Thirty-one years ago today I was an excited, naïve young bride. I remember I woke early and was very intentional about marking the moments of my day like a treasured photo album as I stored away each memory:
Quiet moments in prayer . . .
An extremely long bubble bath . . .
My dad bringing a sandwich to my room for lunch . . .
The overcast skies that spread into sunshine before evening fell . . .
My mom putting my veil in place at her vanity . . .
Hundreds of friends gathered in my parent’s front yard for a sunset service . . .
My dad standing with me at the corner of the house, the same corner where I would greet him when he came home from work since I was four years old . . .
My eyes brimming a bit as my dad looked down at me, taking me by the arm to give me away, tears of joy and excitement but also pensive tears marking the passage of time; the old is gone and the new has come . . .
And I remember making my way through the baskets of lavender mums as I walked the long aisle toward you, and the expectant look of young love on your face.
I am so grateful for the day we entered our sacred covenant with God—committing our lives to one another in marriage. I’ve often failed to honor you as I should, love you as you deserve, listen with an attentive ear, speak with a tender voice, surrender my desire to control, affirm and encourage you to lead, or follow with a willing heart. I am thankful you’ve been patient and forgiving.
You, more than any other I’ve ever known, look like Christ to me. You are a humble servant leader. You demonstrate sacrificial love and generosity. You are faithful in every way, attentive to my needs, long-suffering with my quirks and kind in your remarks. You give me courage when my heart is fearful, leadership when the terrain is rocky and inspiration when I’m weary and wounded.
Thank you for staying true to our marriage covenant in the years when we’d lost all hope and were living as strangers. Thank you for loving me today more fully, deeply, and surely than I ever could’ve dreamed possible. Thank you for being my faithful friend and lover.
Thank you for the last three decades. I’m so excited about and anticipating what lies ahead!