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Celebrating Our Big Day

Updated: Jul 18, 2018


Today we celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. It's hard to believe that this couple with the poor character, bucket loads of pride, selfishness, and bad habits (especially conflict resolution skills), this couple whose friends had a running bet that their marriage won't last past 3 years, that this couple not only made it past 3, but have now reached 30! People who know us will know that if the two of us can make it this far, there MUST be a God! And a very good and gracious God!!! (And all our children say a hearty AMEN!)



Singing "Wedding Prayer" at our wedding
We wrote our own vows and sang this Wedding Prayer (soundtrack below) at our wedding

On that fateful and bittersweet day, we got married at our dear friend Patty's house in Watertown. Our wedding budget was $200, my wedding dress, a proud find on sale at Lord & Taylor's for $35. We were young and foolish, full of idealism and dreams. Determined to live a simple and radical lifestyle, we requested that our friends donate a part of the wedding rather than give us gifts. It wasn't until later after we've attended so many lavish weddings that we realized how different ours was.

Ray & Priscilla, who discipled us, married us, and believed in us. Then and now.

Despite the opposition and warnings of family and friends, we got married at the tender young age of 22. Ray & Priscilla were our pastors, mentors, and friends who supported us through way too many fights and phone calls, pre-marital counseling sessions, and nights and days of prayer and intercession. They exemplified for us the kind of marriage and lifestyle we wanted, and we have aspired to live up to their way of doing life & ministry with their kids, their extravagant generosity, and their utmost personal integrity. It was Ray who taught us to "give until it hurts".


We have often driven each other crazy and felted caged in, but through it all found the humor to laugh at ourselves and each other.

Those who know us know that our marriage has certainly not been easy or smooth. I think that the secret of our survival has not been how perfect we were but how we lacked the self control to keep our fights secret. This caused our friends to help us, help us seek professional help, and pray desperately for us. We have a fair share of friends who told us that they have never prayed for a couple's marriage like they prayed for ours. If there is a secret here, that's got to be it -- our deep awareness of our own brokenness and our need for the support and prayers of friends.


Classmates, prayer partners, battle buddies, workout partners, and best friends

Despite our scores at the opposite ends of the spectrum in all kinds of personality tests and our deep differences in family background & values about everything when we entered marriage, what we had in common was a determination to plow through problems through hard work. Our son Caleb once commented on a Chinese TV interview that his parents are the two most incompatible people on earth but he realized that marriage is not about compatibility but about commitment to love and grow together through determination to not quit. And the glue to it all is our common faith in a merciful and gracious God whose faithfulness can sustain us even when our own have ended long ago.


Pictures of 20th & 25th wedding anniversary dinners

I tried looking for anniversary celebration photos of our 5th, 10th, and even 15th anniversaries, but could find none. I think back then we were so mired in parenting small children that we didn't have the courage to celebrate such small milestones. However, with each passing anniversary, our confidence and faith grew. Not because we are such wonderful human beings, but because our God has been so faithful.


30th anniversary is the Pearl Anniversary. That's an appropriate illustration of our marriage thus far. A pearl is formed because there's an irritant to the oyster. The internal protective mechanism of the oyster coats this irritant with layer after layer of nacre until a beautiful pearl is formed. Our pride and selfishness has been coated over with God's grace until our marriage is what it is today.

Certified friends, lovers, and best friends. Let's get married again!

Now, on our 30th anniversary, we have decided to renew our wedding vows afresh to one another. Back then, two young and foolish kids who believed so much in their own abilities said those vows out of a defiance of the odds against them, not knowing the depths of the cost of those words of commitment. Now, with a healthy dose of reality and respect for the challenges of marriage, we want to re-affirm our willingness to continue this journey together! 咱们结婚吧!(Let's get married! on the coke can). There is no one else I would rather do life than with you, David Lin! Let's get on with the next set of adventures!



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