Just think...thirty-eight years ago today we said yes to each other. "You are my beloved. You are my friend." Yes we said it and we've lived it. We haven't always felt it but we have KNOWN it, believed it and leaned on it when life felt worn through and weary.
The number sounds high but the years have gone by like a breath and here we are, once again, celebrating that which we can hardly take credit for...except that God enabled us to honor our promises, the ones we said to each other and to him. We said yes with promises to stay, no matter what. We said yes for our future children, for our faith, for our own integrity, for the God who ordained marriage and even likened it to his relationship with his church, and for not growing old alone.
Marriage has been for us a journey of maturing, finding safety, growing in trust, seeing deeper, accepting differences, loving anyway, waiting for, discovering things hidden, seeking to know and to be known, letting things go, accepting what is, focusing on the good, watching, speaking up, keeping silent, being quick to encourage, finding comfort in each other, letting things be what they are, watching, growing, thriving, challenging, letting self be known, offering a vulnerable self, marveling at the wonder of the years, stepping down, standing up, managing disappointment, letting go of what isn't, praying, trusting God and each other, offering forgiveness, asking for forgiveness, respecting differences, being satisfied with what is, keeping the spark, never giving up, hearing each other, inviting each other in, looking for the good, not taking offense, laughing as often as possible, building each other up, letting the other be who she/he is, maleness, femaleness, trust, kindness, patience, going to bed angry sometimes, waking up in love again, supporting interests, staying committed and never entertaining leaving.
Oh what a rich tangle of life together! I wish I could say we did it perfectly and that we always knew the way but isn't that the way of love? Navigating as through a jungle, fraught with danger, but together we have been able to see our way through, hand in hand, only to find each other still saying yes, still depending on God for the determination to keep on looking for and finding grace in each other's eyes.
I love you, Brian. You and I are a good team. I'm thankful, humbled, and amazed that God saw it fit to bring us together and to keep us going strong these many years.