Yes, Again

by DanWolgemuth on July 7, 2017

The day was an amazing collection of sounds and smells and tastes. Emotion pulsed through every moment, through every memory, through every dream.

Promises cascaded with clarity and confidence.

Mike and Cheryl were celebrating, but they were doing significantly more than that.

July 5, 1977.

Cheryl, a seventeen-year-old. Mike, just slightly older.

An unscripted beginning. A wedding. Odds stacked in fierce defiance of success. They said, “I do,” to promises they barely understood.

It was only a matter of time. The odds won. They became statistics… the majority.

But a few years, a growing toddler, and the language of redemption, restoration and hope tumbled from their lips. Yes, again. Round 2.

But Yes, again, was easier said than done. Pain, once ignored, now pushed boldly to the surface. The journey proved harder than the alternative. But Yes, again, propelled them forward. Resolve replaced passion. Commitment overpowered selfishness. Grace bubbled from the small spring of hope. Mike and Cheryl reached out for help… authentically, transparently, desperately. Help came. Through friends and family and pastors… and ultimately Jesus. Light battled the darkness. Salt began to treat the wounds. A couple with a toddler became a family of six.

They refused to quit. They waved their fist at the odds. They burned the white flag of surrender. They faced themselves first and then each other. With grit. With grace. With more grit.

Over time, they no longer needed white knuckles to hold onto their marriage. Instead they opened their hands and heart to the message of grace and love and forgiveness and compassion and generosity and tenderness and gentleness…

Mike and Cheryl fell in love… over and over again. Through the morass and brokenness. Through the unscripted start and the naive second chance. Love. Redeeming, restoring, rebuilding and remarkable love. Enduring love… not because it avoids problems, but because it faces them honestly and humbly.

On Wednesday, July 5, 2017… 40 years to the day, after an awkward and uninformed beginning, Mike stood at the front of an elegant sanctuary… and Cheryl walked down a white carpet into his arms. They exchanged vows and rings and kisses… again, for the first time.

350 of us watched. 350 of us leaned in. 350 of us personalized the moment and the lessons.

Yes. Yes, again. Yes, every day in every way.

Yes, against the odds. Yes.

Then dinner and dancing, seasoned with lessons of love and grace. An anniversary wedding. A celebration of Yes.

A fist in the face of the odds. Not because the odds don’t matter, but because there is fierce fire in grace. Not because Mike and Cheryl were better or stronger or smarter… but because they surrendered.

As Mike and Cheryl pulled back the curtain on their own brokenness they gave light full access to the darkness in their soul. And the darkness was no match for the light. Not just once in a lifetime darkness… but daily darkness. Every day, new light, new mercies, fresh hope, sharpened weapons of war. To defy the odds. To showcase grace. To say Yes, again.

Again, and again, and again… Yes.

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