Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Believing in Love
It was perfect, with a charming stone front, nestled in a wooded area with spacious rooms to spread out in, and even a bright airy room to claim as a school room. But the sudden phone call revealed that we had lost it, that hopeful bid in which I had prayed would be our next home.
We were meanderers moving frequently, never getting too attached to a place we’d call home, rather to each other. This time, our search was finally in the country and we were both old enough to be weary of the walk and determined this would be our last move. Our price range was so narrow, for me it was time to call off the search party. Not so with Tired Husband. He’s never given up easily on my dreams.
Step far back into our story and we were young love, barely grown up. I was just coming out of a slight slip off the straight and narrow that had previously been my life. Draw me a line and I’d cross it, roll me a rule over and I’d break it. But this guy- he was fun and he was a rock at the same time. He came from a family that was still together, that lived in the same home- on the same street- all his life. Go figure. That was not my experience. I was more than interested in the package deal, after all, he’d become my best friend.
It was a young love determined to last. However, I was cautioned to ‘let it go’ as young love is often too weak to last. The past kept whispering in my ear of all the insurmountable odds I’d been acquainted with all too well, but love is bold; it doesn’t stand still too long, calculating the risk. So, I slipped on the gold promise while far from home and we decided it best to return home for the wedding, and have our two ministers do the ceremony, one from the Midwest where we were living and one from back East, our family’s home. Yes, two, I was going for the guarantee!
I can still hear the clergy’s door closing behind me, leaving me alone with one of the ministers for premarital counseling and did I have any questions? Slightly shy at this point and with a quivering lip I managed to stammer out the all important one.
How does one make it last forever, a marriage, that is?
I got a bit lost in the long speech, but I still recall the words today: to keep the promise before God, believe in each other and let the words and the true promise of the cross empower you. I can close my eyes today and still see that wood cross at the front of the dear church we attended together at that time. And so, we followed just that and the years of practice led us to this place once again, searching for our final home, the one where we’d put our hands, feet and mark on the land and in the dirt for good.
So, excitedly Husband pushes the realtor print-out next to me on the table, of the last home left in our price range in the beloved area, but the address read ‘Goat Hill Road’. I quickly assured him I’d never live on a road with that name! But love believes and so agrees to schedule a visit to see what was apparently an old one bedroom cabin with an addition built on it.
Peering out the car window, it was obvious this home was completely over grown needing love. Driving up the long lane, one glance across the yard revealed one special tree, in what appeared to be in a tiny grove of ancient unkept fruit trees. Toward the base of it’s trunk, it had a hollow, distinctly formed in the shape of a heart. My heart flipped. It was precious as was the home, which was a blend of the old rustic cabin and a new contemporary angle-lined main part. I loved the distressed wood floors in the old portion and its plainness, which was slightly crooked compared to the new! There was beauty in it’s imperfections and it had land...more open land and that tree. The one that sealed the deal. The one that we were told to cut down as is was weakened by the hollow at the base and all the woodpecker holes in it, just destined to die.
I don't take down trees easily, no not at all.
We won the bid on that house and are going on eight years here today, but more importantly I am humbled to say, twenty-five years of marriage this month. The tree still stands. What some times looks dead just may be dormant and be about to bloom and bear fruit. That is, if we have a faith that does not die as it’s roots are firmly in Christ.
We have kept the tree, believed in one another and our promises together in the reality of the Love that was shaped in the wood.
.......The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden.