiling. We stood before our families and we spoke our covenant and rings slid onto fingers and we became one in His eyes.
Now some time has soothed worries. We gather with our precious kin and we laugh, easy, as if it was always just fine. Today, when my tears shimmer, they are tears of gratitude.
“Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13
By Sheila Seiler Lagrand, Godspotting with Sheila