The world talks about LOVE; movies portray LOVE, poets and musicians write about LOVE…but what is it really?
We know that the most profound love is that of God. His love NEVER fails. We may, at times, walk out on His love, but HE remains true…and always faithful. His love was the ultimate giving…“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes on Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” John3:16
Today, June 5th, Bill and I celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary. It has been years filled with joys…loses…gains…sadness…but through it all there was a LOVE that neither of us expected.
I met Bill when he was a Navy Chaplain on active duty. He boarded a ship and went into the Persian Gulf for the period of 6 months. At times, he also boarded a helicopter and flew to other ships where he was lowered down on a line. The men called his arrival, “The heavenly helo.” He got to know the men and shared God’s love. When he left, the helicopter came back and he hooked on and was raised up…flying back to his own ship.
I was home taking care of my three children and teaching school. It was on his ship that Bill decided that when he arrived back in the States, he would propose to me. That he did… in a quiet spot in St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. We never looked back. When Bill’s son joined us and my three children, this made our family a total of six, as we formed the “Brady Bunch”, so to speak.
Was life always easy? Of course not, for life with teenagers to raise and adjustments to a completely new family were many. We forged our way through mostly good times and kept our LOVE strong. The children grew up and chose their own paths…some included us and others didn’t. We also had a number of Golden Retrievers that fit just fine in our lives. We stayed true to each other and the ministry God gave us to do.
Bill saw me off on teaching trips to Mongolia, Ukraine and with High School Ambassadors to tour Europe. He encouraged me to “always do what you think God wants you to do.” Without this confidence that he gave me, I would never have experienced such interesting places and people. I will always be grateful.
At one point, Bill led a team to Russian to refurbish an orphanage that had no warm water or a dining hall. When the team left, the beautiful dining area was the best in their community. God’s LOVE for people went with his team. He also led teams to Israel. As we watch the sad news from this area, we are more than grateful that we could experience Israel and the footsteps of our Savior in quiet times.
I went with Christian women to Guatemala to find the women deep in the forests and corn fields, who were midwives and needed help in their work. We were able to raise funds back in the states, for their projects that helped them support themselves. While there, we learned of their amazing survival after their men and teenage boys were murdered by the government in previous years. They told us that “the dogs dug up the bones” of their men for months after the raids. God had work for both of us to do…both in churches and outside a church building…and we tried to be open to all His leading. These were some of our years of LOVING each other that stand out the most.
When we built our first house, we climbed one night up a ladder and sat on the still being constructed front porch and watched the moon come up over the lake. Love couldn’t have been better. Bill planted me rose gardens and his garden, this year, has proven to be the most prolific. He said that he never “promised me a rose garden”….but he has always given them to me just the same.
When we found time and saved our money, we traveled together. Some of our favorite places were Paris, in the Winter, Japan, in the Fall, and back to my ancestral roots…Switzerland. When we were in our late 70’s, we climbed a mountain in VA, near my southern families in N.C. I think that may have been our last mountain…after knee replacements and other maladies of older years.
Bill loves sports…and I can take them or leave them. He enjoys going to games with our son, Steve. Love doesn’t mean that all our interests have to be alike. He enjoys and is good at woodworking. I don’t know anything about wood or the kinds of wood…or types of nails or equipment. I enjoy cooking…trying to make bread that flogs sometime…but Bill will try anything… Make him cookies and he’s really happy!
Now we are in the last half of our lives. If I live as long as my Mother, who died at age 93, I know that I have at least 10 or more years left. What I will do with this is up to me. I can continue to write and reach out to those God would have as my friends…or I can settle into old age with something less than grace.
How we decide to live and LOVE….is entirely up to us. I married a younger man than myself. That has had its really good points, but I didn’t know it at the time. Love is passionate…caring…forgiving…and most of all…a complete dedication to one another. That is how God would want it…and it is how we want it.
Give LOVE a chance in whatever stage of life is yours. There is much to enjoy and much to gain…as you give ALL your life to Christ. He led us when we had no idea what was happening. This only proved, my favorite verse, in Proverbs 3:5,6
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In ALL your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”
VIDEO: Dedicated to my husband, William J. Boyer….MY LOVE, “Bill.” REMEMBER OUR TRIP TO PARIS?
Claude Debussy’s Clair de lune Played by pianist, Lang Lang
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