Thirty-three years ago today, I stood in a church in front of about a hundred people. My knees shook. My stomach fluttered and my heart was racing.

But my voice was strong and confident when I said,

I Christopher take thee Heather to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.

I was twenty-three years old. I knew absolutely nothing. But I knew that at this moment I was doing the right thing; I knew I was saying words that my heart called out to utter. I had no idea what the future might hold. And yet, I stood and made bold promises in which I committed my life to this one person.

There was nothing about my life up to this point that would make anyone believe I was a suitable candidate to honour such a commitment. Heather and I had first met when I was just nineteen. She knew well the sad chaos of my young life. I was a restless, mostly unhappy, often angry, rebellious, unstable, young man. I did not have the slightest idea where my life was headed, or what my future was supposed to look like.

It seems to me now looking back, that this great decision of my life should have been a disaster. And yet, thirty-three years later, I know it is the best, wisest, most sane decision I have ever made.

How could I possibly have made such a good decision when I was so young, so confused about everything else in my life and so conflicted about who I was and what my life was supposed to be? What made it possible for me to make a commitment at the tender age of twenty-three that has proven to be one of the most life-giving choices I have ever made?

I can only believe that there was a wisdom and a truth guiding me at the moment I stood in that church and pledged myself to Heather that was greater and wiser than all the doubts, uncertainties and insecurities that characterized so much of my life. There was a knowing in me at that moment that was deeper, more solid, stronger, and more whole than the fragmented confused being I was in so much of the rest of my life.

I only vaguely perceived then what I know now to be true, that the hand of love was guiding my life and drawing me deeply into a new place of trust and light. And I have found over the past thirty-three years that it is when I live with trust in the goodness of this power of love that I make choices and decisions that bring new life into being.

I have had a blessed thirty-three years of marriage, not because I am smart, or naturally gifted at love or at human relationships – many will testify I am not. The blessings of my marriage are a gift of grace. We are carried by a mystery greater than ourselves. We are held in the hand of the power that turns the universe and creates each new day.

Heather and I do not need to manufacture the beautiful being that is our marriage. We need only to entrust ourselves and each other to the power of love and trust that together our lives are guided and our future is held. We need only to open our hearts and enter into the flow of this love that creates us and gave us the gift of one another.