The mid-June day is lit with a golden sun whose rays give a heavenly halo to the white tulle swathes that drape and cascade over anything standing still. Little bundles of white wildflowers with their natural wooden stems give an earthy feel to the ethereal setting that is accented with mason jars and wooden signs decorated with Cricut cut vinyl that spells out that ever familiar scripture:
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, endures all things.1 Corinthians 13:4-7 CSB
As a sometimes photographer and, well, woman, I’ve been to and even Pinterest-ed a few weddings. I’ve been witness to settings just as this or others where the preacher shared these such reminders of what love is. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is scripture known by Christians and non-Christians alike. When you hear these words written by Paul, you cannot help but smile and feel uplifted. However, I think I’ve been searching for something more than uplifted. Something deeper. Something sustaining.
I think I’ve been searching for a way for these words to be inscribed upon the depths of my heart so they are an innate part of my being, so that they, words that instruct me how to live and be, are the foundation of my joy.
I’ve been searching unaware that I was looking for anything at all until recently when this scripture has lain heavily upon my heart.
Today, June 12, 2019, is my wedding anniversary. Today, Wade and I have been married for 15 years. These 15 years have been nothing and everything like I imagined they would be. At times, the years have brought me to the heights of happiness, and other times, they’ve brought me to the depths of sorrow. The longer I’m married to Wade, the more profoundly I love him. Some days that love is natural and easy. Other days it is a choice and difficult. I know he’d say the same about loving me! It may be cliche, but I cannot imagine my life without him. Our marriage is a place where I find myself, a place where I find contentment, a place where I find joy.
That is how God devised and designed marriage. He wants our marriage — a marriage ordained by Him — to be composed of a husband and wife focused on Him who complement one another. A marriage where the man and woman work cohesively together so they can better praise and point others to Him.
However, we are an imperfect people.
I am an imperfect person.
As much as I love and cherish Wade and our relationship and as often as I pour myself into that relationship, I JUST AS OFTEN mess it up and take all that it is and can be for granted. Knowing this, I have decided to take a journey. No, as Beth Moore said, I plan to begin a quest. I call it a quest and not a journey because I have no plans to wander aimlessly and just see what happens. Instead, I have questions about how to be a better wife, a better partner, and have a better marriage that I want to present to God so He can use His divinely inspired Word to teach me, to guide me, and to lead me along this quest. I imagine it is a quest whose treasure is found along the way for there is no end until we are with our Lord in heaven. Becoming a better help mate will be an ever evolving adventure, and I want to ask God to be more of an integral part of that adventure than I’ve previously invited Him to be. I imagine this is a quest where I can meet God and converse with Him each time I turn to scripture to ask my questions and seek His answers. I imagine it is a quest upon which I may sometimes grow weary, sometimes balk at taking a certain path, sometimes incur sprains and exhaustion of a divine nature that will serve to grow me and make me into the wife and partner God desires me to be for Wade, for our girls, for Him.
Wade and I have had the best 15 years together, and I fully intend on the next 15, 25, 35, and more years to be even better than the first. I’ve been blessed with not only a husband, but a husband who is dedicated to me and to our family. I have a deep set desire to know how to steward that gift from God in the best way I possibly can. To be the steward that He designed me to be.
Now, if you’ve ever read of any quest, you know it starts somewhere. Dorothy began on the yellow brick road. I begin in 1 Corinthians 13. This scripture, after all, focuses on love.
Love is where Wade’s proposal began. Love is what walked me down the aisle on June 12, 2004 to meet his wide grin. Love is what dried my tears and assuaged his anger during the arguments of our first few years. Love is what repeatedly humbles both of us each day we are together. Love is where I begin.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 has been on my heart for weeks. I had decided that its description of love is what I wanted to use as my guide on this quest. Then today, as I was driving Jadyn to cheer practice, the verse of the day on my Bible app came across my watch. Guess what the scripture was!?!?!
Yep, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
What are the odds, right?
So, the next time I meet you here, I will not be interviewing a couple as I had initially set out as my goal for this blog. Instead, I will be interviewing God so to speak. I want to sit down and have a nice conversation with Him about exactly what love is and how He sees us carrying it out in this precious relationship we call marriage as these imperfect people we call husband and wife. Until then…