Incredible journey

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 23, 2004

Last year, to celebrate our one-year wedding anniversary, I stole my husband away to a beautiful little corner of Bogue Sound where we were able to escape the business of our ever changing schedules and simply relax and enjoy each other’s company in the peaceful quiet of a posh bed and breakfast.

We watched the sunset in each other’s arms from a catamaran, sipped expresso in a late night coffee shop, enjoyed the humming massage of a hot tub in our bedroom, slept in late and awoke to a private breakfast near the fireplace where we took turns reading the newspaper in our snuggly white robes in the company of two friendly on-site Labrador retrievers we invited in.

We had such an incredible time together; we couldn’t wait until our next anniversary to have an excuse to do it again, but when the time came we decided to do things differently.

This year, we opted for driving six hours to the National Mall in Washington D.C. on three hours of sleep to be in the company of over 150,000 people who attended the Mayday for Marriage rally to let legislators know we believe in the preservation of traditional marriage between one man and one woman.

It was amazing to be in the presence of people whose ministries I follow so closely and every time one of them stepped up to the podium I was not surprised to find that they each had something compelling to share.

One of the speakers, Alan Chambers, executive director of Exodus International, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people who desire to leave the homosexual lifestyle, who was deeply involved in the homosexual lifestyle for 16 years was there with his wife and shared how he came to the realization that he had a choice over his sexuality.

In his speech, Chambers referred to President Bush’s response to the question of whether or not he thought homosexuality was a choice, stating that he liked what he said (Note: Bush responded that he didn’t know) but would have liked it if he had taken it one step further.

&uot;It’s both, It’s a choice and not a choice,&uot; he said. &uot;I didn’t choose to have those feelings, they just were. I didn’t just wake up one day and say, ‘hey, I think I’ll be gay,’ but I did have a choice about what I could do with those feelings. I have been on both sides of this issue and I can honestly say that it’s a whole lot more fulfilling God’s way.&uot;

His testimony offered a unique perspective from someone who has been there and it was incredible to listen to his transformation.

As my husband and I stood facing the platform, just yards away with the U.S. Capitol in the backdrop and the Washington Monument behind us, we heard messages from well-respected leaders from organizations including Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, Tony Perkins president of Family Research Council who served as the master of ceremonies, Dr. Dennis Rainey, president and co-founder of Family Life (a division of Campus Crusade for Christ), Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of renowned evangelist Billy Graham and founder and president of AnGel Ministries, Gary Bauer, president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families and former Republican presidential contender in the 2000 election, Alan Keyes, former ambassador to the United Nations under President Reagan and presidential candidate in both the 1996 and 2000 elections, Dr. Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and was appointed twice by President Bush to serve as a member of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries, and Ken Hutcherson, the senior pastor at Antioch Bible Church in Kirkland, Washington among others who I had not heard of but were equally as riveting.

In the past there have been marches at the nation’s capital that I have wanted to participate in, but for one reason or another was not able to. However, now in retrospect, I don’t think I could have chosen a better or more critical one to attend than this one.

I heard that people came from as far as California and I don’t doubt it because the couple next to us took vacation and flew out from Colorado just to be there and honestly despite my husband’s and my desire to escape to somewhere quiet for our anniversary I can’t think of a more fitting and timely place to be than there on that day standing up for what we hold as sacred.

Dr. Dobson said it all when he stated, &uot;we are not here for purposes of hate; we are not here to disparage anyone. We are here because we believe in the institution of marriage and for the children.&uot;

Well, Dr. Dobson, so were we and we hope that was the message that resounds in the ears of activists, legislators and media alike. Marriage is a sacred institution and I believe that those who protect it as such will be rewarded greatly in the end.

As for my husband and me, the vows we made to one another are permanent. We won’t settle for less and I know that in the long run, regardless of what the world tries to propagate to the contrary, our children and our children’s children will be better off for it.