She’s Still The One

Thirty-five years ago today (July 17th) my beautiful bride to be “pledged her troth” to me. To a recovering hayseed that sounded mildly naughty but I learned it meant that she promised her fidelity to our relationship. She meant it. Today we celebrate well over three decades together. Hard to believe.

Just for grins I went back and took a look at some of the top music in the year we got married. There were some hits that did not make the cut for the solo at our modest wedding. For example, Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” was axed. Go figure. Joni rejected The Captain and Tenille’s moving rendition of “Muskrat Love” without allowing debate. I felt like Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” would be a great crowd warmup. Rejected. “Shake Your Booty” by KC and The Sunshine Band was summarily dismissed.

But one song from 1976 that was not wedding solo worthy still describes how I feel about the lovely Mrs.Burchett.

Orleans had a hit with the song “Still the One” and the lyrics describe exactly how I feel thirty three years after exchanging our vows.

We’ve been together since way back when
Sometimes I never want to see you again
But I want you to know, after all these years
You’re still the one I want whisperin’ in my ear

You’re still the one that makes me laugh
Still the one that’s my better half
We’re still having fun, and you’re still the one

You’re still the one that makes me strong
Still the one I want to take along
We’re still having fun, and you’re still the one

Changing, our love is going gold
Even though we grow old, it grows new

You’re still the one that I love to touch
Still the one and I can’t get enough
We’re still having fun, and you’re still the one

You’re still the one who can scratch my itch
Still the one and I wouldn’t switch
We’re still having fun, and you’re still the one

You are still the one that makes me shout
Still the one that I dream about
We’re still having fun, and you’re still the one…

I thought of the journey that Joni and I have traveled. I am fortunate in one thing. I married my trophy wife first and saved the hassle. But when our wedding pictures are dragged out I have to laugh. There I am with bad 70’s hair and my baby blue Dumb and Dumber tuxedo.

And there is Joni looking gorgeous with her beautiful blue eyes and infectious smile. The reaction is the same for nearly every person who views those photos. A thought bubble rises over their heads with the question…”What was she thinking?”.  I have no idea. I am sure she has asked the same thing. But she has hung in with me and trusted God. She has never tried to change who I am but she has always challenged me to develop my unique design in partnership with the God who loves me. She has prayed for me and our boys more than I can even comprehend. When our marriage monitor flat lined a few years ago she did not give up.

And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh.” This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife….   (The Message, Ephesians 5)

It is a mystery. I am grateful for the journey. I am grateful for the potholes and the detours and the times of smooth traveling. I am grateful I chose not to exit or turn around when the journey got tough. We exchanged very inexpensive rings as a symbol of our commitment to each other on that July day in Florida. There is another symbol that I cherish. It is called the Cross. And I would suggest that what happened there is perhaps the biggest reason that Joni and I are still together in this mysterious and wonderful journey.

(For the record…the song selected was “The Wedding Song…There is Love” by Paul Stookey.)