Last year my husband Nick and I went on our first date February 23, 2017. We fell in love very quickly. Six weeks later we secretly eloped on April 7, 2017. In an very short ceremony with just the courthouse pastor and the two of us, we repeated I do, exchanged rings, kissed and voilà. We were married in a minute! We never said any vows but planned to one day in front of family and friends.
Marrying someone who is essentially a stranger brings many difficulties. Divorce was brought up often, fighting was common, and tension was high. Buying a house together, learning how to be a family of four (I have two phenomenal step kids), both changing jobs, Nick leaving for the military for two months, all while still getting to know each other, and even more so getting to know ourselves, caused several challenges. Non the less, we’ve always known we care about our marriage, we love each other, and that we were not ready to give up on us.
Nick is a generous and loving husband. He often puts my wants and needs before his own. So, when I asked him if we could go to Couples Camp, he kindly said yes. (I had possibly already bought the tickets and going was the only option I gave him.) I felt it was something we needed to do to strengthen our marriage and grow closer to God.
Couples Camp did not let me down. It fell nothing short of amazing. We worked, we grew, we laughed, we cried, we prayed, and we drank beer and wine around a fire pit. We were challenged and we were changed. But, the moment that meant the most to me was right after we received our Couples Camp rings. Standing in a tent full of committed marriages with God-fearing men and women, new friends, and our family in Christ, Nick and I finally got to publicly profess our love and dedication to one another! That’s right, holding hands with my husband, looking into his eyes and repeating after you, Nick and I said our vows to each other for the first time! Wow. What an amazing feeling to be able to say to each other in front of hundreds of people that “I chose you, I still choose you, and I will always choose you”. Any past argument, stress, or tension seemed to disappear and all that was left was the reminder of our growing respect and love. God is so good!
God is for marriage and I am too!