26 yrs., 6 months and 7 days ago I met the young man that I would marry. I had just finished helping my friend, her mom and other family members make mints for her wedding when her fiancé and his friend came over to see if we wanted to go out. That young man walked in, sat down and I instantly said to myself, “I’m going to marry him.” I knew before we had even been introduced. Before I had even heard his voice, I knew that one day he would ask me, “Will you marry me?”
When I look back on that day of August 7, 1984, I smile. I smile at the naïve young woman I was. I smile at the confidence that I had in a relationship that hadn’t even begun when I had so little confidence in myself. And now after more than 25 years of marriage I still know. I know that he loves me and I know that I can trust him with my whole heart. I still have that same confidence in this relationship that I had on that day.
It hasn’t always been easy but it has been worth every minute of the time, work, love and sharing that has been put into it. In the beginning everyday was a day of exploring who this person was who woke up beside me each morning. Sharing our dreams, our likes and dislikes. Figuring out what worked and what didn’t. Smothering each other and then knowing when to give the other space.
When our kids came into our lives, our relationship took a back seat as we were figuring out who these children were and how we all fit together (with one bathroom). We would have stolen moments of a quick kiss in the hallway as one of us would be running to help a child with homework, while the other was going to go change a diaper. Dates became rare occasions where we would steal away a couple hours to go and be “big people” but would end up talking about the kids. As the kids got older their activities had us driving in all different directions until we finally found ourselves back home ready to collapse in our bed, only to have it all start up again the next day.
And now we are headed into the realm of “empty nesters”. Our youngest child will graduate from high school this May and head off into the world to find who he is. No longer will we need to steal away to have time together or have a stolen kiss. After 25 years of raising children we find ourselves exploring once again who we are as a couple. It is exciting this new journey that we are about to take. A journey that will lead us to one day taking slower steps, silver hair and memories of a lifetime together.
Through it all God has been with us. Giving us strength, perseverance, comfort and assurance to face each new day. He has been our rock. He has sheltered us through the storms, guided us through the dark valleys and rejoiced with us in the celebrations and blessings.
On this day I not only celebrate the love that I have for my husband, but also the love that I have for God.
1 John 4:16 (NLT)
“We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.”