I am pleased to introduce you this morning to Vickie Henderson from My Right Side Up Life. She is a writer, speaker, and radio host with a heart full of love and passion for women. Her story was so amazing to hear and I found myself relating to her on so many levels. I know you will enjoy this so without hesitation, take it from here Vickie . . .
Do not renew your vows
Am I the only one? My eyes sparkled as I walked down the aisle, unaware anyone existed in the sanctuary except my man. Maybe I am the only one willing to admit I had no idea what I was getting into when I agreed to do this for life. Neither did he. My thirty-first wedding anniversary was yesterday. Don’t say it! Yes, I was very, very young when I married. The veil covering my face also hid the difficulties our commitment would eventually entail. All that mattered at the time was being head-over-heels in love with the curly-headed football player I spotted in the hallway in my sophomore year. His thumb was in a cast the first time we met. I hurried past him in my cheerleader uniform, on the verge of getting demerits for not having my spirit signs hung in the hall. The rest, as they say, is history. A lot of history.
Genesis 2:24, “This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.” HCSB
We never should have made it. I could list the reasons, but trust me. I guess statistically most don’t make it anymore. Perhaps that is one of the reasons society is now redefining marriage. God ordained marriage and He intended for it to be a beautiful, tangible portrait of the relationship between Christ and the church-loving, sacrificial, protective and redemptive. A great, profound mystery. No, my marriage does not look like that. I daresay, none do. But thirty-five years after that hallway meeting, I am still head-over-heels in love with that curly-headed football player.
Mark 10:9, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” KJV
I TAKE THEE TO BE MY LAWFUL…
Although I tend to be pretty corny, I have never had any desire to renew my vows. However, I have heard of some pretty special ceremonies if that’s your thing. We said the traditional vows:
For better, for worse
For richer, for poorer
In sickness and in health
Only we never envisioned how poor, how much worse and how sick.
We began our journey poor. We lived in a trailer park and once dug six dollars in change from the couch cushions to eat at Taco Bell. Been there, survived that.
No matter what kind of relationship you think someone else has, better and worse are inevitable. Been there, survived that.
Now we are in the sickness and health phase. I never saw it coming. I exercised, ate like a health food nut and I have exceptionally good genes. I envisioned myself remaining healthy and active until a ripe old age.
Job 17:11-12, “My days have passed, my plans are shattered. Yet the desires of my heart turn night into day.” NIV
TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH
Myasthenia gravis derailed my vision of our future, but thankfully it did not derail my marriage. Seventy-five percent of marriages end in divorce if one has a chronic illness. So much for vows. I won’t lie, it’s tough sometimes, really tough. I am sure he would agree. Poverty makes you want to quit, worse makes you want to leave, but sickness? Often it is the final nail in the coffin. Exiting my teens as I said my vows, I thought only of the rich, the better and the healthy and of course that curly-headed football player. We were clueless, but committed. I guess that is precisely why it’s called a vow.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ,”Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others. Isn’t always ‘me first,’ doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end.” MSG
It is a good thing I do not want a ceremony to renew my vows, my husband would give me that look if I suggested it. It is far better that he honors the vows he made all those years ago. As Christians let us make marriage in His image, according to His plan. Then maybe, just maybe, the world will want what we have. Hopefully, our kids will too.
Vickie Petz Henderson, M.D. practiced obstetrics and gynecology for twenty years until her active life was derailed by a rare neuromuscular disease. With a unique perspective as a physician, patient and lover of God and His word, she offers encouragement for those whose lives have been turned upside down. You can learn more about her journey here. Blog: My Right Side Up Life Facebook: Vickie Petz Henderson Twitter: @rightsideuplife