May 19, 2011

I Do...All Over Again

Twenty-one years ago Dan and I stood before family, friends and God and promised our forevers to each other. The service was beautiful. The May day was picture-perfect. Every carefully planned detail fell into place. Joy bubbled over. It was the Best. Day. Ever.

Not once during our engagement or our twenty-one years of marriage have I questioned, regretted or second-guessed my decision to marry Dan. I have always had full confidence that he was “the one.” It’s a confidence we both share. And it’s been an anchor that has kept us from crashing on the rocks during stormy seas.

I know many whose marriages aren’t safe, secure or supportive places. I thank God for the assurance that has made my marriage a safe harbor. I know it’s a gift.

Believe me in two decades of togetherness Dan and I have had our struggles. But no matter what the issue, as we’d muddle through we’d find ourselves right back where we started twenty-one years ago—of one mind and one heart. What separated us has never been greater than what joined us.

Today marriage is an endangered species. Divorce is so common we accept and even expect it as a by-product of marriage. This morning I read that the divorce rate has actually gone down. Good news, I thought. Until I read on and discovered that this is primarily because more couples are choosing to live together rather than get married.

“’Til death do us part” seems like an old-fashioned notion—so out of touch with the realities of today. But I believe in marriage more strongly today than I did two decades ago.

Something incredible happened in the Garden of Eden. God created man, and it was good. God created woman to be with man, and joined them in marriage—and it was very good. Man and woman together. It was God’s design from the beginning. Two flesh, united as one.

We are better together.

Marriage isn’t easy. It’s not always fun. It’s often ugly and messy. Too often I offer my worst—my most impatient, frustrated, critical and controlling self. But I’m a work in progress and so is Dan. Where there is love, there is forgiveness.

So, today I celebrate my marriage and my traveling companion on the adventure. Dan introduced me to a “buck-up-little-camper” attitude which isn’t just good advice on the trails, but in the trials as well. Together we’ve traveled through the peaks and valleys of life before children, parenthood, self-employment, home improvements, finances and relationships. We’ve explored, hiked, biked and backpacked some spectacular places together.

But the most wonderful journey so far is the one of faith we travel, now that we’ve both chosen Jesus to be our Guide. As God continues to enter our marriage I feel our best adventures are yet to come—in the ministry, in the mission field, in fellowship or wherever God leads.

Today I pause to reminisce and reflect, and to reaffirm before God: “Dan, I do. Until death do us part.”


Sue J. said...

The trails and the trials--yes, love that! No doubt, Dan keeps you smiling, and you keep him grounded, at least, in spirit (and organized!) HA!

Happy Anniversary to you both!! And, indeed, celebrate and continue to be a witness of the greatness of God's plan for men and women in marriage to be better together as one.


Congratulations Kelli and Dan . . . 21 years.


Peggy said...

Congradulations to both of you....
May God shower you with much love, grace, peace and happiness in the next 21 to come...
Blessings and Love....Peggy

Dan said...

Me too. So, I introduced Kelli to "buck up?" That's great. She introduced me to Jesus.

Kelli wins.

Terri Tiffany said...

What a blessing you sound like you both are to each other!!

Cheryl Barker said...

Congratulations to you both! Love Dan's comment. If it was on Facebook, I'd click "Like" :)

By the way, May 19 is my sister's anniversary, too, as well as my mom's birthday. A good day for a whole lot of folks! :)

Kelly said...

Congratulations, Kelli. I see many blessings in your life and this is another one that God has given to you with trust. :)

Susan S said...

Yay, Kelli and Dan! It is such a delight to know and love you both, and to see how God is the glue in your marriage.

Denise said...

Congratulations to you both. May God continue to bless your journey as you follow Him.