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Monday, August 1, 2011

20 years

Wow, what a journey it has been !  I can't believe that Melissa and myself have been married for 20 years.  July 20th 1991 what a day!  I remember the fear like it was yesterday!  As the church (Salem Alliance) filled up with family and friends I keep thinking, what the hell are you doing here?!?  Then the pastor, Morris Dirks my high school pastor and good friend tapped me on the shoulder and said it's time for us to go up front and get this show on the road.  Now the fear was really growing, my hands were shaking, mouth was dry and I thought I was going to explode.

After a few minutes my bride appeared at the back of the room, and with her father made her way down the isle.  Then 17 minutes later after saying some words or something we were husband and wife.  People stood, clapped and tossed stuff at us and wished us well.

During our premarital counseling Pastor Dirks gave us some great advise.  The one thing that to this day stands out to me was when he asked me how long I thought it would take for me to be disappointed with my wife.  I told him it might be months, or weeks but it would take some time.  Rick with in the first 24 hours you will be disappointed, you will find things you don't like, there will be things that make you mad, or hurt.  He gave Melissa even less time...Morris had been my pastor for along time and knew me well.  His great wisdom... love is a verb, an action word not a feeling.  Feelings come and go they change with the wind, but true love is a choice.  Pastor Dirks told us both we daily would need to choose to love each other, even if we didn't really like each other.

So after 2 decades and some counseling along the way, we are still together.  We still choose daily to remain faithful to each other and to honor our commitment.  So it was fitting that we "celebrated" our 20 year anniversary working at a camp, doing a ministry.  I believe with all my heart that when I took Melissa as my bride I did it not only in front of friends and family but also in the presence of the living God in his throne room.  So with that in mind it was only fitting to be working for God on our anniversary.

So far with 20 years behind us we have created two great kids.  Vincent Joseph 16 a junior at West Salem High and Ananda Kaylee 3 (daddy's princess).    I love these kids more then anything, they are my world!  I am so appreciative that I get to raise these kids, I know they belong to God and my time with them is borrowed and a gift.  I had Psalms 127:3 tattooed on my right arm so I would never forget it:  Son's are a heritage from the Lord, children are a gift from him.  I hope I am the dad they need and deserve.

I just did the math I have been married to Melissa for 7311 days or 175,464 hours give or take a few.  It's been a long, hard journey so far.  Marriage is not an easy thing, and it's not for sissy's!  I hope we have many years ahead of us as we continue to grow together and try to become what the other wants and needs. I pray some day I will be the husband my wife deserves.      ~Rick