It’s my anniversary, and on April 29th, 17 years ago, we vowed to love, honor, and cherish one another forever. I cannot help but wonder when exactly those vows were broken. Looking back over the years I remember too many slights, things I shrugged off thinking it was part of marriage, nobody’s perfect, he didn’t really mean it, but did he? How much did I matter?
Normally, I have to make a 35 minute trip each way to pick up the boys on my ex’s weekends (he moved almost 90 miles away). Luckily, after much arguing, we were able to agree to my making the trip only about 1/3 of the way once a week which is a huge relief since money is tight and time is even tighter.
He was in our hometown today with the boys and just sent me a text saying he would drop them off here tonight. In the almost three years he’s been gone, I think this is the 2nd time he’s done that. Usually, even if he is local, he makes me drive to our meeting point. His next text was, “You’re welcome,” although I hadn’t had time to say thank you (and being totally honest, may not have anyway).
I began thinking what a gift that extra 30 minutes would be and how it was the 1st anniversary gift he had given me in…and then I realized. I don’t think he had ever given me an anniversary gift. Is that even possible? Not a flower, not a Milky Way (I loved those candy bars! lol), not a thing.
What exactly was I missing with him gone? Some days it is hard to remember.
I sat in church this morning thinking of the vows I had made in a similar small church in a similar small town surrounded by family and friends. I meant those vows and I tried my best to keep them, but I was not perfect. I asked God to forgive me for the things I had said and done over the years and thought about that wedding day and what our anniversary could mean now (It did not occur to me until later to wonder what our anniversary could have meant if he had chosen differently – a sure sign my wounds are scarring over).
I wondered if I could make a lifetime commitment to God. Not promising never to get remarried or to fall in love, but promising to put God first, to trust him the way I had trusted my husband, and to love him with all my heart and soul before and while (someday?) loving another human being.
That made me think and I am not sure I could do it, but I did decide to renew with greater understanding of the commitment that forever means to live my life for the Lord and to trust him in whatever he throws my way, to follow his laws. Living by all 10 Commandments every minute…That’s a tall order and one I must renew with increased vigor each time I break it.
On this, my anniversary, I pledge to love God and trust him to follow his ways and to ask him forgiveness when I fail. I vow to live and love again.
Happy Anniversary to me!