June 14, 2017

The Anniversary I Don't Know How to Celebrate Because I Am Honestly Not Sure I Should

My wedding anniversary. Kevin and I were married June 14, 2003. I was so nervous that day! I felt much younger than my nearly 25 years that hot, summer afternoon. It was one of the easiest decisions I've ever made, if I am honest. In fact, I thought he would never ask and that I would be doomed to be a single woman forever. I often wonder if I'd known then how hard for better or worse, in sickness and health, for richer or poorer would be, would I have still said, "I do?" I'd like to think the answer to that is yes, but honestly, I am really not sure.

Admittedly, in the last year, I've found the "until death do us part" portion of the vows to be the hardest to accept. I still struggle with the thought that this relationship, that I longed and waited for so many years, is just done. Over. Never to be again. There will be no happy "Mr. and Mrs. Kevin McSmith" reunion when I cross into eternity. There will be no perfect marriage, no chance at this relationship minus the sin and addiction and just plain humanness we both brought to it here on earth. This makes me sad to think about. I know satan is using it to continually steal my joy for what is awaiting me on Heaven's shores. There is nothing about that last statement that I like to admit. It's not the "good, Christian" thing to say, but it's true.

This is an actual text I sent to some friends this week: "I am a big, crazy, emotional mess...The enemy is fighting hard to steal my joy this week. He's bringing up lots of 'should haves', 'what ifs' and 'you should haves/could haves' as I am looking back over my almost 13 (not long enough) years with Kevin as our anniversary approaches. I am specifically asking the Lord to make June 14 a day of praise and thanksgiving for the rest of my days because, honestly, I'm struggling for it to feel like a day of joy or anything that I should acknowledge. Which is weird, because I have no trouble celebrating his birthday and making that a day of joy..."

And I have struggled for over a month with what to do with this day. How do I celebrate the anniversary of something that so clearly has an end? Something that's really just a would have been? I should have that same feeling about his birthday, but I guess I look at that day as celebrating his life, which is such a joy to me. A day to celebrate our marriage, when the other half of that marriage isn't here to celebrate it, just seems ridiculous, sad, and impossible. I've tossed a lot of ideas back and forth and nothing really ever jumped out at me. So, here's where I landed:

 There's really no better way to start the day than Krispy Kremes and Sonic, right?!?! And the money from the donuts goes to missions, so I am pretty sure that means the calories don't count.

 Little surprise gifts to hand out.
 The first house purchase I personally made after Kevin died was a new shower curtain. I needed to wash it so I grabbed this cheap one from Wal-Mart and put it up today. I am really liking it!
 I have been repeating this phrase to myself a lot today.
 Flowers to match the ones I carried at my wedding 14 years ago today.
 14 silver and purple balloons (the colors from our wedding.) I really wanted to attach notes and gift cards to the balloons, but just couldn't find a way to do it, so I had to go back to what we did that first year we celebrated Kevin's birthday and I left the notes/giftcards on cars downtown.
 A beautiful resurrection spot.
 I had 14 balloons and there are 15 things that 1 Cor. 13 says love is. So, each balloon got one and all the envelopes got the 15th (Love Never Fails.)

I did release the balloons, but the wind was blowing so fast I couldn't get a picture of them floating away. But, as they were releasing, what kept coming into my mind was "Your love, oh, Lord, reaches to the heavens. Your faithfulness stretches to the sky." Oh, how true those words are!

And as I was sitting there, some of the words to a song from our wedding wouldn't leave my mind. The song is "The Potter's Hand" and if I could find the version we played at the wedding, I would play that for you because Delicia's voice is just too beautiful. You'll have to live with my horrendously off-key, I am trying not to cry version, for now. (CLICK HERE) I don't even know if these are portions from the same verse or not! 

And just so you know that I am so thankful for that beautiful June day 14 years ago (that's right, this would have been our "golden" anniversary as it would have been 14 years on the 14th), here are some pictures of that wonderful day:

I had a beautiful time of prayer at his resurrection spot today. Prayers of thankfulness for our marriage and all it taught me about my Heavenly Father, myself, and how to love others. Prayers of thankfulness for the two beautiful children that are the result of this marriage. Prayers asking for forgiveness for the many times I was not lovely, lovable, or loving in our marriage or in my parenting. Prayers seeking the Lord's will for my life and for my family. Just whatever the Lord brought to mind, I prayed over it. It rained just before I got there and was beautifully sunny and very hot for the 45 minutes or so I was there. It was lovely. There were tears and sweet memories and smiles thinking back over our time together.

Hold your spouses close. This is the only time you get with them. Don't take them for granted. Talk it out. Be honest. Be loving. Be real. When that last breath is taken here, there is no second chance, no do over, for this relationship. No, "we'll get it right in heaven." This is your one chance, so dig in, hold on tight to the Father, and give it your all!

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful way to celebrate the memory of your husband and marriage. May God continue to show His love to you each and every day! :-)