my favorite song

Isn’t it funny some of the moments that you remember exactly? For the life of us neither Todd nor I can remember his proposal speech. Honestly, not even a sentence. And it was a good five minutes long. Isn’t that horrible? Speaking of, neither of us can remember meeting each other, or any of our first twenty or so conversations. Kind of “love at first sight,” but not really at all.

Yet somehow I have vivid memories of my mom telling me I used too much Soft Scrub to clean the bathroom sink when I was like ten, and the red sweater and gold earrings the girl wore when she sold us our townhome in May 2007 (sidenote #1: the exact WORST time to buy a townhome. sidenote #2: does anyone want a townhome???? recently reduced:)

Anyway, along those lines, while most of my wedding day is unfortunately a blur, I can tell you exactly where I was standing, what I was wearing, and the dinner I had the night Todd and I discovered the song to be sung at our wedding. I still have to stop what I’m doing to listen to the words whenever I hear it. The song is called “The Love of Christ is Rich and Free.” It was written by a Baptist pastor in 18-something, and the words are old and horribly out of date. I’m still not sure what one line means, and I’m an English major. Nevertheless, one stanza grabbed me the first time I heard it. We printed it on the front of our wedding program:

His loving heart engaged to be
Their everlasting Surety;
’Twas love that took their cause in hand,
And love maintains it to the end.

At the time I think I thought it was cute that it said the word “engaged” (get it? engaged, wedding?? haha). But there was probably more…those last two lines, about God taking “their cause in hand,” and “maintaining it to the end…” I think even as a giddy engaged 26-year old who was preoccupied with dress necklines and honeymoon shopping and dish patterns – even then part of me realized that this marriage thing was going to be difficult – bigger than us – and on some level I knew we would need some help.

Now I am no old person rocking on my front porch with my partner of fifty years. Actually, we have only made it four. Okay we are not even at four yet. (And if I am honest there were times I wasn’t even sure we’d be here.)

But now when I listen to those words (like last week at church while Sam and I were singing them) they are more than a hope or a vague promise you hope someone will keep. To me now, they are fact. These days I worry about asthma attacks and H1N1 and paying maternity bills and whether or not traces of peanuts find their way into chocolate chips. And of course I worry about whether I’m a good enough wife or mom or Christian or neighbor or – basically – whether I can hold it all together. But how silly. This same God who melded two selfish, bratty, completely opposite people (one of whom had a bad habit of throwing the car keys during first-year arguments), this God who time and again provided jobs and patience and sleep and cures from coughs and colic and toothaches, this God who never once let us go or let us down, He is still holding us. He must get impatient with me and my worries. I really should make myself listen to old William Gadsby’s “The Love of Christ” every morning while I’m brushing my teeth. I really should. God is holding onto us and our little family! Remember, Jessica, remember!!

“He loves through every changing scene…
Not all the wanderings of her heart
Can make His love for her depart.”

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