“So how is married life? And the new job?” Rosie text me this week.
Rosie, if you don’t remember, was my personal attendant at our wedding, the creator of the hot chocolate bar, and a friend since our teenage years. We did breakfasts before work and coffee since then whenever we could.
She knew how much I loved my Laurel Street friends who were in my bridal party, whose couch and fellowship I loved so much that I told them (jokingly, I say) that I wouldn’t go to their weddings if they got married and spoiled our fun.
She knew about my job in the hospital by the river, where the turtles reminded me of God’s love from their sunbathing outposts as I walked by.
She knew about my fears that getting married would not only change things but perhaps be too traumatic to survive well. With the pressures of dating and wedding planning, I had been on occasion about to snap, and more than once wondered, “Is this really the right thing?” After all, its not exactly reversible.
Different people told me that they too had felt this way before marriage but to just keep on and it would feel more like normal life after the wedding was past.
But what if it didn’t work that way for us? After all, most people don’t live as an independent single for a decade or two as we had done before getting married.
As of today, our wedding is a distant five weeks in the past and we are beginning to feel like old married people. (We’re old, and we’re married.) So I replied to her:
Very good! It’s such a relief to be married and through the dating thing…. Our house is still a bit of a wreck but I love living with my man. The job is perfect right now… very laid back!
“Good!!” She replied.
Of course, we’re smart enough to know we’re still in the honeymoon stage. Every now and then we look at each other and say, “Do you think we’ll still love each other in five years?” Or something like that.
What a blessing then, to be at another winter wedding today in frozen West Virginia. Not only were the bride and groom in our age bracket, but we met many other inspiring people. One was my friend Joanna, one of the heroines I wrote about in Blue Christmas, a star of the cholera epidemic in Haiti. She had married since then, at 50 years old, and it was clear that she and her husband were still enjoying each other three years later.
Then there were my dear friends Kevin and Rosetta, my guides across the Middle East. So good to see them again! They are settled into their cabin home in the Virginia mountains with an adorable, super sociable baby named Asher.
Then there were friends who had gotten married at our age. “We’re still in the honeymoon stage sometimes,” he told us, even though their lives are busy with several children and plans to go into mission work in the Middle East.
What a blessing to have friends with such vision and encouragement!
“That was so good,” Marnell said as we left the wedding.
“It was,” I agreed. “Except now I want to go to the Middle East.” I laughed.
We don’t know the future, but the other day– that day that it was -13 degrees at 9 am– I was driving over my favorite river on my favorite Sherman Street bridge on the way home from a home health ventilator class. The water in the river was sluggish, like fruit punch in the freezer, beginning to set. Pieces of ice and slush bobbed and swelled. I knew parts of the river were frozen.
Then I saw the pair of swans.
Why? Why would you swim in that river? I turned off into the boat launch area, I guess just to make sure my eyes had not deceived me. They had not. I caught another glimpse of the two white birds before they coasted under the bridge.
I don’t suppose that floating in a river full of ice was the dream life of those two swans, but there they were, together, sustained by their Creator. And there I was, being once again sustained by my Creator through the beautiful river.
God is good…. and when Marnell had a meeting the other night, I even managed Christmas with my Laurel Street friends. Aren’t we handsome?
Sorry about the late post… driving home from West Virginia currently with the my favorite person in the world.