If you were to write a letter to someone you love today, who would you write to — what would you say?
Nine years is almost ten.
But, I feel like it was just yesterday when we just met.
I had given up on my dreams of becoming a writer.
Given up on ever finding my voice on paper.
But, one thing I could never give up on was finding true love.
Don’t get me wrong. I was pretty sure I had the gift of singleness, because for the life of me, I just could not fall in love.
And because I couldn’t find “The One”, even as I blew out thirty candles, I was confident with my choice to be single.
I was stepping into the prime of my career and very active in ministry. I was meeting people, but I had just told my life story one too many times over a cup of coffee or bite of chicken ceasar salad. I was living scenes straight out of the movie Groundhog Day. I could literally predict what the guy would say next as I repeated the same get-to-know-me conversation. You know?
But my determination to be happy single seemed to pour oil onto open flames. My married friends urged me — don’t be so picky. you never know… blah, blah, blah.
But, I drew the line when it came to love and matrimony.
So much of my life had already been lived out of the discipline of obedience. So I knew — for me — I would never marry because it was the “right thing to do”, whether socially or culturally. As much as some of my wonderfully, happily-married friends would advocate, marriage for me would not begin as a sensible choice to love somebody — and have it grow into passion later.
In the hidden place of my soul years ago, I had asked God for love that would blossom in the same way I gave my heart to Christ as a little girl. With passion and abandon.
If someone were to represent Christ to me here on earth as husband, I wanted to meet a man who could speak into my heart and open it to vulnerability. My longing for marriage sprang out of my heart desire to be a home to his heart — as much as mine would rest in his.
Is there anyone out there to love me this way? I asked God in the silence.
Today, I’m celebrating nine years of wedded bless and matrimony.
Through the PTSD (post-traumatic stress) that’s emerged five months ago— my panic attacks, my inability to do so many of the things I used to do, my tears and my insomnia — Eric has been there night and day.
Listening to my stories, over and again. Listening to the sadness and the fears. Carrying hope with me one day at a time.
Do you wish you hadn’t chosen me? I choked out one night to Eric.
I look into his eyes, searching for disappointment. Hesitancy.
Eric whispers — You are my everything. You are beautiful. You make me happy.
He kisses my tears and I cry some more.
I cry because my hand is in his.
I cry because my heart is still his home and his still mine.
I cry because God answers prayers.
Today’s post is dedicated to my husband of nine years, on the day of our wedding anniversary.
Honey, you were there from the beginning. You didn’t know it, but you were holding the key that would unlock my heart forever.
You were wooing me to speak from my heart. And I want you to know, you still move me that way.
Whenever I need to remember what it’s like to float with happiness — to be filled from head to toe with pure joy and the absence of worry — I close my eyes and go back to that day we were married. We are holding hands, saying our vows and looking into each other’s eyes. There was no one else around us in that moment. I was safe in your heart.
Today, I offer you this letter, a gift of words to say: I still remember.
I still remember
… the first time you walked into the room, a couple minutes early, before that evening’s time of fellowship. you arrived right on time.
… your expressions were quiet and reserved. style understated.
… the first emails you sent me. you asked how i was doing. we talked about how we liked our coffee black.
… our month long email exchanges. got me wondering why you hadn’t asked me out.
I still remember
… our first date. so ordinary, i thought: a cup of coffee, a movie, and pizza afterwards. how mistaken i was. our connection was unmistakeably extraordinary.
… how guarded i was, protecting my heart by keeping you at a distance with safe conversation. with courage, you didn’t give up. unfazed, you kept wooing me, disarming me with questions no one ever dared or cared to ask.
… our first kiss. i told you i didn’t want to be kissed until going three months steady. under the shade of a willow tree, with a cool breeze blowing by, your arms wrapped around me, I changed my mind.
… long talks into the night with the phone resting on my pillow because my hands were too tired from holding it. we watched our rooms go from dark to sunlit, as we hung up to say goodbye before getting up in pain to go to work.
… when i warned you that my life wasn’t so normal. it’s complicated. maybe you’d like to be happy with someone else. i’d understand.
I still remember
… the moment you dropped on bended knee with a ring in hand. we were running around, collecting sand dollars washed up en mass by the tides.
… walking down the aisle, seeing you smile through a bride’s veil. you took my hand, among family and friends, we exchanged our lifelong vows.
… the birth of our baby boys. we were so clueless. how our lives have changed.
… the sleep deprivation. you sacrificing sleep, to take care of baby, so I could rest.
… the difficult days in a difficult job. you hung in there, providing for our family.
I still remember
… your gift of listening, taking time to make conversation, year after year. never tiring of hearing me talk, reading my writing, and eating semi-burnt food.
… how you pour me a cup of coffee, help me fold the laundry, take out the trash.
… you praying with me, dreaming with me, being my best friend.
Nine years of happiness. I still remember. Everyday, we get up together and face the unknown. Thank you for giving me yourself and being faithful. Thank you for being the safe place for me to hide when I feel like giving up.
You are God’s earthly reminder that there is heaven.
I love you, Sweetie. Happy 9th Anniversary.
“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.” ~ Isaiah 43:19
If you were to write a letter to someone you love, who would you write to — and what would you say?
What memories would you cherish — what do you still remember?
Pull up a chair and stay a little longer today. Click to comment. Let’s swap some stories.
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*Today’s 9/6/12 Writing Prompt: “A letter to someone you love”. Write a letter to your spouse, a special someone, a child, family member or friend (other than God this time).
*Next Thursday’s 9/13/12 Writing Prompt: “Spiritual Whitespace”. Take time out to be alone with God and write about it. Taking time to be alone with God is what I call “whitespace” (Click to read more about what this is.)
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