Today, October 17, 2015, the weather was crazy! All week it had been nice. Typical fall weather for the
Toronto area with cooler mornings and evenings and warm days filled with mostly sunshine and a little
cloud cover. It all changed overnight. We woke this Saturday morning to a crisp, okay it’s freakin’cold,
only 5 Celsius. Brrrrrr. Very different from last weekend’s glorious Thanksgiving weather of 20 plus
Cesius and sunny skies.
The weather today was almost an exact replica of our wedding day, 23 years ago. It was chilly with
sun, rain, snow, hail, wind, and near the end of the day, in time for photos, we had that ‘magic light’
when the sun peaked through the clouds casting a tangerine glow on our faces. It was a comforting end
to a tumultuous day. As my husband would say 20 years later, the weather that day was indicative of the
gamut of what we would go through in our marriage. In literary terms this would be pathetic fallacy,
where the weather mirrors a reflection of our mood. Almost like an empathetic friend who shares in
your joys and sorrows. You feel like someone ‘gets you’. I’ll admit, I actually wept today with how exact
the climate was to the day we got married. And I don’t think it was a coincidence. I know who
ultimately is responsible for the weather and I choose to believe it was a gift from above letting me
know how faithful God is. That He was with my husband and I when we said our vows, as 27 year olds
and again in 2012 on our 20th anniversary ( which by the way, the weather- yep, you guessed it-was a
carbon copy of 1992 and today).
I am grateful for the storms; they have tossed us and crushed us. We have some scars and some
tarnished bits, but we have survived. In fact, we are thriving. Alive! Like the sun and wind on the autumn
leaves, we are bursting with change. Brighter and transformed! Our marriage is a testament to the word
commitment, not just to love. The foundation of our love is God in the context of truth, hope and
forgiveness. When we re-wrote our very personal vows for our 20th we spoke with transparent and
authentic hearts for how much we appreciate, honour, respect, and commit to each other, even when it
gets hard. Because, it has been hard and it will be hard again. We believe in faith, hope and love. The
greatest of these being LOVE. Pure love. Love as an action, not just a feeling. Feelings come and go.
Sometimes feelings can’t even be trusted. I actually dislike the expression “follow your heart”,
sometimes, friends, our hearts are deceitful. Sometimes the things we desire are not good, lovely, pure,
honest, healthy- no, sometimes the desires of our hearts are selfish and hurtful. Testing the tingling
sensation of your heart against the truth of what is right and just is a responsible and mature exercise.
Love doesn’t mean everything will be easy, in fact loving well is hard. It takes work and effort. It means
not thinking about your own wants and needs but instead being a sacrifice. Consideration to your
spouse’s needs, especially when it means giving up or putting your needs second, is demonstratively
representative of true unconditional love.
Most of us know these verses often said at weddings: love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it
does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. Love keeps no
record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always
trusts, always hopes and always perseveres. Love never fails. People certainly fail and make mistakes but
love never does. If you have heard this before have you really taken the time to pull it apart? It’s really
fascinating to look at each meaning in the context of your own marriage or relationship. In fact take the
word ‘love’ out and replace it with your partner’s name and your own, to make it very personal.
In the lyrics of one of our favourite songs, “Dancing in the Minefields” by Andrew Peterson, I end with
“And we’re dancing in the minefields, We’re sailing in the storm, This is harder than we dreamed, But I
believe that’s what the promise is for.”