Charlie's Blog: Sixth Anniversary Reflections


Sixth Anniversary Reflections

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: the woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

I have been married for six years now. That decision still stands as the best thing I ever did in my life. That one thing brought joy back to my life. It gave me back my faith in God new and improved. God has blessed me through the best wife I think a man can have. I was in a bad place when I met her, and meeting her was better than winning the lottery. My wife changed my life. I would do it all over again without hesitation. I love her very much.

Our wedding was nothing to write home about. I was an atheist at the time, and we were poor. We are still poor, but our poverty is voluntary now. Back then, it wasn't so voluntary. Basically, we signed some paper at the notary public's house and went to Starbucks. The "DMV wedding" as my wife calls it would be convalidated in the Catholic Church a year later. I think that a wedding like this is scandalous now. Everyone should be married by a priest in front of the altar in a Catholic Church. But I was an atheist when I made that commitment. Like I said, I was in a bad place then.

I had spent about two decades dodging marriage. I didn't believe in it. I had seen too many divorces and infidelities. I dated various women, and I knew that I was never going to marry any of them. I don't regret not marrying any of them because none of them were worth marrying. Some had the baggage and wreckage from previous failed marriages. Others were without virtue. But in the end, I had to admit that I wasn't worth marrying either. Marrying me was not a good idea. The acid of atheism had eaten into my soul and corroded it.

When I met my wife, everything changed. We met through this blog when she wrote me an email to disagree with something I wrote. That would begin a whirlwind of events that still amazes me to this day. She lived two states away, and I would scheme and drive all night just to see her. It was hardship. But I did it. I had to be with this woman. She was the pearl of great price. I was willing to do anything and sacrifice whatever it took to be with her. I was probably a bit insane then, but I am glad I was. God wanted me to suffer for this blessing.

People ask me if I believe in love. My answer to that is no. Love is nothing in itself. It is the people that matter. Love does not transform people like in some romance novel. This is why you see such wreckage and divorce today. Two bad people in love are merely two people who are going to fall out of love and hate each other down the line. They are fooling themselves.

My wife was different because she had a spark of goodness in her. She was not perfect at the time. If she was, she would have never married a scumbag atheist like me. But she reeked of pure decency. She had virtue, and I realized that all of the women I had dated had none. Love is easy, but trust is hard. My wife was the one woman that I trusted. As someone who has been stung many times by betrayal, this was huge to me.

My wife says I was a decent guy at the time, but I beg to differ. The residue of my Christian baptism still clung to me, and I had some kind of conscience in me. I just didn't have God. I was lost in the darkness, and that darkness was eating me alive. I belonged to the Devil. I know me, and I am horrified at the person I used to be. The only thing that preserved me was God's grace.

It is vitally important for parents to baptize their children. The grace of my baptism was what keep me from going over the edge of the cliff. I always felt like something was holding me back. The good my wife saw in me was that faint spark of grace God gave me in my baptism. I am not good. Only God is good. God always held onto me even when I refused to hold on to Him.

With my wife, the decision was fairly simple for me. When couples meet, they ask themselves a question. Can I live with this person? That is the wrong question to ask. If you are asking this question, do not marry this person. When I met my wife, I asked the right question. Can I live without this person? For me, the answer was no. If I had let her get away, the rest of my life would be filled with grief and regret now.

The DMV wedding was nothing to brag about. I would not do it that way now. But it was a big deal for me. It was a small step in the right direction, but it took everything in me to do it. I was placing the pieces of a battered and blackened heart into the lock box of this woman's love. If it went bad, I would be left in a place from where I could never return. You can only take so much hurt in life. I was going to let this woman hurt me. And she didn't. She healed me instead.

I love my wife very much. I try hard not to show it, but I know people can see that I have it very bad for her. My love for her overwhelms my insides that I feel like I will burst. That is what a real marriage is. You put your heart inside another human being. When they suffer, you suffer. When they are joyful, you are joyful. Your whole being is in their being.

When my DMV wedding was convalidated and made legit, I felt exactly what the act represented. Our union was elevated. God came into the union. That made a huge difference. I didn't feel like a scumbag anymore after that. And that, Gentle Reader, is a vital lesson. A marriage is a trinity. You have to have God. With the DMV wedding, I became a husband. With the convalidation, I became a good husband.

Because I am Catholic now, I know that I will burn in Hell if I ever do wrong by my wife. I love God which makes me love my wife even more. It was because of my wife that God came back into my life. God is good. If I ever forget this, I only have to look at her beautiful face to be reminded again.

The last six years have been some of the most frustrating and hardest of my life. Yet, they have been the happiest years of my life. My wife is easy to love. She is awesome in so many ways. She is not the source of frustration and hardship. The world is the source of my frustration and hardship. My wife is my refuge from that world. You know you have a good wife when you always look forward to being at home with her.

I thank God every day for my wife. I don't deserve her. But I strive to be worthy of that blessing. She is worth her weight in gold and more. If I lost everything except her, I would be fine. If I gained everything but lost her, I would be in a state from which I would never recover. My heart is in her. I could withstand an amputation easier than the loss of her.

I don't know what the future holds for us, and I trust that God has big plans for us. I love God, and I love my wife. I don't want any other life than the life I have right now with her. 

An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.