Our Pastor and his wife, who are also our godparents at our wedding, are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary this coming Saturday, October 8. This couple has been such a great influence to Pat and me, especially when it came to our relationship with the Lord. They have ALWAYS been there for us. They have witnessed how we have matured and grown in our faith and they continue to mentor us, reminding us of the importance of putting God first and having Him at the center of our lives. We treasure this couple and their children, who have also become our extended family. We feel God’s love through them and because of this we will always be grateful…
We decided to make their anniversary extra special! The church threw them a SURPRISE renewal of vows during the second service last October 2! They were clueless. It turned out to be so beautiful! I was in tears especially when their parents walked them once again down the aisle. The walk will always be my favorite part.
Pat, Chelsea, Patrice and I were part of their entourage. 😉
It was lovely. From the walk, the ceremony all the way to the reception! It was truly anointed!
25 years – that’s no joke. There were times of testing, trouble, joy, fun, ups and downs. But one thing remains, when you have God, everyday becomes a miracle. Every little failure or triumph becomes a testimony of the Lord’s goodness. During their vows, Pat and I could not help but be inspired so much more. We are excited to experience the beautiful story God has written for our marriage just like He did in theirs. May we continue to have that burning desire to fall in love with God first and our spouse next for the rest of our lives.
Sharing with you the testimony of our Pastor –
“I never believed in it. But this time, it was love at first sight for me. There she was on my monitor screen worshiping the Lord at a prayer conference. I was the video director capturing the event on video. She was so beautiful that I just had to meet her. Fortunately, she was standing next to a friend of mine only to find out they were sisters. What a blessing, I thought. And the courtship started.
We had both heard from the Lord, she a whole year ahead of me. We sought counsel from trusted Christian leaders. And having received confirmation and the blessing of both our parents, we decided to make our relationship exclusive and permanent. We said our I do’s on October 8, 1991 at the Rigodon Ballroom of The Manila Peninsula Hotel. And that’s when it all started.
Everything went downhill from there. We fought. We argued. We hurled painful words at each other. And through it all, we still managed to have three children. We hoped this would help our marriage. But it only got worse and worse as the years went by. We can’t even count how many times we just wanted to walk away from each other. And this piled on for ten very long years.
About two weeks before our tenth anniversary, we had a rather verbally violent argument. I recall it was a Saturday night because I was supposed to be preparing my sermon for Sunday morning. Grace eventually went to bed just past midnight. At about two o’clock, while desperately trying to finish a half decent message, the Lord spoke to me. His voice was clear, firm, and ever so loving.
“Turn around and look at your wife,” the Lord instructed me.
I complied and quickly swiveled my chair to return to my computer to work.
Three times he spoke these words to me. Three times I obeyed. But on the third time, somewhat annoyed, I asked, “What now, Lord?”
And ever so gently and patiently he explained, “Your wife gave up her last name to take yours. She gave up her dreams to embrace yours. She even gave up her figure to give you three lovely children.”
Convicted by his Holy Spirit, I was in tears. I got up from my chair, went by her side and knelt right next to her. Waking her from her slumber, I said, “Babe!”
Still upset at me she blurted out a curt, “What?!”
“I want to apologize…” I said.
And for the next half an hour or so we shared all of our hurts, disappointment, frustrations, sins, abuses, insensitivities, and pain with each other. After which the Holy Spirit spoke to us and said to forgive one another, bury all these hurts, and never use them against each other ever again. So we dug a ceremonial hole in our bed and buried ten years of agony. We hugged. It felt a bit better. And then she slept soundly as I returned to my computer to finish my sermon. And I thought that was that.
But when we woke up the next morning, something extraordinary happened. Actually it was a miracle. We felt so much love for each other. We had fallen in love all over again. It was totally amazing. Overnight the Lord changed how we felt towards each other. I was no longer mad at my wife. I was madly in love with her, and she with me. To make up for the ten years, I decided to spend the next year with her as much as I possibly could. I told my pastoral team that I wouldn’t be reporting for work except to preach on Sundays. Seeing the change in us, they only too readily agreed. And for the next year we did everything together. And what I thought was going to be a one year commitment extended to the next fifteen years! Grace and I just celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. And we are more in love today than when we first met.
It doesn’t matter how bad your marriage is. God is able to bring out beauty from ashes. If He was able to do this for us, I know He can do the same for you. But lest you think this is a fairy tale, we had to put in a lot of hard work, patience, a whole lot of forgiveness over the last fifteen years. To be sure, there is no perfect marriage. But God’s grace has been sufficient and wonderful.”