10 years…already?

wedding

My dear Husband,

I can’t believe that it has been 10 years since we got married. How can I even begin to put words to the feelings that I have for you? What being your wife feels like? Can I even describe how you make me feel?

Do you remember when we were first dating? Remember spending every spare moment with each other and spending the moments we couldn’t spend together thinking about each other? Do you remember me falling asleep while talking to you on the phone? We would talk on the phone for hours after the girls went to bed and then I would look at the clock and realize I had to be at work in 30 minutes? Two O’clock came awful early on those nights. Smiling constantly at just the thought of getting off work and seeing each other? Do you remember the time you held me down and made me say I love you before you would let me up? The joy of just being in love and knowing you were loved back just as much?  Do you know what is better than falling asleep in your arms every night? Waking up in them every morning. I consider it a joy to wake up each and everyday and look at you and fall in love with you all over again. It is a blessing to fall in love all over again (after spending over 20 years apart), with you, but to fall in love with your best friend is rare and has far surpassed my expectations.

We have experienced so much over the last 10 years. The joy of being newlyweds, new jobs, the sorrow of the death of both of our fathers just 32 short days apart. The devastating death of your remarkable mother. Fostering children that weren’t ours.  Adopting so many of our children’s friends as our own.  We have experienced spiritual growth in ways I didn’t know possible, thanks to you entering into the ministry, and having 3 churches to call our home over the last 10 years. We have been through medical issues that I thought were hopeless. My back surgery and subsequent dependency on prescription medication, your surgery that we didn’t think possible without insurance, the trip to the ER thinking you were having a heart attack, my debilitating migraines that would land me in bed for days at a time, or at least unable to function for days and last but not least your ongoing issues with your ankle injury from the wreck that led you to Jesus.

We have experienced the joy of raising a child in the love and admonition of the Lord. I know you are as proud of her as I am. She is truly a child from and of God. I like the fact that even though we were not able to have a child (or two or three or four….) together, that we have 8 individuals on this planet to call our children. Five boys and Three girls are nothing to sneeze at! Even though you were not able to be with me when I had to say goodbye to our angel, Micah, I know that you loved her. The sorrow we have shared together for her has helped me re-enter the world as a productive mother and child of God. For that I thank you and love you more than you will ever know.

The last four years of our life have not been easy. Just seems to me that more than it being a 10 year mark,  more than “just another year in our marriage”, it has been an honest struggle in so many ways but an overall triumph for God’s honor.

This anniversary feels like….a quiet, subtle moment of gratitude. A gratitude to God’s Grace for seeing two imperfect humans through another year. A thank you for getting us through challenges faced. A thank you to you for humbling yourself and the strength you have displayed through some tough situations that we have seen in the last few years. I think we have both grown and learned a lot and I thank you for growing and learning with me instead of dictating to me how life should be.

To say that I love you doesn’t really begin to explain my feelings for you. Our love has grown deeper in Christ and deeper with each other. When we got married 10 years ago, neither one of us knew what the future would hold, but we were excited to finally get to spend our lives together after spending so many years apart, and many broken roads to find our way back to each other. When I think back to that day we were both so full of hope and excitement. Instead we got day after day of being talked about, people not understanding what we were about or what we were trying to do in leading others to a saving relationship with Jesus first and foremost, but also trying to give them a taste of what we have together and that they can have what we have also, if they just submit to Christ. As we both know I had major control issues when we were first married but God showed me how to let you lead in the fashion that he had intended a marriage to be. When I submitted to Him fully….THAT is when I started really living in our marriage. That is when I was truly happy. You were so patient with me and allowed me to find that path on my own, all the while staying grounded in Christ on your own. I think that the joys we experienced were made that much sweeter by the difficulties that we have faced.

That is one of the things I love most about you is how grounded you are in your faith. I love that in the midst of turmoil in our lives, I can lean on you and feel comfort and safety in your arms. You are my safe place. I can trust you with my life, the lives of our children, my crazy feelings, my fears, my dreams. And please know that you are so worthy of all of those things.

Today, on this special day I realize we are once again completely unaware of what the next ten years may hold. But as we continue to walk down that road I know that we will be doing it together and you will be right there holding my hand as we walk through the ugly treacherous valleys and then climb that huge hill back up to the top of that beautiful mountain. I could not imagine life any other way.

I love that we get excited about the same things. The simple things, fresh sheets on the bed, the smell of freshly washed clothes, watching an episode of The Walking Dead, Sharing a candy bar, going to the city lake and just sitting in silence reading our Bibles. I love you how you look at me with “that look” right before you tell me that you love me. I love that you call me on each break and your lunch hour and how we both almost cry when we have to hang up.  I love that you text me just to tell me “hope your having a good day at work honey” or just to see how I am doing.

I love you more than I thought ever possible. God has given me so many reasons to love you. You opened my eyes to show me that I was worthy of being loved by God and by a man who loved God.  You are my rock in all the hard times we face and I love you for being the caring person that you are. I know now that I will never have to go through “hard times” without you.

My words all fall way to short of expressing what my heart feels. You love me just the way God created me with every little imperfection. You see past my flaws into the pit of my heart and see all the scary things about me and you love me anyway.

We are so different but so much alike in good ways. You are way more selfless than I deserve. You are my best friend, and have been for over 30 years. I am so blessed that God chose you to be my husband. I am just so very sorry that it took so long for us to realize it. I am also blessed that you feel the same way.

I love our life together. I love you. I love the way you love me, the way you came into my life on your white horse to whisk me away from it all. I was not complete until you found me. And for that I will be eternally grateful.

In the book of Ruth chapter 1 verse 16, it tells us this:

“But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.”  Ruth 1:16

I will follow you till the end of my days here on earth. If you reach the shores of Heaven before me, I will wait until we can be reunited again. If by chance I die before you….I will eagerly but patiently be waiting your arrival in Heaven so I can join the angels in that heavenly chorus singing Hallelujah!

I love you my dear precious angel. You are my whole world. Thank you for showing me the way. Thank you for simply being you. You are a treasure among all.

Your wife

Jeannie

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