to have and to Hold.

What does it mean to have and to hold someone? This vow is far less literal than the others…

to have and to holdThese words mean something different to me now, after 16 years of marriage, than they did in January 1998. I was twenty-two years old, and I was “in love” with a man I had been dating for well over three years.

At the time this vow meant to me romantic things, about physical affection, not about the sacrament itself.

It’s more than that now…so much more.

My husband and I, we were on different paths at the time, and in God’s time, with a few God smacks, we ended up home together. We reverted in 2004 with the removal of a contaminated IUD (Merina) and a near total loss of my fertility. This was not the beginning of our journey home, rather the end. We finally were desperate to seek the answers, the truth. We found that Truth, holding onto one another, to our sacred promise.

I did ask other married friends, from all faiths, to tell me what this vow meant to them, and I got some interesting ideas. Here are a few of them that I felt a connection to:

To Have: This can mean that God has given you a gift, to have, to cherish, to nurture. God has given a gift, a sacrament of a Catholic marriage. Your spouse is yours, you are his, and you both belong to the Lord.

Seeing your husband or wife as a gift is quite often difficult when it’s not romantic. There are bad habits, chores, and differing personalities. This gift requires care, nurturing, and sacrifice.

You have to choose to make these decisions every day. Sometimes, many times in the same day. But you do, you accept these things in one another, and often times you love these idiosyncrasies in your spouse and miss these things when they are away.

To Hold: This gift is ever changing, ever put through the ringer. It’s disputed by society, marriage is tested by illness, by the addition of children. Life is challenged, but marriage is challenged more. To Have and to Hold.

This means you HOLD ON, sometimes you white knuckle it, other times it feels like a gentle hand holding. The point of the gift is to keep it, to bend with the changing times.

When you learn to Have and to Hold through these hard times, the changes, the rise and fall like the ocean tides, you DO get stronger.

I can’t say you won’t ever feel fragile and splintering, because you WILL, but you will not break beyond repair, as long as you hold on.

{Amanda’s two cents: I couldn’t help but read Krystin’s thoughts without thinking of this song – enjoy!}

Krystin weddingKrystin is a 38 (gasp) year old mama of 6, married to Kevin for 16 years, 15 of those include being married to the USAF. Currently living in Middle Georgia moving to upstate South Carolina this summer. You can find her many misadventures at

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