The last two weeks have been a whirlwind full of romance. Not only is it the most wonderful time of the year celebrating Jesus’ birthday, but I flew down to Key West for my daughter Megan’s wedding, came home and started a new job the next day, had a reception for the newlyweds a few days after that and then it was Christmas. Although they were all good things and cause for great celebration, at times I thought I would crack! Who wouldn’t with a stress barometer on overload?!? But it was all brilliantly blissful, and here I am looking back and imagining it was a fairy tale… the happily ever after kind.
Megan and Matt are now husband and wife. Their journey has just begun. As I stood watching their wedding photo session at the Southern most point of the United States with palm trees blowing, sailboats passing and a gorgeous sun setting in the background, I couldn’t help but think of the voyage that lies ahead for them. Once they settle down from all the excitement and wonder and beauty of a magically perfect wedding day and reception, reality will set in. A good reality where they have promised each other that for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health they will love and support each other through life’s ups and downs. And as we seasoned adults already know, there are many ups and downs. Everyday life will begin with all its twists and turns. The road will rise and fall, good times will come, hopefully few bad times, and through it all you will have the trust and security that you feel in marriage when you know you don’t have to go through it alone. There is a hand to hold, a shoulder to lean on and someone who loves you so much that you know they will always be there for you no matter what.
I won’t pretend that marriage is easy. You love each other with all your hearts and, yet, sometimes you hate the very same person for reasons that are mostly foolish and self-serving, but sometimes very serious. You learn to work it out and talk it out and compromise and hopefully realize that giving up is not an option. And after you have worked it out, you’re proud of yourself because you’ve made it through another crisis together and love each other even more.
Marriage is meant to be forever – it’s not meant to give up on at the first sign of trouble. It means renewing a relationship over and over and over again, and growing together in understanding and loving your spouse more and more each day despite the problems that crop up from time to time. You will hopefully be blessed with children, and that will be another road traveled down together with so much joy your heart will almost burst! It will make your relationship even more precious.
So, I toast my daughter Megan and my new son Matt. Wishing you all the joy your hearts can hold and God’s blessings on each step you take down the different roads you will travel. I wish you patience, fortitude and understanding when the going gets tough, and I wish you love and laughter and silliness and fun. And don’t forget to dance together often, it’s important!