Today, I am celebrating twenty-five years of marriage to the love of my life, Angie Knight. She is my best friend, mother of our incredible twin daughters, my creative inspiration, my philosophical muse, and my biggest supporter.
When we began this journey 27 years ago on our first date, neither of us knew where this journey would take us together. Two young college students who get hooked up for a pick-a-date through a friend via a chat program on the old VMS Mainframe Terminals in the lounges of Taylor University. When I sat down at the VT100 terminal in Sammy Morris Hall to check my email and do some homework that evening, I had not expected to be asked out on a pick-a-date occuring a few weeks later, especially with someone I had only met casually a few times through shared friends. Curious to know more about this young lady I was to spend an evening with, I visited her that weekend and we had a wonderful evening talking and finding we had so many interests in common. Fellow band geeks, Broadway musical enthusiasts, Narnia fans, nerdy, and both serious about life and relationships. That random pick-a-date invite started a friendship which blossomed into romance.
Fast forward two years and this young, naive, but deeply in love, couple gets married and starts their life together. Me at graduate school and her teaching middle school science. Life begins to throw the first curves at us, but we adjust quickly. I leave graduate school (for frustrating reasons) to take a job in the same town where Angie teaches, we purchase a house, and settle down (or so we thought). A year later, another curve. I take a position at Taylor University so begin commuting the 80 miles (each way) for a year while she finishes the school year at Frankfort Middle School.
Then the big curve comes that could have derailed our marriage, but instead brought us so much closer. While I was away at a conference, Angie had some vision issues and other health complications. I left the conference early to be home as she had to have further medical tests. Those extensive tests led to a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. For 23 years now, I have been Angie’s caregiver along with being her husband. From helping with weekly injections (but minimal changes otherwise) in the early years to now helping extensively with her mobility, daily care, and taking over most of the household day-to-day work. MS has had a significant impact on our lives and plans.
Early in that Multiple Sclerosis journey, we moved to Upland and then were blessed with twin daughters. Twins on top of MS was another curve, one that kept life exciting for us. Those first two years were a blur of parenting, but a joy we do feel blessed to have experienced. Watching them grow up has been wonderful. Rachel and Emily have matured into amazing young women, now juniors at Taylor University. Along the way, we moved once and then built a new home that was more accessible for Angie and better for our larger family.
Why do I mention this early history for us? So you can understand the depth of my love for Angie. Over these 25 years of marriage, she and I have experienced career changes, Multiple Sclerosis, caregiving, twins, multiple house moves, building a house, changes in my employment, freelancing, children growing into adults, and recently increased health issues for both of us.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV
This scriptures states it so well. I am not always patient. I do struggle at times with stress, anxiety, arrogance, irritability, and fatigue. I am human. I am imperfect. I may not be all those wonderful things listed in the scripture, but our love for each other is. Our love remains patient and kind. Our love does not rejoice in our struggles, but bears us through them. Our love has endured all these curves in our lives and will continue to do so.
Twenty-five years of marriage. It does not seem just like yesterday we said our vows, and I am blessed because of that. I have the gray hairs and the scars along with the joyful experiences and memories of our journey together. This is a journey that I am honored and blessed we have taken together and will continue onward.
Angie, I love you so much. Happy 25th Anniversary!