I am going to be writing a bit of an unconventional post today. It will be unconventional because even though it is my husband and I’s 7th Wedding Anniversary today, I will be writing about another man who isn’t my husband. But I should definitely first give him a shout out:
To My Wonderful Jonathan
I am deeply blessed that I have been able to share my life these past 7 years with the most selfless, compassionate, caring, and loving man. I thank Jesus everyday for you! I love all of you, your faults and your perfections. This next year in our lives is going to be as grand as the last seven.
Love Your Wife
Now for my post:
This weekend Jon and I attended his cousin’s wedding and his other cousin’s wedding celebration. Spending this weekend watching others join together in marriage was such a treat before our anniversary. It also leads me to realize a few things I treasured from our big day.
I realized how blessed I was to have one amazing man be able to be at our wedding. His name was Dwayne Harms and he was Jon and I’s pastor at the time. He was very special to both Jon and I. He was the man who baptised both Jon and I. He was my first pastor after coming to accept Jesus as Lord. It was his sermon that leads me to Christ. It was each Sunday night sitting in the service he lead that Jon and I fell in love during. It would be his words and instruction during our marriage preparation that we still use and use to survive at times for our marriage now. And it would be him who would bless us and ordain our marriage on our wedding day.
I am pretty sure but not entirely positive that it was a month before our big day when we got a call from Pastor Harms that he wanted to speak to us. We worked out a time to meet at the church that day. Jon and I were not quite sure what to expect but I am positive we never expected that.
Pastor Dwayne explained to us that he had cancer and has been asked to stop pastoring. I remember thinking about the first man I ever saw who was dying of cancer, I was about 11 years old and in front of me was this small man who really looked like a child so fragile laying in his bed barely moving. I was taken back that this maybe the outcome for our pastor, the real first “spiritual” father Jesus ever gave me.
Pastor Dwayne continued to explain that the elders didn’t want him to do our wedding but he refused to listen and apparently argued that because he gets his licence from the country not the church it wasn’t under their call to tell him not to. I was so deeply blessed that he fought to be with us on that day especially because I never had any “father” figures fight to be at something for me. My own wonderful Dad (that isn’t sarcastic, I am truly blessed with the earthly dad God gave me) two years previous even told me he wasn’t sure if he would be at my grad because it was during his yearly fishing trip. He did come though after me and my mother being quite upset. So you can see how this small gesture was a big deal for me. Jon and I were worried about Dwayne’s health but he insisted that he would be okay and that this is something he really wants to do.
Soon enough our wedding day was here. It was during Pastor Dwayne’s sermon part of the ceremony that God spoke something deep into my heart about marriage that day. Funny thing though it wasn’t anything he was saying, to be honest I don’t even remember the message. It was about the example him and his wife were for the promises we were making. Now I do know that Pastor Dwayne and his wife Janet were not perfect and I am sure they had lots of marital struggles as most do but both were amazing examples of how God moves in marriage. Here I was being blessed to express my wedding vows while being witnessed by someone who has worked hard to fulfill those in his own marriage even now at his journey’s end. I remember praying so hard to God as I spoke each word to my new husband that they would be as true as Pastor Dwayne and Janet were now fulfilling. I actually wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to speak the words “through sickness and health”. Here I was promising these things right in front of someone who was living this out.
Still to this day when I hear these promises I am impacted on how important and real they should be taken. That each day we should press into the Lord for the strength it takes to fulfill them because it takes His holy strength to do so.
Pastor Dwayne Harms passed away a month and a half after our wedding on August 16, 2005. We were the last formal thing he done in the church. Each year on our anniversary and on the anniversary of Dwayne’s death I thank Jesus for Pastor Dwayne and for Jesus to bless Janet, her new husband and her children.
It was a few years ago, after a wedding we went to, that I remembered that Pastor Dwayne wrote a blog ( http://dhjourney.blogspot.ca/ ) during his fight with cancer. I wondered if he wrote the day of our wedding. He did. When I read it I was a bit shocked I didn’t realize how hard that day was for him. It was the closure of a huge chapter in his life.
Thank you Pastor Dwayne for that day. Thank you Janet, Ashlynn, and Tyler for sharing your husband and dad with us when you had so little precious days left. Thank you!
Just One of Those MomentsYesterday was Zipp’s dedication. Thank you Jesus for blessing my little girl. Please guild me to train her to know you the best I can. I lay her at your cross. Amen.