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Shortly after we were married, the company my husband was working for folded under mysterious circumstances, and its owner disappeared into the night.  For the next eleven months, my husband was without full-time work.  We were broke. 

We weren’t exactly rolling in the dough before he lost his job.  We were young and just beginning our careers, so this was quite a blow.

We took work anywhere we could get it.  I had a few piano students, took singing gigs wherever I could and decorated ice cream cakes at his mother’s store.  He worked for a neighbor who had a landscaping business and took odd jobs from anyone who offered.

We ate rice and beans.  We went to the public library for dates.  We bought our clothing at thrift stores.  And when it all got to be too much, we volunteered at a soup kitchen to remind us that there were others who had it far worse.

We couldn’t give up, though.  We had freshly promised before God and many witnesses to stick with each other “in plenty and in want.”  With some age and perspective on me now, I can see that God gave us that time of want as a wedding gift.

We were dependent upon each other for survival, so we learned trust.

We worked on our situation together, so we learned teamwork.

We had very little, so we learned the benefits of simplicity.

We couldn’t afford everything we needed, so we learned to set priorities.

We were desperate with worry, so we learned to depend on God.

I have heard it said that the purpose of marriage is not to make you happy, but to make you holy.  This weekend, my man and I will celebrate eighteen years of holy-making: sickness, health, plenty, want, better and worse.  (With all we’ve been through in the last eighteen years, we ought to be pretty “holy-fied” by now.  God is still working on us…)

Funny, it’s those early days I miss – days before kids and schedules and mortgages and careers.  Life was simpler then.

I have a feeling that our life will return to simplicity once again.  But by that time, the girl in the marshmallow wedding dress and the guy with the inappropriate moustache will be silver-haired and wrinkly.

And we will thank God for our most unusual wedding gift – a disguised blessing.

 wedding

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”  (James 1:2-3, NIV)

P.S. This post was published at a coffee shop.  (Landscapers have seen to it that I have no internet.)  Your comment may not appear until tomorrow, when certain cut cables should be repaired.  :/  Thanks for your patience.  – wwh

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