Last weekend, the world watched as American actress Meghan Markle married Prince Harry in a spectacle of immense grandeur. It was every girls dream, right? You get whisked away and marry your Prince Charming. It really was quite something to behold. Of course the Royal Family did it up right, and spared no expense in giving Harry and his bride to be every thing their hearts desired. I'm sure it was a dream some true for both of them.
Prince Harry and his beautiful bride Meghan, May 19, 2018
Yes, it was a fairy tale wedding, but now it's over and the hard part comes, living up to those precious vows they took before millions.
Well. as we approach our 40th Wedding Anniversary tomorrow, May 26, 1978-2018, let me tell you a little about my life and my real life Prince Charming. He is an extraordinarily loyal and faithful man who has lived up to every vow he took all those years ago, even in the midst of extreme pressure, turmoil, sickness and heartache.
Steve and I on our wedding day, May 26th, 1978
When you get married you never know what lies ahead and you never know if the person you marry will have the gumption to stay true to their vows. You pray they do, but you just really never know, especially in the world we live in right now. The world is a messy place and Satan is all around, just temping you to go the wrong way and make a wrong, unGodly decision.The Bible is clear in
1 Peter 15:8 " Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."
So you enter into a new marriage with love and adoration. You could clearly see it in the faces of Meghan and Harry last weekend as they took their vows. It's so sweet to watch. But will it really last?
In those first years, I think all newly married couples are often overwhelmed with the love and devotion they feel for the person they just joined their lives with.
Everything is usually rosy in those early years, You can' get enough of each other both physically, mentally and emotionally. Often, children are born or adopted and they become another bond between the two of you. You get so much joy watching them grow and learning about the world. Your lives settle into a routine and you just go about things, enjoying the special moments and memories you are creating. Everything is moving along as planned. You have such a wonderful life, it's hard to believe anything could ever disrupt it.
And then, just like that BAM!!!! One trip to the doctor can turn your world totally upside down. All "your" plans are suddenly thrown out the window and you find out very quickly who is really in charge of your life, and believe me, it ain't you! God is the one with the plan, only He knows the course of our lives.
That happened to me back in January 1998. After a month of every test known to man, and a brain biopsy (they thought I had brain cancer) I was finally diagnosed with a chronic debilitating illness, Multiple Sclerosis, that would change the course of my life and the life of my entire family. Looking back, I was overjoyed to learn I had MS because at one point I thought I had metastasized brain cancer. I thought MS would be a cake walk. Shows you how much I knew. I had no idea of the challenges that would lie ahead.
I've often wondered why God allowed MS to take over my body. And yes, there have been days when I have even mistakenly thought God allowed this to happen to punish me somehow. But in retrospect, I repented of those thoughts, because I know a loving God wouldn't do that. We all have our cross to bear, that's just life. MS is just my cross.
Through the last 20 years since my diagnosis, thankfully, the Lord has used me to help others through my suffering. And really, after all, Jesus suffered tremendously during his time here on earth, why should any of us be spared? Romans 5:3-5 reminds us "More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Now, honestly, I gotta say, many days it's pretty hard to rejoice in my sufferings, but I do try to endure knowing that the Lord is producing strong character in me, and hopefully I am using it for His Glory. Everything the Lord does has a purpose and I know that. And I am confident that one day, I will know the full story of why I was chosen to carry this burden called Multiple Sclerosis.
I knew nothing about MS or the impact it would have on me or my family when I was diagnosed over 20 years ago. Living with MS hasn't been easy for any of us. It is a progressive, debilitating, insidious disease that mows down everything in it's path. I can see why it has been nicknamed the MonSter. And for me, truth be told, it manifested itself in me becoming a complete control freak. Sad to say, but that is exactly what happened. Looking back, I'm not sure why I became that way, maybe it was because I felt other parts of my body and life were out of my control, and I needed to be in control of something. I wanted to take over the everything: our lives, the kids, my husband and everything else I could get my hands on. I know now that was a profound mistake. Our family is still reeling from my destructive behavior and the devastating effects of it. I will always regret my many mistakes. I thank the Lord we have a forgiving God and I married a forgiving husband. I wouldn't be standing here today without either of them.
But here's the amazing thing. When the pressure got turned up, when the teenager years hit and the house was in constant turmoil, even in the midst of my craziness, it would have been easy for my husband to walk away from all of us, to say, you deal with them and their rebellion, you deal with your illness. You want control of everything..... you've got it baby. I'm sick of it all. I'm out of here.
But, miraculously, and thankfully for me, he didn't. He put his head down and dug deep. He never gave up on them or on me. He has been an unbelievably faithful husband, father, lover, and best friend.
Believe me, I know I gave him many reasons to walk away, but he never did. He stayed true to his vows. Thank God, he took them very seriously, and through the Grace of God, and with the prayers of many over the years, we are still together 40 years later. Now that is totally a God-Thing!
That is the real language of love, to have the guts to be able to stay and fight when you want to throw your hands up and walk away. Getting married is the easy part, staying married through all the ups and downs that life throws at you, that is the hard part.
I am blessed to say we were able to stay in the game. It wasn't easy by any stretch of the imagination, but thank the Lord we were able to stay true to the vow that says "What God has brought together, let no man put asunder."
Thank you Lord for my wonderful, loving, faithful, strong, funny, endearing husband. I thank you that he had the strength to stay with me through sickness and in health, and through all the turmoil of our lives. He is truly a gift from you. I only pray we can enjoy many, many more happy and less turbulent years together.
Happy 40th Anniversary darling, I love you to the moon and back!
My verse from today is above in red.
My prayer for today:
Thank you, thank you for my wonderful, loving husband. I am so blessed that you put him in my path all those years ago. Thank you that he had the gumption to stay true to his vows. I am truly blessed.