Today I’m celebrating the one-year anniversary of friendships I made during last year’s Blogging from A to Z Challenge. (Special thanks to Challenge founder ARLEE BIRD for all the fun of the annual April event!) A few days ago marked the 8-year anniversary of the day I started working at my current job. And just recently my in-laws celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.
65 years. Can you imagine?
They celebrated the day in a big way, of course. My mother-in-law brought cakes to the coffee hour after the Sunday morning service at their church that week to share the moment with the many people who love them in their congregation and to acknowledge God’s presence in their pairing. A huge bouquet of roses, lilies, and other blooms graced the main table in the fellowship hall, a surprise delivery from their children. Those family members who live in the area joined them for the day, in service and in celebration. And all week long in rainy Oregon they were drenched with love in a card shower that brought greetings from people all over the nation who knew them and wanted a chance to wish them well.
But 65 years!
Their accomplishment takes the breath away from those of us who sometimes have a hard time being in a room with the same person for more than 10 minutes at a stretch! Surely there was a lot of give and take in those years, a lot of letting go of little things and holding on tightly to the things that gave their marriage its life and vitality - their faith, their family, and their many friends.
Surely theirs is a forever love.
About the same time they were celebrating their anniversary, I began using the latest in a long string of “love” stamps from the post office. This year’s version of the “forever” stamp (one whose use is valid after purchase no matter how postage rates may have risen in the intervening time) sported a drawing of the back of an envelope that was sealed in a glob of red wax pressed in the shape of a heart.
What a fitting picture of this couple’s relationship, one that retained its value despite the changing times in the decades through which it’s traveled, each day a love letter to the other under a covenant that remained unbroken before the God who has only forever love for us - a promise written in His Word, kept in His heart, and sealed by His Blood.
“Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.”