All this talk about weddings and receptions and beaches has put me in a reflective mood, which is nice.
Seven years ago today, I walked down the aisle of a small cozy church in Caleruega, Batangas and married my longtime girlfriend Agnes. She was dressed in a silver gown (millennium bride!) and was a vision of angelic sweetness and light. I felt this surge of emotion so strong, a sureness of gift and grace so powerful that there were tears in my eyes as she approached.
Five years ago, a trial started in our lives when we had to live apart– separated by geographical location and immigration– and we had no idea how long it would last. We simply trusted in God’s plan for our lives and proceeded forward hoping we would be reunited soon. There were various attempts at my getting back to the States to join her, but most of them ended in vain. So instead she would visit me every year, and we would continue to hope for a better day. And we toiled away at our respective jobs, finding little solace in life without one another.
It took 5 years. Which is a long time. Let me just say this: serious relationships will not last the trials of long distance. I do not recommend it at all, and would not wish that kind of torture on anyone.
It took 5 years to learn patience. And learn that you can’t ask God to fast-forward His timetable. You’ve just got to stand in line and know that you’re in the right place at the right time, and that He will move the line when it is time. He always has something good in store for us, after all.
And now here I am, finally. Where I should be. With my family. Not the family that I was born with, but the family that is Agnes and myself. I’m finally here. It’s takes me by surprise every now and then. You know the feeling: when something you’ve asked for for such a long time is finally given to you, and you’re flabbergasted? Washes over me like rain.
The other day Agnes and I were talking about happy memories. We’d just seen a movie where the protagonist was asked for his happiest memory which would then be recorded and played back for posterity on some machine. I told her that the happiest memory I had, the one which lights me up every time it plays on my videoscreen brain, the one which I would want to die holding onto… is the memory of her walking down the aisle to become my bride and wife.