Paul and I have just celebrated forty-two years of marriage. I can honestly say, even with my lively imagination, I never comprehended what an adventure the years would hold.
We have two wonderful children, a great son in law, two adorable, intelligent and amazing grandchildren and that's not all.
Together we have flown on hundreds of planes, been on buses with chickens clucking around our heads and strange children vomiting on us, slept on trains, driven old cars, gone on boats that I thought would sink, visited over fifty countries, lived on four continents, moved home countless times, eaten weird and wonderful dishes, slept on floors, in huts, homes, tents, cars and hotels. We have preached in the open air, little mud huts, tents, churches, hotel rooms and cathedrals. We have led and planted churches, pioneered Africa School of Missions, and led different Bible Colleges and churches on four continents.
We have enjoyed more cups of tea with each other and our children and grandchildren than most. We have done safaris, climbed mountains, gone on cruises, built homes, ridden camels, covered ourselves with mud and floated in the Dead Sea. We danced in Samoa and made kids laugh hysterically at our awkward moves. We have done too many crazy things to recount here. We have sat around meal tables with our kids and grandkids and reminsced about all the good things God has done. We have traveled to some of the most exotic places and been to many poverty stricken areas. We started children's clubs in places we were told not to. We have walked down dusty roads telling people Jesus is the answer. We have taken ridiculous risks and gone to places when God told us to go and man told us not to. We have seen people give their hearts to Jesus and their marriages and homes made whole again. We have trodeen through life with people with drug addictions and other debilitating habits. And now we are leading young people at Trinity Bible College and Graduate School into a prefered future!
Paul and I have laughed more than most and probably cried as much. The challenges have been daunting—we have had trials and triumphs, tragedies and joy. But we have done this journey side by side and never let go of each other. Through thick and thin we have held each other close.
I was sixteen when Paul stole my heart and he still holds it today. I can't imagine my life without him. We seem to think the same thoughts at the same time. He starts singing a song I was singing in my head. He knows when I am up and he feels when I am down. I sometimes wonder if we really are two individuals because it feels as if we are one. When our grandchildren were small they called us 'Cammy and Nanat". When we had been away from them for a time they never asked, "where are Cammy and Nanat"? No, they asked; 'Where is CammyNanat"? I loved it...they saw us as one. And that is exactly what we have been for forty-two years. One!
No, it hasn't been all smooth sailing. In fact, without Jesus, this journey would have been worthless and empty. So here are the five to reasons why I am still married to this man
1. I love Jesus: Jesus came into our lives as young people and we ensured that when we got married He would be the most integral part of our relationship. We promised we would always be the most important person to the other, but Jesus would always come first in both of our lives. He has and always will.
2. I love Paul: No, not because he is perfect, but I promised to love him 'until death parts us'. And I will keep that promise. But, the truth is I love him so much now that I never want to be apart from him. The longer we are together the more I love him and the more I need him.
3. I love my children: I know the BEST gift we can ever give the two amazing children God gave us is our love and devotion to each other.
4. I love my grandchildren: I want to leave a godly heritage for my family. I want them to know that marriage is not a game but a lifelong commitment. My grandchildren need to see that relationships are precious and that to journey through life together means holding fast to each other through the good and the bad.
5. I love my marriage: My marriage is sacred. There is no one who enters the most sacred space of my heaart and life except Paul, and of course, my Jesus. I was given the most precious gift forty-two years ago. Paul gave me his heart. That is quite some gift. I have held it tight and I don't plan to let it go. And the best of all is Jesus holds both our hearts in His hands.
My prayer is that you would honour your vows and love your spouse. Please don't give up on the most cherished relationship you have. It's worth holding tight.
I am and always will be,
recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,