So I’m currently investigating the wonderful world of clergy wear as my ordination approaches. I’m talking Albs, Stoles, Cassocks, Scarfs, shirts, bib-stocks and surplices. Crazy talk I know. The last time I spent more than £100 on an outfit for a big church ceremony was in 2007 when I was preparing for my wedding day!
Fortunately I’m happily married to my husband and regard the vows we made as important in my faith journey. I was quite the Bridget-Jones commitment-phobe before this, and since being married, my commitment to my husband has been constantly tested, (as in all marriages), but somehow we’ve stuck together. They say not to marry people who you want to change, and in many ways I didn’t. He is still the thorough, stew-making, Chelsea supporting, crazy dancing, sexy, caring person he was then. He’s got faults but I’ve chosen to live with them, as he’s done with mine.
He’s also still yet to see the value in giving his life to Christ, although I’d say in some ways he’s been on a journey himself. Meanwhile, in the 14 years since we met, I’ve changed from being a luke-warm christian, who’s faith was important but perhaps not defining my life, to standing up in a cathedral and promising to commit to serve the Lord in a visible, public way for the rest of my life.
I still believe that our marriage has God in the middle of it, even though my husband doesn’t really see that as important. It’s been hard over the last two years whilst I’ve been preparing for ordination, because this has taken me away altogether at times. Despite our concerns, we are still smiling, and no-one else has seemed to mind that much. I’ve worried that our marriage wasn’t a properly christian one, and that as my faith changes, it would affect our friendship and love for each other. God has always shown up in the midst of this and helped us see the right path to take, but it hasn’t always been easy.
I do think though that I wouldn’t be on this path to ordination without him. Being married to him has helped me focus on what God is calling me to be, he affirms and supports me through practical care and support. He’s an amazing Dad and because of the choices he’s made, I’ve been able to pursue my career without worrying about the children. He is as loyal to me as he is to Chelsea. Even when they are having a rubbish season, he would rather miss a few matches than ever give up supporting them.
I’m so glad when I walk into the Minster that my best man will be sitting there cheering me on, with all the other people who’ve made this happen for us. If one day he realises that God loves him as much as I do, and that God designed him, exactly as the the crazy nut that he is, well then that would be awesome. But to be honest it’s not going to change that much. We’d still argue about the dishwasher, his dodgy jokes, his inability to pay compliments, parenting, and where I’ve left the car keys. We’d still enjoy our days out, walking, dancing and eating together.
So because he prefers a low profile in my public ministry… I’d like to take the opportunity to raise a toast on here… to my best man! With god in our marriage, we are going to be ok!
Ecclesiastes 4 v12
An enemy might be able to defeat one person, but two people can stand back-to-back to defend each other. And three people are even stronger. They are like a rope that has three parts wrapped together—it is very hard to break.