We were walking down the steps in this resort when I suddenly had a flashback of when we first stayed in it together. Joseph and I were newly married, and we were carrying that brand new man and wife and honeymoon glow in this old resort my husband’s been going to for the last 20 years. It isn’t five-star quality, not even near three-stars, and yet we were so giddy.
Fast forward five years, and here we are with a baby on my hip. Same old resort, with small renovations here and there, and I say, “Oh how I miss those days when it was just the two of us…” which I quickly countered with, “But then I’ll probably say I miss those days when there’s just the three of us once the next baby comes along.” If there’s anything in life, it is that every season is precious.
A few weeks ago, Kris TV went to our home and Kris saw original copies of our vows pinned on the wall and she started reading Joseph’s. I couldn’t help being emotional and I was trying hard to hold back the tears because it wasn’t the point of our interview to get all mushy. It reminded me of how we once were and how much time has passed. It also showed me the value of vows, which is to more importantly do them as we go about life than to just say big words in a vacuum on your wedding day.
Then I realized how much my husband had stayed true to his promises; “I promise to be patient and kind, especially when I don’t feel like it. I promise not to snap at you or speak in harsh tones. And I promise to come clean and say sorry when I do. I promise to lead and guide, protect and provide. I promise nerve to be complacent in leading you and pursuing you….” It is try what I once read, love is more felt when the person does it at a time when he least feels like it. I don’t know how many time I’ve irritated and aggravated my husband, but it is that look on his face that tells me I am choosing to react not according to the flesh but by God’s spirit that confirms to me that he isn’t only the right one, but that I am one blessed woman. Even the words I used to describe and honor my husband five years ago still stand truer than ever today, “…you lead by loving and not by forcing……you love before you correct, you love before you teach, you love before anything else that anything else you do we can be sure that love is the reason behind it…” If anything, my husband is not only consistently loving, but an incredibly faithful man.
Original photo from our wedding day, taken by Mr.Lito Sy!
I do not want to say this or say that about my own promises- that is left for my husband to assess. But there was one part there that has become truer since we’ve had Philip where I say, “The two of us who will start a family, will still be the two of us left when all the kids have gone to pursue their own purposes and make their own lives. Somewhere in between we will be successful and healthy and strong. We will also cry to each other, comfort and teach and forgive one another, until we become the old wrinkled professors who enjoy making papers in their spare time.“
From the time since my son was born, we have not been one night away from him. It’ll be our first, when we celebrate and leave the baby with his Tata and Nana. Then, it will only be Joseph and Carla, no Papa and Mama. I am excited, as I am hungry for time to really just focus on the one and only lover in my life.
More than that it just made me think that someday, it’ll be like this all over again, where our kids are old and independent and hard to catch and perhaps Joe and I, too, for who knows if we might be moving one city to another for our spare time, if not checking papers and making more of our own.
I love it that Joe and I have this ability to look ahead and press forward while enjoying what we have today. We are grateful and we like staying in the moment, but never lose our excitement for things to come. We always have a feeling that no matter how great we have it today, it still is going to get better!
We’ve always known that people and things will come and go, and that includes Philip, coming and eventually leaving the nest for his own destiny in the Lord, but somehow we are never afraid of the changing seasons knowing that we will always be pressing on together.
Of all the things I wrote in my vows I think I somehow look forward to this the most. Because as much as it is fun to be a mom, and much as I do not ever want to give Philip away to adulthood and marriage (haha), I also just can’t wait to show the world that Joe and I are the team that I am married to. That until death do us part, we still will choose each other, we still will take on adventures together, we still will be holding hands and sharing hearts with one another, and that it was right to vow to that because the vow is part of making it sure it happens. And that marriage lasts. That God, who chose the picture of a bride and the bridegroom to describe His relationship with the church, has an image to show for in my very own marriage with Joseph of what He wants us to have with Him- love that lasts, a love that never, ever, wants to break up!
Joe is my friend, he is the one the Lord picked for my soul to rest on while here on earth. He is my better half, the one I cannot and should not do without for all the rest of my life. And the more I know him, the more I lose myself in this, I find that marriage and fidelity and faithfulness are not constricting but such freeing truths. I thank the Lord that I am more of who I am and supposed to be today just because I continue to choose Joseph above all else after Him.
Gosh, five years ain’t easy, but keep at it and you’ll get better, that is what I learned. Better in every sense- in provision, efficiency, in team work, and even in joy. My prayer for our marriage is that God will continually bless us with His unconditional love, so that our love will always be sufficient for one another.