Our secret vows

Today we have been legally married for five months. Though this is a joyous celebration on our journey, the mile marker we reached yesterday was even more so.

One year ago yesterday was our second date/visit. But it was so much more than that. It was our spiritual marriage.

Our first date confirmed that we were deeply in love. We recognized God in the midst of us. God revealed that in one another lay the promise of all we had prayed for and more. We desired to receive the gift He was offering and offer ourselves back to Him. We yearned to honor Him by saying yes to Him, and one another.

The first concordance study I ever completed after surrendering my life to the One who gave it, was the word vow. For the first time I understood how binding these were in the sight of the covenant keeping God. He had brought to remembrance a vow I had made long before regarding His sacred marriage covenant.

In one word, one study, many lessons were enveloped and addressed to me.

I had long had visions of a man loving God and myself enough to initiate taking vows before God, just the three of us. I hoped for a man who saw the institution of marriage more binding in the eyes of its Maker than the eyes of the state.

When Jacob uttered the words, “I don’t need a piece of paper to tell me you’re my wife, I know it in my heart” I placed them in the already overflowing bucket of confirmation. We made the decision to intimately share vows of marriage sanctification.

September 24, 2014, our second date, we did what we had done so many times before; we gave our will over to God and said yes, with joy, to Him and all He was doing and would do in our lives. We surrendered our relationship to Him and His plans for it. We praised Him for the love our union held, as well as the tribulation. We understood that our endurance through the tribulation would produce a far more exceeding glory. (James 1:2-4, 2 Corinthians 4:17, Job 23:10) After we prayed, we looked into one another’s eyes, with God as our witness, committing ourselves to one another in love.

There in the visiting room of Attica Correctional Facility, table 4-3, the same table assigned to us on our first date we shed tears and laughter. There was no looking back. Our yes was yes! (Matthew 5:37)

We had made the decision to make love a commitment and not a test sample. We knew that we would have a lifetime to get to know one another. We understood that we were ever-growing and changing, and that we wanted to commit, for better or worse, to do that together. A “test drive” is not what God requires. He requires faith. We both had been walking plentifully in that. We count ourselves blessed to have been able to take one more giant step forward in the journey of our faith together.

Though this path has its own trenches, we stand in them together, united. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

Every marriage has its trenches. The difference of endurance is the DAILY CHOICE to say yes all over again. It’s fixing your eyes on the firm foundation and the blessings He has provided.

I’ve learned to look at, with gratitude, what we have…IMG__201509268__101123 (2)

and not give my time to that which we don’t. What we do have is far too precious. (Photo from our celebration day yesterday 🙂 )

When the circumstances of our trenches begin to seep into the cracks of my heart and mind, I envision myself in place of Peter stepping out of the boat onto the water. When I behold the beauty of my Savior I am able to walk on the water. It is the moment I look around to see how strongly the winds are blowing, I find myself drowning.

My helpmate then reminds me, “In Christ we fell in love and in Christ we shall remain.”

That is why I call my husband my Ephesians 3:20, my exceedingly and abundantly above all I could think, imagine, or ask for.

That is why today,

I am a prisoner’s wife

IMG__201509268__095319 (2)

That day (Sept. 24, 2014) he even gave his first lady as proper a proposal as he was allowed. ❤

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