I really don’t even know how to begin this or what I’m going to say. There’s a lot I wish I could write here, but you and I both know that wouldn’t be wise. Some things are better left just between you and I. But I remember. I remember it all. I ponder it and hold it close, like a hidden treasure meant only for my eyes.
And then, there are those things that I know I can share. Those things that make up who we are, who the world sees, who we want to become. Things like how much I appreciate your willingness to go the extra mile, your need to make sure our home is a place where everyone feels welcome, your huge heart that can’t let someone go hungry while we enjoy a scrumptious meal, your fierce loyalty and your incredible strength. Things like how the way you look at me makes me feel like I am the most beautiful woman on the planet. I love how, even after 11 years, you can’t walk by me without touching me. I remember those things. I cherish them.
But all of these things have come with a price, haven’t they? We didn’t just wake up one morning and everything clicked in place. We have had to consciously work on this relationship. We have had to look out for each other, take note of those things that helped the other person feel loved, secure and cherished. I think we’ve learned over the last year how to continue to do all of these things even while the world around us – our world – feels anything BUT secure.
What a year, eh? What an amazing, frustrating, scary, fun, redemptive, chaotic year. We have endured quite a bit, you and I. We have trekked through nursing your mom back to health after a scary few months on the edge. We have worked through helping our kids with their own set of issues and frustrations, all while trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy. We have heard the voice of God telling us to uproot everything and move to another state to start a church from scratch – to leave behind our community, our friends, our family and to go off on an amazing, crazy adventure. And here we are, at the end of 2014, looking at a future that isn’t quite mapped out yet, but we see the faint outlines of a road. So we follow it. One small step at a time.
We’ve walked through our darkest place in marriage so far and we came out on the other side, stronger for it. And that was mostly because of your amazing heart, your ability to show the Father’s love even when your flesh screamed no. I don’t know about you, but I think this year has taught me so much about relationship, about marriage, about our friendship, our love and our covenant bond. It’s sacred. All of it. And as time passes and we continue to grow together, I’m learning that there are deeper levels of intimacy and strength and grace and forgiveness that we can show, simply because we choose to stay, we choose to say yes to God and yes to each other – every. day. that. we. live.
So, here we are.
Married 11 years today.
And I’m thankful.
I’m thankful for you. For everything about you. For your amazing heart, your kindness, your gentle ways, your tenderness and the grace you show every day. But most of all I’m just thankful you love me still, even after all of this time.
11 years today, but we’ve only just begun. . . .
Here’s to the most amazing journey yet . . . with you. . . with us. . . I love you babe.