Monday, December 20, 2010

21 Years of Confidence Amidst Uncertainty

Today marks the 21st year I have been blessed to have Maria-Luz Bautista Jackson by my side as my beloved wife. Each year as the day approaches, we generally find ourselves reflecting on some aspect of our wedding day and how far the Lord has brought us since that time. Last night, as we shared some of our thoughts, we both recounted some of the uncertainty we felt on our momentous day. When we met, though our initial contacts were hit and miss, it wasn’t long before we were both certain that something special was underway. Our love grew rapidly and deeply and before long, we were seriously discussing the possibility of marriage.

There were a number of challenges to consider and initially, there were many questions and concerns on the part of our most trusted friends and family members. After a time, however, it became evident to all that God was the architect of our relationship and “all systems were go for launch”! Nevertheless when our wedding day arrived, we both found ourselves staring in the mirror and wondering “What in the world am I doing?”

As we snuggled and reminisced about our doubts, Luz remembered having the urge to escape through a bathroom window and run for her life! I remembered having a strange inclination to do my own Jesse Owens imitation as the wedding party marched towards me and a strange flash of terror momentarily washed over me! Both were fleeting feelings, but sentiments that belied an acute understanding of the enormity of the step we were about to take!

What was it that overcame those instances of self-doubt and uncertainty? Our fears were mathced by a confidence that was built on what the group Boston referred to as “More than a feeling”. Our relationship began with a common commitment to our faith in Jesus Christ. We both had surrendered all of who were were and what we did to His control and authority. We both were committed to the institution of marriage and an unshakeable conviction that such a commitment is not to be made trivially or on the basis of a whim or hyped-up emotions. We both shared an understanding that left to ourselves, we were vulnerable to wreck our marriage as by definition of being human, we both brought baggage to the relationship – we would need God’s guidance, friends’ support and a commitment to working hard day in and day out if the marriage was going to work. We also believed we would need to love each other without stopping, understanding that love is ultimately based on action not emotion and a commitment to grow together and to give each other our all as long a we both lived.

The Lord has blessed us to work towards our commitments – notice how often that word creeps up – for 21 years today. We have not reached perfection, and in this life we never will. We are still very vulnerable to any and all of the torpedoes that routinely undo any marriage tragedy that has taken place in the totality of human history. Nevertheless, we have confidence in our great God, the presence of loyal friends and count ourselves as blessed for what we have enjoyed thus far in our journey. Why do we celebrate and why do I post an anniversary thought each year? Because “thus far the Lord has met us.” As the Apostle Paul said, if I boast I will boast in the Lord! God has been merciful to us through His goodness and your friendship and I am compelled to take this moment to say “THANKS!” Thanks for loving us, praying for us and standing by us! We feel the love and have been all the better for it. We promise to continue to do our best to make good on your investment in us through a staying the course through a life-long commitment of love within our marriage and a commitment of service and devotion to you our friends as well! Blessings on you and again thank you! Until next time…

Sam J.

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