Thursday, May 12, 2011

With This Ring I Thee Wed

Today I celebrate the day that 10 years ago I married the most wonderful man that God could have ever created for me. Ironically ten years ago, I was not thinking that I would make it this far in my marriage. I know it sounds crazy that I went into a marriage not believing I would stay married ten years but I did not know what commitment was then. Ten years ago I was a twenty four year old, spoiled, selfish brat who got what I wanted, when I wanted and if what I wanted wasn't given to me, then I took it regardless of who I hurt in the process.

When I said YES to my second marriage, my messed up way of thinking was that we weren't teaching our children right by living together so we just had to do the "right thing" but in my heart I really didn't believe it was going to last. I just thought you said the words With this ring I thee wed, to have and to hold, for richer, for poorer, til death do us part because it was repetitive statement you had to say to make sure the marriage was legal. I didn't really believe that relationships lasted because I had never seen one that had lasted.

We were so foolish that of course we were not without our drama at the beginning of our marriage. When James and I said, "I do", we each had children and brought A LOT of our extra baggage of  negative thinking, family drama, messed up thoughts,  and most of all damaged hearts that trusted no one, not even each other. Neither of us were walking with the Lord at the time but we soon found out we needed Him or we wouldn't survive this marriage. Once we started walking with the Lord I saw all these women who were real about the struggles in their lives and in their marriages but yet somehow they survived and still had great relationships with their husbands AND children. Oh, how I wanted that.

I decided that if those women could have marriages that I only thought happened to "other people" then I could try it and see how that worked for me. Remember how I said, "when I wanted something I went after it, no matter who I hurt in the process", well this time I wasn't going to hurt people I was going to hurt the devil! So I perched myself right up into the lives of those women to learn everything they had to offer. As those women let me into their lives I saw strong godly women with imperfections but with lots of grace, forgiveness and love for their husbands, children and themselves and they all did it with God right in the middle of their lives.

As our marriage grew and James and I saw bondages and generations of junk breaking off of us,  we actually started becoming friends! Which was still kind of strange to me because I just couldn't believe God really wanted me to have a great marriage. I honestly believed that God was gonna punish me by taking James away because of all the horrible things I had done to hurt people in my previous relationships. But the longer I walked with God and I learned about His promises for me, for my marriage and for my family I broke off that negative way of thinking and learned that He wants the greatest for me in all things but I had to continue to rise up and know that I was a new creation in Jesus and that all those old things have passed away. I no longer believe those lies and I'm truly grateful for the love and grace God has shown James and I that has allowed us to create such a strong relationship together.

If you look closely at our wedding rings you can see lots of scratches and imperfections in them and that is because we rarely take them off even when working. I've never asked James why he doesn't take his off when he's working but I rarely take mine off because it's my security in what God has promised me. Even with all it's imperfections, scratches and dents my ring is never ending, it continues on, just like the love God has shown me and James throughout these last ten years. When we got married ten years ago we had no idea of the issues we'd go through with our children, our parents or how close we'd come to death ourselves but I know that because we chose to place God right in the middle of our lives we made it through and will continue to make it through.

I'm honored to be Mrs. James Bertrand Jr. and I look forward to being her for many more years to come.

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