Today I am thankful for thirty-two years of marriage to Wally. He has been a faithful husband to me over the years and loves me in all my good, bad, and ugly! He has demonstrated his love for me and our kids in countless ways and I have no doubt that we are the most important people in his life and that there is nothing he would not do for us. I am so very blessed to be his wife.
Oh my goodness, we were so young when Pastor Cox pronounced us husband and wife, all those years ago! He introduced us for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. Wally Godby. I have often thought how difficult it must have been for my Mom to let me go. We were awfully naïve and inexperienced. Wally already had overseas orders for England and right after the short honeymoon we packed up the wedding gifts and headed to California. There would be a lot of growing up pretty fast, but I think we did okay. I have very happy memories of some of the dumb stuff we did because we didn’t have that experience!
There are are certainly a lot dreams come true when you fall in love and decide to bring two lives together into one new life. You think nothing can go wrong or spoil your happiness. You cannot see into the future and imagine the difficulties that will come. Weddings are easy but marriage is hard. I think I have felt this way for a long time…that being married has been the hardest thing I have ever done. I have felt it but been afraid to say it because some people might think I have big marriage issues. Well I do…it’s called Fleshwoman! Marriage makes you put self aside in order to serve the one you are married to. And when you are selfish, that is hard work.
When Wally and I took our road trip in July I was listening to my iPod to a series called Marriage Through Gospel Eyes with Jani Ortlund. It was excellent! I have listened to it now about three times and I finally jotted down a few things that summed up marriage for me. First, “Marriage is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person.” Elisabeth Elliot used to say something similar…you are a sinner marrying a sinner! Oh how often I forget that!
Another statement I wrote down was “Marriage makes two people become what they never could be alone.” That was so encouraging to me. I often hear women say how they are married to their best friend and I feel a bit guilty because I did not marry my best friend. Wally and I are about as opposite as opposite can get. We certainly would never have hooked up on eHarmony.com! But we have become best friends. I could never be the person I am today without Wally.
(By the way that cute little flower girl in the picture is my niece Cassi who has a blog called Along the Trail. She and her family work alongside my brother in a Camp Ministry called Whisper Mountain. That cute little Ring bearer is my nephew Brian who is a Dad of four cutie girls and a youth Pastor in Ohio. And there is just the sleeve of another nephew, Kyle who was supposed to escort the flower girl down the aisle. But she put on a big pout and wouldn’t go without a firm hand from her Dad so her escort was a few feet ahead of her! A lot changes in 32 years!)
Want to peek in my Wedding Album for a minute?
Both of my parents walked me down the aisle. I loved that!
I wore my sister’s wedding gown. It had a big hoop. I had already bought some satin white pumps to wear but it made the dress too short. So I wore ballet slippers instead.
Wedding photos seem all the rage right now.I sometimes wonder if couples will put as much effort into the marriage as they do all those poses…but that could be another blog post on its own. When I got married I really wanted the double exposure effect of the photo below and it was kind of a new thing. Our photographer, Bob Babcock, wasn’t sure if he could do it. But he did pretty good.
Another big photo must do was of the rings. I always liked my ring. Not big and showy, but unique. Wally went and selected it on his own and that made me happy!
Wally told me the other day that he likes holding my hand. I like looking at this photo and thinking that he has held my hand for 32 years now! My pretty, soft-looking, wedding day hands are kind of getting achy in the joints now and I don’t get my nails polished much. Wally’s fingers are swollen with the years of hard work and his hands are kind of rough. But I like that…I like the work, the ability and the commitment that they hold. It has been a wonderful thirty two years of living with the man I love. I’ll leave you with the third thing that I wrote down on that piece of paper.
“The best days in a marriage are always ahead!”