My husband and I will celebrate our twelfth wedding anniversary this weekend, so of course that means my mind is full of memories. Many memories are attached to songs, as both my husband and I love music. I think our favourite songs change almost every week as certain words and melodies minister to us during different situations.
When we were dating, my husband and I both worked multiple jobs, had kids living at home and not a lot of cash for fancy nights out. Lots of times we would go for a drive, listen to music, sing and talk. We still love to do this. So many songs from that period in our life still make me smile today as I see where God has brought us over these past twelve years.
A song that still resonates is “God Bless the Broken Road” as it speaks to me of my relationship with God and my relationship with my husband; the two most important connections in my life. The second verse best echoes my heart. It says:
I think about the years I spent just passin’ through
I’d like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You’ve been there, you understand
It’s all part of a grander plan that is coming true. **
My husband and I have talked so many times about how different life might have been if we met earlier in life. How some heartbreaks might have been avoided, how ministry might have looked differently. Of course, we see that all of experiences we had separately; the joys and sorrows, success and defeat, had to happen in God’s bigger design. First on that list would be the amazing young adults who are our children, and we cannot imagine our lives without them being who they are. But some days, I still daydream about meeting my charming man with the sparkling eyes when I was in my twenties and having more years with him than I will now. And like the song says, he completely understands. We trust God’s plan for us and are assured that we met at the exact right moment in time.
This song also speaks to me of the redemptive love God has for me, as there have been times I have wandered off the path or been sidelined by pain or selfishness. I regret those times when I did not let God use me and heal me because I was too wrapped up in being the center of my own universe. But, those times did not last long and I stretched out my hand to my Father who was waiting for me all the time.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own path. Isaiah 53:6 NLT
I know God does have a wonderful plan for my husband and I. We have a passion to serve God and to build relationships with people, introducing them to our God and His life-changing power. Some days are challenging, but that’s when we hold onto each other and confess there is no one else we’d rather live this crazy life with.
Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you. **
We have had countless miracles from God over the past twelve years that have increased our faith. We have also had dreams that haven’t worked out the way we thought, and others that we have waited many years for, but all of these point us to Jesus, where comfort is found and strength is renewed. For all we have learned in these seasons, for how we have grown closer together as a couple and closer to God, I know I can speak for my husband and say that we wouldn’t trade this life for anything the world can give.
It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth.
And if one falls down, the other helps, But if there’s no one to help, tough! Two in a bed warm each other. Alone, you shiver all night. By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 MSG
God has been that central third strand in the cord that keeps us strong. On days where we laugh until the tears come, or those when we cry ourselves to sleep and all those ordinary days in between, I know that God brought me down a broken road to bring me closer to Him and to the husband He chose and prepared for me.
If you are married, think about those songs that have meant something to you as a couple and share those memories, even if it isn’t your anniversary. Every day is a good day to nurture the relationship with your spouse.
** Songwriters: Bobby Boyd / Jeff Hanna / Marc HummonBless the Broken Road lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management