Friday, August 7, 2009

Why I Sprinted Away From Renewing Our Vows!

Once in a while when we're joking around my husband will say "well, you did marry me two times... it was only the third time that you ran out on me." The first two weddings he's talking about were both in September 2006 (the 22nd and the 23rd). On the 22nd we had a Catholic wedding and on the 23rd we had a wedding that was officiated by the pastor of the Baptist church that I grew up in (I started RCIA the week after we returned from our honeymoon). The third "wedding" however, is the one that has the cutest story to accompanying it.

The day after we found out that I was pregnant (it had been confirmed by four whole tests the day before, in the motel that we were staying at because our flight left at 3am) we flew to Israel to go on a pilgrimage of the Holy Land. I was seven weeks pregnant and severely sick 24 hours a day. A few days into the trip we went to Cana. It was already late in the day, and we were shuttling from sight to sight from 6am to 6pm. I was exhausted.

We toured the Franciscan run church and ended the tour in a plain stone room with benches where all of the couple in the group were encouraged to renew their vows. We hadn't planned on renewing our vows (they were only a year old), but if everyone was going to do it, we would too. And then, as I was standing there and the vow renewals were about to begin, it hit. I was burning up and the room begin to tilt wildly. I ran out of the room into the courtyard by the entryway and leaned against a stone wall. I could only imagine how it looked... they had suggested that we renew our wedding vows and I had sprinted from the room, pale faced, as if I were about to be sick.

Several of the widows who were in our group had gone out to the courtyard alone, when the vow renewal was about to begin. When they saw me leaning and then sitting, in the courtyard, Paul following behind me looking concerned, they came over to see what they could do to help. After a minute one of them said, rather loudly, "you know this really doesn't make any sense at all... unless you're pregnant."

My husband said he feared for the life of the Franciscan priest who tried to hush all the women who were gathered around me, fanning me, after that little secret came to light. They looked as if they might lay hands on him when he asked if they would lower their voices because an Italian Mass was being said inside the main chapel.

While I did say that the pregnancy was a secret, because we hadn't had a chance to tell our families before we left, the secret was out before we returned to the hotel on our tour bus. As we were walking from the Church to the bus one of the older women looked at our priest, who had offered me some water, and said, "you just can't understand how she feels because you're not a woman!" He gave me a surprised look, but didn't say anything. He may have been the only one who didn't say anything! It was big news in our group!

And that is how I sprinted from the room at the suggestion of renewing my wedding vows.

Now I really wish I could say we renewed our vows in Cana, but we do have a cute little story to tell our children!


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