I know it's not exactly catchy, but it's a true statement all the same.We had been engaged only a month or so and we had heard it was much easier for Andrew to bring me into the States as an alien wife than as an alien fiancee. We also knew we needed to speed up the paperwork so that I'd be able to go back to school in September, when I'd have to cross the Cdn-US border on a daily basis.
So, we stood in a living room before a Justice of Peace in Vancouver B.C. on April 16th, 1997, and said our 'I do's'. It was all a bit surreal. We didn't consider it our real wedding, but in a way it was. We knew that we would have to dissolve a marriage if things 'didn't work out' in the next couple of months as we readied ourselves for the July 10th wedding day. Before God, we weren't married...but legally, we were. It was rather odd.
To try to make this civil ceremony somewhat meaningful, I read from Scripture and Melody, Andrew's sister, and her friend Chris Cochrane, our two witnesses, sang a song. I don't think those additions were very memorable because I can't remember either the passage or the song. Oh well...it was worth the try.
We did seal it with a kiss...and hoped for the best.
My, we look so young and hopeful!
I wonder if the Justice of Peace thought it wouldn't last.
If so, little did she know.
Actually, little did we know.
We really did not know how much of God's grace we would need to see us through. But He knew. And He was there every step of the way. He's been faithful all these 14 years...so faithful that we can honestly say we love each other now more than ever.
Both our real-but-fake and our fake-but-real wedding days have come and gone so that yes, we are officially husband and wife before God and man. Yet, it's not those big moments that have made our marriage the real deal. It's the day-by-day stuff. As Paul Tripp puts it in his book What Did You Expect?, "The Character of a marriage is not formed in one grand moment. Things in a marriage go bad progressively. Things become sweet and beautiful progressively. The development and deepening of the love in a marriage happens by things that are done daily; this is also true with the sad deterioration of a marriage."
I'm so thankful for God's daily intervention in our lives as He convicts us of sin and opens our eyes to His work of grace in our own heart and that of our spouse's. I'm so thankful for Andrew's willingness to confess and to forgive. I'm thankful for the many years we have enjoyed together, seeing each other through many growth spurts in our faith. I'm thankful for the many years to come and the opportunities we will have to point each other to the cross. I'm thankful that it only keeps getting better!!
Happy 14th Real-But-Fake Anniversary, Andrew!! I love you so much!!