Marriage

three Letters – part 2

An open letter to the only man in my universe…

You and I are a story that was written long before either of us was ever born into the light gasping for air. He had a plan. I know it for certain, like the way I know my need for oxygen.

When I was a mama, alone with three boys, I began a prayer. A prayer that would last for a very long time, a prayer that He would answer the same way every time. The answer was you.

I learned to love you in the very deepest depths of His heart.

I walked with Him, quietly waiting for you to show up as He said you would. I was patient, and sometimes not. But He never faultered, not even once. He held my heart even in the moments where the only indication of His promises coming true were His words in the darkness.

Then, just as He said you would be, you were there standing in front of me. A breathing miracle, a tangible expression of His promise kept.

Our story is epic. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard, and yet it’s the everyday miracles, the simplicity, that unveils the greatest glory.

You asked if we could go to church together. And we did. Because if He’s the one with the plan then of course that’s the first date.

A month later we were baptized together, and I’ll remind you to this day that it was there, under the water, that He made us one. The covenant was forged in the fire of waiting for His promise, but there, beneath the water as He cleansed the last of the ashes from our lives, He weaved the last threads of my soul to yours. I’ll never forget the sky that night, the way it seemed to be on fire with the glory of His promises.

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About a week after that, you changed everything. It was a Tuesday, because the best things happen on Tuesdays. You sat on my couch next to me. You leaned over and quietly said, “If I had a ring would you marry me?” I said, “If you had a washer from your garage I would.” And then you held up a small black box. In it was a ring, something we had never talked about, and yet it was perfection, as though He had been saving it from my childhood dreams.

I had become the princess of the story, His princess, and yours.

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A week later, on a Tuesday at 3:45pm, we stood in a marble building before an old southern judge and made it legal. I expected some generic ceremony, the legal question and answer. But He was there again, interweaved through the words, the promises. It was glory.

And then the whole world knew what I had known so long, you are the only man in my universe.

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I could write a million words that tell our story. The story of yet another baby boy, one I didn’t expect so quickly. But who was the joy that glued our family together. The story of school conferences and band concerts. Of camping trips and surprise adventures to the zoo. Countless hours spent serving the Kingdom alongside each other.

We have loved hard. We have fought fiercely for our love and fought the raging battles of old wounds.

I have never for a moment carried any illusion of your perfection, or my own. We are gloriously flawed. We have faced more in these last (almost) four years than most marriages do in ten. And He has been there each and every step of the way. Reminding us that we are a promise, His promise and ours.

Just this week you spent an entire night in the emergency room with our dimpled boy and his broken arm. And then you brought him home to me and went off to work with no sleep. Just because that’s who you are. Everyday you are more and more my hero. In the hardest moments and in the quiet moments where you wrap your arms around one of our boys and make the world a good place. I still smell your shirts when I do laundry and wait everyday for your smile to return into view.

None of it has been easy. But He never promised easy. He promised good. And loving you has been worth every second of the wait. Every struggle has made us more. We have turned toward Him and toward each other in the darkest moments, and we have found the light and the warmth of a love that defies the capability of words.

You are a dream that I fought hard for the courage to believe in, and you have made every dream I didn’t know I had, truth.

The greatest gift of your love is that it’s His love.

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Whether we’re deep in the trenches or in the spaces where glory is easy to find, it’s always grace. It’s always good. I have learned more from loving you than any endeavor of my life. I have seen His face in the way you love our boys and the way their small hearts lean toward yours and find home. I have seen His face in the joy you bring to every space you walk into, in the way your servant heart moves baptismals and mountains alike.

Your life is a ministry of His love.

I could not be more grateful or more proud to have the privilege and honor of living alongside you and carrying your name. You are my greatest Gift. He has changed my life with your love.

I want to be the old woman still laughing at your jokes and melting in the warmth of your smile, I want to serve Him next to you until He can no longer use us. I want to offer up our love for His glory, the messy parts and the beautiful ones.

Thank you. Thank you for loving me, for making me more, for being the steel in my backbone and my soft place to fall. Thank you for the grace you offer when my heart is messy and the fierce way you love and lead our family toward His heart. You are so much more than everything.

I will love you forever.

 

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