Last night, my husband and I had one of those out of the ordinary evenings where we stayed up late in bed together talking, reminiscing about our college and dating days, and how we were so thankful God gave us one another when we least expected it. We reflected on our wedding day and all that led up to it.
“It’s kind of sad… we never really had a song,” Jeremiah said.
I thought about it for a minute and it was kind of sad.
“We just chose one because we had to for our first dance,” he added.
He was right. We dated for seven months and were engaged for six. Everything happened so fast. I thought about the beautiful song we chose (well, that he let me choose!), “When You Say You Love Me” by Josh Groban and some of the words in it:
And this journey that we are on. How far we’ve come and I celebrate every moment. And when you say you love me, that’s all you have to say. I’ll always feel this way…”
Our wedding day was just the beginning of our journey together. We weren’t that “far” into it yet. Like our vows, we didn’t fully understand the words of that song or that a day might come when we’d be tempted to throw in the towel. That there might be a day when our burning, unquenchable love wouldn’t “always feel this way.”
“I think the journey we’ve been on is our song,” I told Jeremiah. “It tells the real story better than any mere love song could. Plus, our song is still being written.”
The journey of our marriage reveals that no matter what, through thick and thin, we are committed to one another and will fight for our marriage. We will persevere through adversity because we promised, “Until death do us part” to God and to our loved ones. The lyrics sung over our last nine years tell a story of lost dreams, disappointments, job promotions, job losses, accidents, lessons learned, poor communication, passion, romance, pursuit, isolation, intimacy struggles, financial pressure, adventure, forgiveness, reconciliation, suffering, unconditional love, friendship, unmet expectations, and more.
Our relationship has been filled with mountaintops and valleys. Marriage is a battlefield, not always the bed of roses we often dream of. It’s more about strapping up your boots and putting on your armor to fight against your flesh and sinful nature.
Our nine years of marriage have also told a story of our sin exposed to the bone, but also of unconditional love, acceptance, and grace—where we have seen our Savior’s love shine brighter than the love we share. We’ve experienced a Savior who sought us in our messy sin—who didn’t wait for us to clean up first. We know a Savior whose blood was shed for our freedom and righteousness. We worship a Savior who has rescued us out of darkness and into light and who is restoring and making all things new.
We live for a Savior, Jesus Christ, God’s son, who has reconciled us to himself—not because of anything we have done but because of everything He has done. We surrender to a Savior who cares deeply for our relationship so that His song would be a pleasing melody for others to join in and be inspired by. So that ultimately others would know what His love is really like.
Patient. Forgiving. Sacrificial. Gentle. Kind. Humble. Faithful. Protective. Selfless. Strong. Truthful. Perfect. Enduring. Everlasting.
The truth is that we’ve always had a song—the song of redemption. It was lived out as two imperfect young lovers anticipating the day we’d say, “I do.” It’s been lived out every year we’ve tried to love the best way we know how yet still come up so short. It has met us in our biggest fights and shameful behaviors. It sings louder than all other love songs written by human, finite hands.
This song of redemption—Christ’s rescuing and restoring of broken people back to Himself – is for every marriage to behold and know personally. It is far greater than any song shared solely between two lovers because it invites others in to share its glory and splendor.
It changes everything. And it is yours to sing too.
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