Saturday, June 5, 2010, on our 11 year anniversary Tim and I renewed our vows in a park overlooking Lake Michigan on a (warm and humid) beautiful day surrounded by some of our family and close friends who have walked this hard road with us. We kept it simple (which is not my normal MO) and meaningful. We wrote from our hearts and shared a commitment with one another as we exchanged new rings. It really was a beautiful, emotional, bittersweet experience.
It’s so hard to even process everything right now. There are so many emotions, memories, conversations, experiences associated with that day that it’s hard to sort it all out.
Last week was so busy and full of errands and getting things ready for the ceremony. We kept it simple, but there were still A LOT of details!! I couldn’t even believe it! I shopped enough in the last three weeks for the next three years! I am NOT a shopper, so this was a whole new experience for me!
Saturday morning was kinda crazy…a little like our wedding 11 years earlier! But things went well. I was much more relaxed this time!
The morning was filled with so much intense emotion. We were looking forward to this fresh start, to recommitting to this relationship and starting a new marriage. But we were still very aware of WHY we were doing this, what had brought us to this point. We couldn’t pretend that the last 10 years hadn’t happened, that Tim didn’t have an affair, that these last five months haven’t been an overwhelming amount of work. And that work isn’t over. It will never be over.
But we also wanted to celebrate what God has done. There is no way we would be here right now if God hadn’t been working so strongly in us. God broke Tim. God brought Tim to the point where he would confess this affair to me without being “caught”. God kept me from leaving Tim right then and there. God gave me the strength to take care of Caleb and keep breathing each day. God humbled Tim. God has given us His grace. God has given us hope for the future.
And we have submitted to God in this process. No one can be taught if they aren’t ready to learn. If we hadn’t submitted our wills to God’s, we wouldn’t be at this point. PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT meant to be a pat on the back for us! IN ANY WAY! This is simply something that I’ve learned first hand. You can WANT to learn from God, but unless you are willing to SUBMIT, giving up what you think, what you want and ask God for what HE wants, you won’t really learn all that God wants to give.
This is a moment by moment struggle and choice me. There is a part of me that would love to hold on to the resentment, that wants to punish Tim. But, thankfully, that part is dramatically losing its strength. But I have to choose to submit that part to God each day, each moment, so that He can fill me with the strength to give grace, to work on forgiving, to see what God is doing and cling to that.
Today is Monday. The ceremony is over. The build up is done. The dress is hung in the closet. My nail polish is chipping already. I do still feel hope and joy from Saturday. But now we are back to regular life. And it’s hard.
And it’s hard.
But I’m thankful.
I’m thankful for a God that is so much HUGER than I could ever hope to imagine.
I’m thankful for a God who never runs out of energy, or grace, or forgiveness, or love, or patience (because I sure do!).
I think I need to write another post about being thankful. But this one is getting long already, so I will hold off on that one.
For now, today is good, and today is hard. But I have wonderful memories of our anniversary, and God does still perform miracles!