Yesterday John and I celebrated 25 years of marriage. Thank you for the wonderful texts, cards, emails and Facebook comments of congratulations. We each posted a wedding photo and it amazed me how very young we looked back then. I have added some “laugh” lines over the past 25 years and my hair is gray; but, what a marvelous ride.
I realize that some may think that we have had an easy time of it. Our careers resulted in amazing opportunities and wonderful results. It is true that compared to so many that we have had a charmed existence. But, we have had our struggles.
- The loss of people we love and adore and still miss every day.
- Four surgeries for me and three for John.
- Long separations from each other due to jobs.
- Four heart-breaking floods.
- A sad and tragic church split.
- And, other personal and challenging issues.
What surprises me is how united and yet how independent we are. Before I was married, I thought married people lived every moment together and connected. After I was married, I realized that marriage is two people coming together and being united by God but still retaining their own personalities and carrying their own responsibilities.
No matter how amazing John is, it is up to me to be kind and compassionate. It doesn’t matter if our checking account has both of our names on it, I must be still responsible with the resources (like time and skills) God has given to me. And, regardless of how close John is to God, it is up to me to “work out my own salvation.”
Twenty-five years is a long time and I thank God and John for every moment. But, it is still up to me to live a life that makes a difference in the lives of others. Married or single, I have to answer for my acts, my word, my thoughts, and my attitudes. Marriage is no excuse to live any other way.
Jill (just one of God’s kids)
“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience. Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others – ignoring God! – harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.” (Galatians 6:4-8)