Today I celebrate 18 years of marriage with my bride. Eighteen years ago she had the most incredible lapse of judgment--she said, "Yes" and made me the happiest man in the world.
We married in her mother's front yard. It was a sweltering August day, full of NC humidity. Dressed in traditional African garb, we entered into holy matrimony.
It was also a day full of laughs. The maid of honor dropped my ring somewhere in the grass. A few moment's delay searching for the ring and we were back on schedule. Kristie's grandmother, then well into her 90's with a touch of Alzheimer's, talked throughout the ceremony. My favorite line followed the part in the vows where the groom is charged to "love and cherish," etc. Grandma, Mrs. Nicie, spoke up and said, "He'd better or my son will shoot him!" I don't think she was joking.
The preacher, a dear man, had a rather severe lisp. Every time he pronounced an 's' Kristie and I received a small shower of saliva. We'd lean back, and he'd lean forward. And with the lisp, he mispronounced our names (Kristie and Ron, at the time) throughout the entire ceremony. My mother says we're not really married.
But here we are eighteen years later. Eighteen years full of grace and mercy from our Sovereign Savior. Eighteen years full of joy and occasional trial. Eighteen years of partnership in life and several years of partnership in ministry. Three adorable children and no pets. And by God's overwhelming grace, it's simply gotten better and better.
I still can't believe she said yes. And I'm convinced she's a Christian because she stays. Each day I'm impressed with the fact that I've married way up, well above my pay grade, that God has treated me far better than my sins deserve. "He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains the favor of the Lord." Each day she is a walking, talking, loving, caring, helping, laughing, encouraging, laboring reminder that on August 31, 1991 God showed me favor.
Happy Anniversary My Shorty,
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