Sixteen years ago I saw a guy with a backpack across a crowded church.
He was tall, dark and handsome (and in retrospect very, very young. If you doubt me at all, check out our pre-digital, pre-grey hair wedding photos…)
But there was something about that guy even then. In his easy smile. In the way he leaned in low to talk to a person, any person. In the manner his green-blue eyes never faltered attention or compassion in conversation. Not to mention the way he played a guitar!
Thirteen years ago I stood in that same crowded church, only much closer, and looked right into those green-blue eyes, and said those words as I heard them said back to me: ‘I do.’
I do take you, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health.
And that guy with that backpack, and me, those two impossibly young, impossibly naive, impossibly doe-eyed individuals, we set off on some adventures together.
And those words, those vows we said to one another and all the witnesses in that church that day, they were more than quick formality or stale theory.
You cannot be married for thirteen years without surfing the spectrum of experience together.
There have been highs and lows, and everything in between.
There have been backpacks, and books (lots of books), and, in recent years, babies (dare I say more than we expected)! There have been wonderful journeys and times of seeming stagnation. There have been days of belly-laughter and of belly-ache tears. There have been decisions, and indecisions, and dead ends. There have been curves in the road and surprisingly redemptive detours.
We have, in short, grown up together.
And that man, he’s grown in more ways than physical. He’s grown in faith, endurance, compassion, strength, wisdom and humility. He’s grown as a friend, and as a husband. And, perhaps biggest of all, as a new father, a role he’s taken too both naturally, and with great endurance. Sometimes I have been right there alongside him, in the thick of it, and other times I have stood back and marvelled as all I could do was watch. And learn.
And what is it that’s seen us through all these years, of ups and downs and round the bends?
He’s trusted the Lord, and that’s made the difference.
And for that I am extremely grateful.
Thankyou Dr M, and again, I say it. I do.