This man married this woman...
Legally! Ok, I know that I have mentioned before that I lived in Germany and I probably already mentioned that I got married and had my three kids there, but I haven't explained the whole "getting married there thing."
The Germans have separated state and God in many things and why should marriage be any different. EVERYONE who gets married in Germany MUST get married at their local city or town hall. That is LAW! There is no signing of the register as a part of a religious ceremony because you come to the church already legally married. So my husband and I have actually two wedding anniversaries: one at the town hall and the one that counts, at the church. To make a long story as short as possible, we got married on June 18, 1999 in Bonn, Germany at approximately 9:40am. Almost three months later, we flew to Canada and had our marriage blessed in the church I was baptized in. That was on September 3, 1999. It was strange for me, but normal in Germany. Some people wait a year in order to save up for the big church wedding and some (unfortunately a majority) never get married in a church. It was important to me to get married in my home town so that my whole family would be there to witness this wonderful sacrament. None of my family could (or was expected) to travel to Germany for the 20 minute or so ceremony in the old city hall. We weren't practising at the time, but I knew that I could never get married without getting God's blessing. Looking back, I would have done a few things differently. But I have never doubted that my husband was truly sent to me by God. The chances of us ever meeting were one in a gazillion.
I was working near Frankfurt at the time and he lived in Bonn. I had the weekend off and wanted to see Bonn and Cologne. I stayed at the youth hostel in Bonn that weekend. My husband had done his civil service year(government requirement) at the youth hostel where we met. He wasn't working there anymore. One of his buddies just finished his civil service that night and begged him to come there for a drink and then a night out on the town. If you knew my husband you would know how hard it is to convince him to go out. He is a home body and doesn't mind admitting it. He doesn't even drink! But somehow the boys convinced him to come out for one last beer. (They have a bistro and cafe there in case you were wondering) It was in the bistro that he laid eyes on me. He told the guys that I was his. He put dibs on me. He kept staring at me. I was curious, but wasn't really looking for a relationship. I left Canada with a boyfriend back home. We eventually broke up because of the distance. I just wanted to be single. God knew better. He nudged me to go introduce myself because the guy staring at me was too shy to come over and introduce himself. I introduced myself to him and his three chums in the worst German imaginable and from then on.... we were inseperable souls. I took a risk falling in love with a guy who spoke a different mother tongue than myself. I still worked in Frankfurt and he still lived in Bonn for a while. One thing led to another and I moved to Bonn, he proposed and we got married 10 months later.
Here are some more pictures of our first day as husband and wife.
Exchange of the rings
Sascha signing the first time with his new name (yes, he took my name!)
Me signing the first time as Mrs. Sascha V
Us sealing the deal
Both of us grinning from ear to ear outside city hall
As I finish writing, I am dreaming back to the time of no kids, no worries and lots of love. I wish he were here and not working tonight. I can't believe how young we looked. I thought I loved him a whole heap back then, but the truth is that I love him more now and continue to grow in loving him each day that passes. Thank you Lord for this wonderful sacrament and this wonderful man.