I met you promptly after I swore off boys who didn’t love Jesus. I prayed in my car, in the church parking lot some 18 years ago–that the next boy I met would not only love Jesus, but that he would be the one.
I think I met you within a week of that day.
We lived 15 minutes from each other, but it may as well have been 200 miles. Different sides of town, different high schools. I knew it then, that first day, you towering over all of the other people in the pew.
I pronounced our inevitable marriage after one date. But the truth is, I knew it before then. You were the one, the answer to a prayer I barely finished praying before you showed up.
Today we celebrate 14 years of married living. We’ve shared 1 apartment and 3 houses, two stints in temporary living, a dog, and several fish–remember that time we traveled from Florida to Georgia with a half full fish tank in the backseat? That was
stupid something, eh?
4 kids later, here we are. We’ve traded cars and stomach virus’s and colds, we’ve won (and lost) bets against each other on the Superbowl, year after year. Our bodies have swelled from good living, good eating, and lots of work but not enough working out.
We’ve lost our cool and countless nights of sleep sleep. We’ve lost keys, wallets, purses, socks– and occasionally our minds.
We’ve learned the art of war and how to make peace even when I’m certain I’m right. We’ve seen forgiveness right up close and felt the warm embrace of redemption–repeatedly.
We’ve seen negative balances in the checking account, and we’ve laughed and cried through movies and the evening news. We’ve wrestled with life and loss and snuggled in love and clung close in the storms and struggled not to pushed away in the aftermath.
We’ve wiped bottoms for 8 years and spent too much time and money on diapers, and at urgent care.
We prayed for one and we got one. We prayed for another, and God gave us that one too. Then the girls came right when we asked–which really, it is a complete miracle that we have 4 healthy kids who were formed within days of our asking.
I shake my head at what God’s managed to do with us in 14 years. It’s nothing short of a miracle of mercy.
You’ve loved me with the kind of sacrificial love mostly seen in movies, that feels to ridiculous to be real–and yet I’ve lived under that kind of care, with you.
It’s been 18 years since we met. We’ve seen each other in all variety of light, for good, and otherwise.
We’ve grown up together all these years later and some days, it’s a wonder we made it through the honeymoon phase–which we can both laughingly agree, was anything but.
We’ve hit speed bumps and gotten tickets, repaired cars, and scraped our knees.
We nearly burned down that first apartment on Ponderosa–Oh! how we howl at that story now.
Our lives are ordinarily extraordinary.
We live and love by faith, knowing that our survival depends on something more substantial than a feeling that waxes and wanes with time and circumstance.
Christ has always been the very core of our relationship,and who we are as a unit. We are one made from three, and He is our very center. When we lose our way and our vision, when we forget which side we’re on, we find the answers in Him. He draws us in, and holds us steady.
It’s only been 14 years, sharing a bed and a bathroom, and a closet. We’ve only enjoyed daily meals together at the same table for just 14 years. It sounds so young.
There is (Lord willing) much more time to spend together.
This is what a marriage looks like–a mix of grime and glory. A mad swirling of lost’s and founds. Christ is who and how we cling, when the world bares down outside our door.
After all of these years, we find ourselves still dancing this same dance, but better.
So much better than when the music first started.
Happy Anniversary, babe. You truly are my better half.