Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark.
That looks on tempests and is never shaken...
Looking at old pictures and a notebook full of sentiment and sap from our 'courting' days, I couldn't help but laugh just a little. At the time I penned so many words to Lawrence, now my husband of 10 years, then just a boy I thought I loved. I'm good for words, lots of words. I speak them. I write them. But, it's actions that count, isn't it?
And, for 10 years, it's been Lawrence's actions that have spoken louder than his few words, though his words are priceless, too. (For the record, he still has the best pick up lines ever, and they work every time.)
We thought we knew each other when we said, "I do." There was so much knowing yet to discover. And it certainly wasn't all pretty or enjoyable. We've seen the ugliest there is to see in a person. Anger.Bitterness.Betrayal.Selfishness.
We've had some really dark moments, some brought on by our own sin and others brought simply by the Sovereign Hand of God. So, how did we get to 10 years--two of the most opinionated (and always of differing opinions), prideful, stubborn people on the planet.
Marriage is supposed to be a picture of Christ with His church. Christ lays down his life for His Bride, the church, and the church joyfully submits to the leadership of Christ, no matter the cost, assured of His love for her. Have we demonstrated this so well through our marriage? Not perfectly, probably not even well. But, we are trying.
We keep forgiving. We keep persevering. We keep suffering long. We keep looking to the One who does love perfectly. We keep covering over a multitude of sins because that's the only way we're going to get to 20 years and 30, 40 and should we both live long enough, 50 and 60!
For now, I'm just beyond ecstatic to be celebrating 10 years married to Lawrence Noe Almengor not because it's been better than I could have asked or imagined because, quite truthfully, it's been a nightmare at times. It's been a hard, hard road. It's been a fight to love and cleave and not look back. But, I celebrate because all that hard, all the fight, all the resolve to make this work is ALL because of God's abundant grace.
There is NO way we'd be here today if God had not set His affection on us, if He did not open our eyes to HIS great love that covers over a multitude of our own sins, freeing us to then in turn cover over a multitude of each other's sins.
I do love you, Lawrence. You are my man. I love that we have shared life's most gut wrenching moments together along with its greatest joys. I love your lines, and I am undone when I consider how you have asked God to allow me to die before you so you can "usher me into His arms." You have shown me great grace. You have done me great good. I thank God for you.
Happy 10 years of covenant love, Lawrence!