Seven years ago today my life changed forever.
I woke up like any other day, to the sound of “Amazed” by Lonestar on the radio alarm. I went to work at my first job, planning to work at my second job right after. It was a regular Friday, or so I thought.
After talking with my sister-in- law that afternoon I knew my second job wasn’t an option.
“I’m preaching!” She said. “I really want you to be there, I’m really excited about this message.” She added. “And besides that, it’s Reuben’s first night playing the drums. I’m sure he would love for you to be there.”
Later I got a call from my best friend, “What are you doing tonight? I want to come to church with you.” The story was; her and her boyfriend were fighting and she wanted to get away. I still don’t know if that was even remotely true, but in the moment I thought “SURE. I would love for you to come with me!!”
My parents and brother wanted to join us as well; they wanted to see Reuben play the drums for the first time. How could I say no? This would be a family affair and a night to remember..
Just like that, I swapped shifts and I was getting ready for Friday night youth service. I didn’t go to many of these, being a waitress meant I worked Friday and Saturday nights, after working my regular office job during the weekdays. But tonight seemed different, so I went for it.
The service ended and the Pastor called us up “Reuben and Lori will be traveling this weekend, let’s pray for traveling graces.” With every head bowed and every eye closed (or so I thought) we prayed. Then, as I opened my eyes there he was; on one knee, box opened, ring shinning.
“Will you marry me?” He said.
“YES!” I exclaimed.
Camera flashes going off all over the sanctuary, clapping, cheering; a roar of excitement irrupted in the sanctuary. We had been high school sweet hearts and had the spent the last 5 years together. We had loved each other, hated each other, laughed, cried, grew and matured and now we stood there, as adults ready to make the biggest decision of our lives.
He hugged me as tight as he could, and as he held me as close as I could get, and then he whispered; “The real question is, will you marry me tomorrow?”
“WHAT?!” I said abruptly.
I think he could see the panic in my face and the concern in my voice. Before I could utter another word he said “Just trust me. I promise, everything will be ok.”
And just like that, I said yes. Again.
Less than 24 hours later I was ready to walk down an aisle I did not lay down, in a sanctuary I did not decorate, surrounded by people I did not invite, in a wedding dress I did not buy, to meet my soon to be husband at the end of an aisle where we would begin the rest of our lives together.
Now, if you know me you know I’m a planner and never in my wildest dreams would I expect to get married, with a less than 24 hour engagement and a ceremony and reception I had nothing to do with planning, and yet, here I was. Standing in a church where the sanctuary was decorated, the room was packed; I had a wedding cake, flower girls, food, a dress, a bouquet. I had everything we needed for a wedding and I didn’t have a single thing to do with it.
I walked down the aisle with my father where I met my husband, brother, mother and soon to be brother- in- law (who married us, his FIRST wedding ever!!) We said our I Do’s and that was it!
We were married.
I thought that day getting married was my best yes, my craziest yes, my scariest yes and the most important yes of my life.
Yet 7 years later, marriage has taught me that it’s not about the first yes, or the second yes or even the third, fourth and fifth yes. It’s all about the daily yes you commit to saying for life.
The commitment to say YES when life doesn’t go the way you planned.
The commitment to say YES when the job is gone.
The commitment to say YES when the house falls through.
The commitment to say YES when the dreams are shattered.
The commitment to say YES when the house is a mess.
The commitment to say YES when marriage isn’t the solution to loneliness as you expected.
The commitment to say YES when the picture you see doesn’t look like the “box” you picked up.
The commitment to say YES when money is low and bills are due.
The commitment to say YES when stress is high.
The commitment to say YES when the grass looks greener on the other side.
The daily yes.
Yes, I will honor you.
Yes, I will love you.
Yes, I will cherish you.
Yes, I will pray for you.
Yes, I will support you.
Yes, I will be there for you unconditionally.
Yes, I will be by your side when no one else is.
If you spend your relationship waiting for the next milestone, you’ll always be disappointed. You’ll always feel like something is missing. But if you learn to love intentionally and without reservation, you’ll find that the journey is better than the destination and the daily yes is your best yes.
Today I celebrate that marrying my husband was my first yes, is my last yes and will forever be my best daily yes.