I didn’t understand the meaning of our marriage vows 16 years ago on that cold December day in Virginia. I didn’t know how the wind and rain would whip against our home—threatening our oneness. How sickness, grief, job loss, an unexpected accident, and dashed dreams would constantly beat upon us. I didn’t know the weight those words carried as we pledged our lives to one another, but time and experience have taught me.
We’ve had ugly fights and seasons of overwhelming darkness through life’s twists and turns, but what we’ve gained is even greater.
I’m thankful for how you’ve done whatever it takes to provide for our family. You protect us fiercely. You haven’t allowed your losses to define you, but you’ve picked yourself back up and done the next best thing. When answers didn’t come quickly, you waited.
You’ve worked through what it means to love me in my turbulent mental and emotional battles. Your patience in my quirks has grown and vice versa. You’ve chosen the path of forgiveness and not bitterness.
We’re transforming inward, and outwardly.
Your hands are more rugged than when you held mine at the altar. White hairs are slowly appearing through your straight, jet-black hair. Both our bodies are changing and needing extra TLC—the kids are quick to point that out. I notice more lines on my hands—no gray hairs yet, but new facial wrinkles I try to cover with CC cream.
My strong will and take-charge spirit are more submissive. I follow your lead better and trust you more. I’ve learned your plan is usually more fun than mine.
I’m not the same young woman I was in my wedding dress and that’s a good thing.
These fiery trials have changed me in ways I never knew I needed, stripping away layers of selfishness and pride.
While it’s easy to dwell on our past losses which can still trigger us today, we’ve chosen to keep moving forward. We’ve clung to one another instead of abandoning ship. And not once did we ever have to walk through the pain alone.
We know, now more than ever, that tomorrow is never promised. But since today is, let’s keep thanking God for his grace and carrying us through. Thank you for being God’s provision in my life.
I love you.