This past weekend we celebrated the 50th wedding anniversary of my in-laws, Gary and Johanna. Their story is very different from the expected love affair of our day. There was no quest to find the perfect soul mate, there were hardly any dates between the two of them, and there was no elaborate proposal. The most important thing they knew was that both came from solid, Christian homes where faith in God was the foundation. After they got married, Gary moved back to the States as he had joined the service, while Johanna stayed home in Holland. They were separated for the first year of their marriage! After that year apart, Johanna left everything that was familiar to her – her home, family, friends, language, culture – and joined Gary in Biloxi, Mississippi. Talk about culture shock. Now, 50 years later, they have 3 children and 6 grandchildren, and have made a loving home founded on God’s amazing love and grace.
My parents always told me that whenever I got married, I wouldn’t just be marrying some guy… I would also be marrying his family. I am honored and blessed and proud to have married into a family that loves and enjoys one another, is committed to one another, and gives all the praise back to God for holding each family and marriage together.
Congratulations Gary and Johanna!