After nearly 49 years of being single, I treasure my marriage. I'd grown up dreaming that a handsome prince (riding a white stallion, of course) would swoop me up and carry me to his castle so we could live happily ever after. I'd also grown up with the message that people (and women in particular) with Cerebral Palsy as severe as mine simply didn't marry. As a result, I praise the Lord that He graciously allowed me to wear double rings on the third finger of my left hand.
But more than treasuring marriage for its own sake (which would certainly be understandable in light of my disability), I deeply cherish the man who made me his wife a little over twelve years ago. In place of a white stallion, John rides a white wheelchair, and his castle consists of a two-bedroom apartment in an elderly/disabled complex. And yet, he's everything I'd dreamed of in a husband!
Unlike the fairy-tale princes who lack any real personality, my charming prince possesses a godly character that inspires me in my walk with the Lord. His love for God's Word shows in his determination to live in accordance with its teachings. Of course he has chinks in his armor, and needs the grace of God as much as anyone else, but I don't wish to publicize his faults. Instead, I take delight in all the ways He does resemble Christ.
John has known me for 17 years. He's seen me at my worst...many times. Most other men wouldn't tolerate my obnoxious behaviors, and even fewer men, after witnessing such behaviors, would continue loving me as deeply and passionately as he does. Each time John responds to my ugliness with forgiveness and encouragement, treating me like a princess, he reminds me of Jesus.
I celebrate this Valentine's Day with tremendous joy that the Lord brought me into marriage at all. I shake my head in bafflement that He would bless me in this manner. But even more, I praise Him that He would let me marry a man as wonderful as John.