Though Ashley and I met in high school over 17 years ago, we began our God ordained marriage, 10 years ago, on June 19, 1999. We began our marriage on a honeymoon cruise in the Western Caribbean on the Carnival Paradise. Ten years later, we’re celebrating our anniversary on the same ship – only now it’s sailing on the west coast. This is the final day of the cruise and it has been a wonderul vacation together.
This week the cruise ship has had it’s share of “challenges,” as the captain would say. On the second night during dinner, the water from the pool busted through two floors and landed in the middle of the dinning room during dinner – only a few feet from our table. It was amusing and scary at first, but then a little disappointing when we found out that the pool and formal dinning room would be closed for the duration of the cruise. The thought crossed my mind last night that I sure hoped our marriage wouldn’t begin breaking down like this ship. You see, the Paradise is ten years old too. It was first put into service the year we were married. It’s 10 years old and now the elevators are breaking down and the pool fell through the ceiling. I wondered if the challenges it’s facing would be a reflection of our marriage.
Today we were told that over 300 crew and staff stayed up through the night to stop the water and clean up the mess. We can’t say enough good things about the Paradise crew & staff. When I heard about the crew’s hard work – it was at that moment that I new that our marriage might well be on track with the ship. Troubles do come in life. It’s not the troubles or challenges that are the point – it’s how you face them. Ashley and I have faced challenges in our marriage, but the good news is we both have a deep faith in God and an ability to communicate about our challenges and grow closer to each other as a result. It’s not whether we have a pool on the lido deck or a fancy dinning room. It’s not whether we have all the money in the world or a big home. It’s the journey that matters.
I love you Ashley and I’m honored that you’re my wife and the one on this journey with me. We’re so thankful for all God has given us in our life and ministry. Though we’ll face challenges in our life & marriage, I wouldn’t want to face them with anyone else but you.
Thank you Granna & Pop for caring for our little boys this week so we can be on this cruise. Happy Anniversary Ashley!