Five years ago today I woke up knowing that by the end of the day I was going to be Mrs. Kenny Woods. It’s amazing how fresh that moment is still. The day was beautiful, the weather was perfect, and all I kept thinking was how blessed am I to be able to find “one” person who loves me that much.
Now, as most weddings go the moment was perfect. My son walked me down the aisle, my two daughters, nieces and my daughter’s friend, who I considered my third daughter, was waiting for me at the end of the aisle. When the woman who was officiating asked who gave this woman away, my son said proudly, “I Do!” and he gently handed me off to Kenny.
The wedding went without a hitch. As we recited our vows to each other I was the serious one, and Kenny made our guests laugh when he was asked “Do you take Gina to be your wife.” He lifted his hands into the air, looked into the sky and shouted with a SMile, “I DO!” He wanted to make sure that I heard him. I did!
Now interesting enough, Kenny and are much different, but our biggest difference is I am a believer in God, Jesus and the Holy Bible, and Kenny is not. He believes that if there is a heaven, than kindness and love will allow him a free ticket. It was interesting because many of my friends who have known me for years wondered why I would marry a man who didn’t think the same things that I thought. Was I marrying him to change him? Would I be able to handle the difference? Even my Pastor called me into his office to share what scripture shared about what the Word said, and to this day my heart has always felt that I was equally yoked. Maybe I’m not “equally” yoked with my husband, but I am equally yoked with God, and I believe with all my heart that while it can be difficult at times for the Christian to live with the Atheist, I know it’s equally hard for the Atheist to live with the Christian.
There are two sides to every story… Reasoning for every thought that each of us have each day, but I believe at the end of each day all of us want to know that we are loved unconditionally, and that love isn’t based off of what we know or what we don’t know, but what we can learn from each other.
This morning when I awoke I realized the true definition of “not” judging another, or expecting someone to believe what you believe, or to think less of them because they don’t. I’ve learned that Kenny loves me anyway. Even though he doesn’t understand my reasoning, his love is unconditional, and at the end of each day I can truly count on it. What I’ve learned from my husband is that it’s harder for an Atheist to live with a Christian than it is for a Christian to live with an Atheist. After five years of marriage I have learned that while we don’t always agree with each other there is one thing that we have in common, and that is we both “chose” to support one another, through the good times and the bad… through the happy and sad… through our sicknesses and in health.
And the most amazing part of what I’ve learned is that because of my faith, Kenny and I have had open conversations with my asking, “What if what is written in the Bible is true? What if what is written in the New Testament is actual, factual? What if the only way to arrive in heaven is to believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins? What if?”
And my husband’s answer to me was simple… “‘TIL DEATH DO WE PART!”
Two different people, with two very strong opinions of the “why” we believe what we believe, but yet we “choose” to love each other anyway, unconditionally.
There’s something about two strong people loving each other and understanding that “death” might separate us … this thought makes me want to spend more time with him. Makes me want to do more things for him. Makes me want to “value” whatever time each of us has together so that in the event death takes him first… I don’t want to look back on our time together knowing that I might have wasted a moment.
And, that is the Appointment God wanted me to see today. That’s exactly what He wants too. He wants each of us to understand that He loves us that much, and that each of us has a choice to accept Him or reject Him, but once we “accept Him” within our heart for who He says that He is… that is the moment where we want to spend our moments with Him… the only difference is… death won’t separate us, His love will join us all together.
And that is why…
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
Onward to always!