Ruth to Naomi: “Do not entreat me to leave you, or to return from following after you: for where you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” (Ruth 1:16)
These words were not only spoken by Ruth to her mother-in-law, but also spoken by me to my husband Gale on our wedding day, December 14, 1991. Why was this passage so inspiring that I decided to use them as a part of my vows? I was a missionary, and I was marrying a missionary. Living in one spot after another; learning new cultures and languages; and raising support across the United States would require the same commitment that had been pronounced by Ruth thousands of years ago.
Gale and I met only in the Spring of 1991 (read Hope for a Husband). We met in person for the first time in July of 1991. We were engaged on a rock jetty out on Martha’s Vineyard in September of 1991. But even with things moving so fast, that December wedding date was a rather quick decision. Originally, we had thought to wait till Spring of 1992, hoping to take short-term trips to Congo as single people beforehand, but Congo had other plans. Violence and unrest had erupted. A trip was out of the question. The decision was made to marry sooner and begin the process together of raising support.
So, we did. Thankfully, my mom was a great organizer. She planned the whole wedding in a few short weeks and had everything ready, down to the smallest detail. And I loved the thought of a Christmas wedding. I settled the white light/colored light debate once and for all by deciding to use colored lights, Christmas trees, and wrapped presents to decorate our church auditorium. The day arrived and so did the clouds, but we were not worried. What started as a drizzle, turned into a light snowfall by early evening.
Our church was filled with well-wishers. Family and friends from around the country were there to share in the event. Often the bride and groom would choose a love song to grace their ceremony, but we decided on a service song, Find Us Faithful by Steve Green. Here are the lyrics for the first verse and chorus:
We're pilgrims on the journey of the narrow road, and those who've gone before us line the way. cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary, their lives a stirring testament to God’s sustaining grace.
o may all who come behind us find us faithful, may the fire of our devotion light their way. may the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe, and the lives we live inspire them to obey. o may all who come behind us find us faithful.
After over twenty-seven years of marriage, we have learned to trust the Faithful God who has called us to be faithful in our daily lives and life service.
Hope for a husband, hope for a wedding, and hope for a future together.