In the early fall of 2012, we were on our way to one of Jaime’s many appointments, when she said to me, “I am sorry you have to go through all of this with me. It’s not what you signed up for.” I didn’t respond at first. I was tired. I was frustrated – not with Jaime but with the fact…the fact that despite what the treatments had done to her physically, she still did not appear to be getting any better. Yes, yes, her tumor appeared to be shrinking, but she never fully regained her ability to walk, think, etc. So, I did hesitate for a moment when she said that to me. And then, from the depths of my heart, I said to Jaime, “Love, if I had been told in 2005 you were going to have cancer, I would still have married you. I am here for the rest of this journey.”
As much as I meant it in September of 2012, it was not an easy thing to say. We had had some rocky moments recently – moments when I wasn’t sure that our marriage would weather the storm. Yet, over the course of Jaime’s 6 month battle, God repaired our hearts and our marriage. I am beyond grateful for that because I was, in the end, able to release my bride & my love rather than my foe. In just 6 months, God had shown us both that our marriage was worth fighting for.
I share this with you exactly two years from the date when Jaime and I reaffirmed our marriage vows. The day stands in stark contrast to our wedding in 2005. Though Jaime was now confined to a bed, barely able to speak, and in such pain, she was more beautiful than the afternoon I saw her walk through the church doors. Our guest list now included several of Jaime’s doctors and friends, who had not only been there for us in our hour of need, but who had been inspired by the faith and courage of the bride. With my one hand I held my wife’s hand and in my arms I held our little girl. Many, many times, I stared out the window, tears rolling down my face. You see, I knew that my affirmation of the vows was temporary – 17 days to be exact. Yet, it was the honor of my life to let my Love know once again, that I would be by her side in sickness and before she slipped away for something even better.
Husbands, we are commanded to love our wives as Christ loved the Church. He didn’t passively fight for the Church. He was intentional. He was bold. He was meek. And ultimately He gave His full love and life for her. Wives, you are commanded to love your husband – not for who he isn’t, but for who God made him to be. For 6 months, I saw what it was like when we stopped fighting for our finances, our ambition, and the selfishness of being right. Instead, we locked our hands and hearts together and fought for our marriage – a fight, by God’s grace we won.