I thought I'd share how our relationship progressed through use of particular songs which carry certain messages which make the point very well. In order to properly appreciate this post, you've got to listen to the songs or else you'll just be terribly confused.
I was trying to narrow this down to five songs but that didn't happen. Also, I couldn't find a song that expressed the following sentiments, which were felt upon our first meeting. I needed to find a song that expressed the following:
#1 - "You're so annoying. You might be one of the most annoying people I have ever met in my entire life. I wouldn't mind if you went away somewhere."
Funny. You think they'd make songs like that. But they don't seem to cover that particular emotion in a reasonable way.
That, folks, is how it all began. Dodging each other and/or tolerating each other in the company of mutual friends.
#2 - Even though we didn't exactly hit it off instantly, Jonathan asked me if I wanted to take a ball room dance class with him. Since I had just moved to a new town and was short on friends, I said yes. But not before I had said no. (I changed my mind and then waited a week before asking him if the offer was still open. It was. Because God is funny that way.)
What *I* didn't know was that Jonathan was a perfectionist and that dancing wasn't just something you did just for fun and entertainment purposes. Oh no! You did it for academics and skill! (Which is fun for him.) So while dancing was fun, and it was kinda enjoyable spending time with Jonathan, we suffered many disagreements about HOW one should dance and in what spirit one should dance for the next TWO YEARS of dance classes. I found my feelings for him were kinda...wobbling. We had a good time together but we had to work so hard to make sure our feet were in the right position (we made a serious study of dancing if you were wondering!) that some days I liked him more than others.
No matter what you do you drive me crazy
I'd rather be alone
But then I know my life would be so empty
As soon as you were gone
(The beauty of this song? I like Celine Dion and Jonathan likes opera. And I do not.)
#3 - So then. Two years of dancing. Two years of finding out how the other one ticked by working on a skill set (dancing - it's a skill!) and discovering we had a few other things in common. We talked a lot and spent a lot of time in one another's company. We even had "the talk" and agreed that nothing was going to ever happen between us romantically. But I had a little personal problem that developed over time (and after that conversation took place)....
Things were definitely becoming complicated (for me.) But I didn't want to say anything or do anything that would change the status quo. I wanted Jonathan to say the first word, if there was ever to be a first word. But then - LUCKY ME! =D
#4 - After months and months of being driven mentally insane, purposing to be extremely silent on my feelings (and praying about it all daily, if not hourly) Jonathan said something. Oh happiness! (I should note that none of our friends were surprised. They all suspected something out of nothing.)
We officially "dated" for two weeks. Then we got engaged.
I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
. . .
They don't know how long it takes
Waiting for a love like this
Everytime we say goodbye
I wish we had one more kiss
#5 - Then we got married! (And no, the story doesn't go downhill from here. It just got REAL. And if you're married - you know of what I speak!) I had this song sung as I walked down the aisle and it pretty much summed up how we wanted to dedicated our relationship to the Lord.
Not unto us, o Lord, not unto us, but to Your name give glory
(Now I just think that the battle scenes in this video are kinda funny.)
#6 - Then life began to look different than we expected it to. Jonathan's mother died of cancer and that significantly changed the family dynamics. We sold our house and build a new one -in the family's back yard! We had children, lost my dad to cancer and then Jonathan's brother in a car accident. Life was a series of severe ups and severe downs for a few years. In fact, it took us about two years to learn how to breathe again. I think this song suits us best:
I will take a heart whose nature is to beat for me alone
and fill it up with you, make all your joy and pain my own
No matter how deep a valley you go through -
I will go there with you.
. . .
I see it in your tears - you wonder where we are
The wind is growing colder and the sky is growing dark
Though it's something neither of us understands
We can walk through this together if we hold each other's hand
I said for better or worse I'd be with you
So no matter where you're going I will go there too
#7 - Highs and lows. Highs and lows. That's what marriage is. And if we walked away in the lows, we would never experience the glorious satisfaction of the mountaintops. I'm not saying that I anticipate the end of the struggles (or the victories!) After all, the journey is not over yet. All we know is that we have to continually place our trust in Christ, and recommit our marriage to Him on a daily basis. God has been so merciful to us. God has protected and sustained us and seen fit to bless us with three beautiful children to enjoy this life with. And so now? It's.....
And we're grateful for each and every day.
I love you, Jonathan! I'm so grateful that I get to walk through life with you - whatever it looks like and whatever happens. You are the most amazing man I've EVER known and could ever hope to know! I wouldn't trade anything. Not a thing. Here's to another sixty years of ...all of this!