If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: Faith, Hope, and Love. But the greatest of these is Love.
-1 Corinthians 13-
Today is the 5th Anniversary of our Wedding Day. Five years ago, our friends and family stood with us as we went before God and promised to share our lives, through good and bad. Our Priest that day challenged us to live up to the promise of 1 Corinthians 13; to never keep score; to be patient; to be kind; and to love.
In five years, we've often reminded ourselves of Father B.'s words. We've worked hard to never keep score and to be patient with one another - and I have to say, The Man has had to practice patience many more times than I have. I know it's not always easy, because well, I'm just not an easy kind of person. I am so grateful for his patience and love.
Before we were married, we agreed that marriage wasn't a game or just something you did. We understood it as a Sacrament in our Faith and as a lifelong commitment to one another. We agreed to never use the 'd' word under any circumstances. We agreed that it was not an option for us, that 'til death do us part' was for real. Our first 5 years have been incredible and challenging. Our commitment to each other and to our marriage has turned obstacles into building blocks and struggles into stronger ties that bind us together. We know that life and marriage aren't always easy; we know that compared to what others have faced, we've had it easy; we know that no matter what life may hand us, it's easier if we handle it together.
We know these things partly, because we had a wonderful example. Today is also the anniversary of my Nan and Pap's Wedding Day. Today they would have been married 61 years. They were married 55. Pap chose to end a 10-month struggle with lung disease, strokes, and pneumonia in January 2004. While he wasn't physically with us 5 years ago, he was with us. I have proof. You see, for every event that was ever planned for me growing up (birthday parties, First Communion, Confirmation, graduations, everything) it
rained poured down the rain. And on June 11, 2004 - it poured down the rain. BUT, not on June 12. NOT on our wedding day. It rained a light rain in the morning, and then it cleared off. We had outdoor photos taken on a beautiful, warm, partly cloudy/sunny, late spring day. You see, my Pap couldn't be with us physically, but he was with us. He was in the sunshine that blessed us all day long and we know he continues to watch over us every day.
The music you are listening to, If You Could See What I See, by Geoff Moore, was one of the preludes to our ceremony and is as true today as it was then. God created us for each other and every day I want to honor that creation by being a good wife, partner, and friend.
To you, Man: I love you. I thank-you for the best 5 years of my life. The day you took me as your wife was the best day of my life. The life we have built together has surpassed all of my expectations of what love could be. I look forward to the rest of our lives with the same hope, excitement, and love as I did 5 years ago.
Photos from our day (all taken by Scott Frederick of Genesis Studios):
Our wedding party was made up of The Man's 4 sisters, my 2 brothers, and friends who are an extension of our family.
A little fun before heading into the reception.
A non-posed moment captured by our photographer as we exited the church, a Mr. and Mrs.!
A quick kiss as we head from the ceremony to the reception. We stopped on our way to have photos taken in front of Woodburn Hall on WVU's campus.
The Man before the ceremony.
My favorite photo of me taken all day - taken just before the ceremony.