One of God’s Great Mercies

mj wedding photo.jpg
(You may not recognize these people; but this is really us)

I’ve been thinking about my wedding over the last week or so. I guess because our anniversary is coming up, my wedding has been on my mind. What were Mark and I thinking 15 years ago at this time when our wedding was looming 3 weeks away? I remember being very busy. Apart from the planning the wedding, Mark and I worked together for a ministry where we published the organization’s magazine and newsletters. We were trying to get everything done for those publications so that we wouldn’t have to worry about anything on our lengthy 2-week honeymoon. I remember running all over South Florida looking for little things to make the wedding just right. The day of the wedding was “cold.” It was in the 60s and windy. We were married on a Friday night, 5 days before Christmas. We chose this day because it was the only day we could get the church during the busy Christmas season. I wanted to get married then because the church was so beautifully decorated that I didn’t have to worry about the expense or the selection of decorative flowers. I will never regret getting married at Christmas time. The church was beautiful, and the overall feeling of the holidays added to the celebratory atmosphere of our wedding.

A couple of days ago, while I was doing things in my little dungeon office in our basement, I came across the audio tape of our wedding ceremony. I listened to it while I did some work at my desk. Our boss at the ministry at that time, George Grant, performed our ceremony. He preached a very “covenental” ceremony. Mark’s parents and brother were not “reformed” at the time, so we heard a few comments about that. The music was really beautiful, too. Hearing to the soloist now is sad because she was a friend and co-worker who became apostate about 5 years after we were married.

The sermon George gave made it sound like our wedding was a pivotal part of the history of Christendom. Now, I know, in reality, not many people over the course of time will know anything about us or what our role has been in the world or in the church for that matter. But in the same way that there are things about God we can’t truly understand like the Trinity or how we’re truly impacted by baptism or taking the Lord’s supper, I do believe that there is something mysterious and awesome about marriage–especially when it works well. Does our marriage always work well? No. But for what I will call “the first part of the long haul,” I think it is working well. I am thankful for that day nearly 15 years ago when Mark agreed to be my husband. I am thankful for the history we share and the children we now have together. I would do several things differently if I were given the chance. But the important things would stay the same. I would still marry Mark. I would still follow him across the country despite the stress this sometimes entailed. I would still move furniture in and out of domiciles with him, even though these experiences often tested the strength of our marriage more than some little moment in time should. When I look back over the past 15 years, I am happy with who we were and who we are becoming. Even when I feel uncertain about so many things, I feel sure God led me to the right person to be my partner in life. This is a good feeling when the hard things in life come. It is one of God’s great mercies in life to put strong and godly people around us to help us endure all that comes our way.

6 thoughts on “One of God’s Great Mercies”

  1. You look beautiful and I can see your children in your youthful faces. What a blessing a good marriage is, truely it does make life easier when other stuff is difficult.

  2. Jenn, what a beautiful photo! A couple of “lookahs” as they say here. (“Lookers,” for you non-New Englanders, meaning good-looking.)

    Wedding stories are so fun, aren’t they? I once thought a lot about planning a scrapbooking “sleepover” in my condos’ common room, with all of us working on our anniversary albums… For my tenth anniversary, I got 2/3 of the photos into a scrapbook, along with a narrative about the day. All the rest are gathered in an archival box, waiting to be finished.

    Blessings on and around your anniversary.

  3. What an amazing picture and a great reflection! We got married on December 23rd, and were glad to have a Christmas wedding as well!

  4. Hey Jennifer!

    I love this post. We got married right AFTER Christmas almost 11 years ago, but I would heartily agree with you about the feelings you express here. How mysterious and awesome, indeed! And merciful, to boot!

  5. Jennifer, I showed this pic to Abigail and she knew EXACTLY who y’all were right away. So…perhaps you guys haven’t changed all that much after all. Thanks for the good reminder of the very great blessing we are provided in our spouses. And…on a fun note, we will actually get to see GG this Thursday night, Lord willing, at a school event.

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