Bearing Arms

Today we celebrate our Bronze Anniversary. Nineteen years married and it’s like we’ve only earned third place.

Really? Only third place? After you made that tearful trip alone to the breast center in December, rushing my mammogram history films there like you were a first responder to your wife’s side, trying to save her life? I looked at them before I sent them with you, googling what I didn’t understand, whispering as I put them in your hand, “I don’t think it looks good for me.” I wasn’t wrong.

Third place? After months of rediscovering what it really means to love your wife like you love yourself? Literally holding me up in worship those first terrifying weeks after my diagnosis. By my side with your iPad, taking notes at every single doctor appointment. Tending to my sore and helpless body after surgery as I hung on you, utterly dependent and completely trusting. Urgently fighting to protect me as you question Dr. Advani about recurrence and what her plan is to do everything in her power to prevent it and catch it early if it happens.

Only bronze? After you’ve had to mother our kids because I’m frustratingly physically and emotionally exhausted, doing all I can, but still often ending up in bed leaving you to handle them alone?

Yes, only bronze.

But perhaps it’s fitting for this year we’ve had. The internet tells me bronze is a strong metal used to form tools and weapons. Apparently it can be sharpened and shaped in ways other metals can’t. And it resists corrosion and fatigue better than most steels.

Our marriage has been many things these past 19 years. And this past year, it has become a weapon.

God has used conflict and cancer to help us craft a better, stronger marriage, making it a formidable but humble weapon, fighting earth’s and hell’s fiery darts against us. Our marriage has effectively obliterated the threats to shake our faith in God, his church, and in each other. The fires of hell have come closer and we’ve felt the heat. But what is fire to the God who made it? Even it obeys him. The flames have only served to make us stronger even in all our weakness.

We’ll gladly take this bronze, after all. Just like we’ll take this weapon of our marriage and fight with it for another day, another month, another year.

 “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:4

Happy Bronze Anniversary to my comrade-in-arms.💪🏽

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