In the mist of morning stillness I reach over and gently clasp his warm hand under the sheets; the same hand that's held mine for over a quarter century. I lay there, eyes shut, amazed he still loves me.
Memories dance from courtship to early years of marriage, children and hard learning.
Oh, those hard-learning years when I doubted the most - but learned the most - that love endures. So many desperate days asking, "Is everything going to be okay - are we okay?" And always he reassured, "Yes. Yes, everything is okay. And, yes, yes, one thousand times, yes - we are okay." You see, growing up in a divorced home made me a bit neurotic so with every difficult day, every fight, every financial crisis I needed reassurance that he still loved me and was dedicated to our marriage.
His promise stands the test of time, but it's more than promises that keeps us together (although honoring our vows is important). The secret is loving God first and most and then loving each other. Because when we love God first, we love one another from a full heart. God fills all the emptiness before we face the other so that when we give, we give from the fullness of who God is, not from the emptiness of ourselves.
And when we mess up, forget to put God first, we've learned forgiveness. It's the hardest lesson because pride swallows hard. But when we look through God's eyes pride melts and goes down smooth. Then forgiveness comes easy - from loving hearts - because God's love never fails. And when we love from the fullness of a God who never fails, who always forgives, our love endures.
Sunshine wakens me fully and husband's hand squeezes easy. A new day begins and I know "Every new day he does not fail" (Zephaniah 3:5). God's. Love. Never. Fails.