When I sat down to write this and stared at the blank page, my thoughts reached back to the memories of that sun-drenched September afternoon when we met.
On that day, our eyes didn’t meet but our hearts did. And that moment—a blink on the screen and a 10-minute chat—changed my life.
I thought about our relationship, from the computer screen to the phone. The six months it took for me to even send you a picture of myself, and the year we spent getting to know each other before meeting in person.
We took things slowly, but the connection was strong. I knew you were meant to be in my life.
I thought of the letters we wrote back then, exposing ourselves layer by layer on the page. Letters that took us (or at least me) all day to write.
Through the years I’ve told our story through letters, blog posts, and in the pages of my journal. There are chapters filled with the meet-cute, the soul-shattering grief over the loss of your son Ryan that nearly destroyed us, and the rediscovery of each other after almost losing us.
On those stacks of envelopes and inked memories and moments, the rock-solid foundation of our now decade-old marriage was built.
But I’ve never told you the most important thing you coming into my life did.
Before I met you, I wasn’t sure anyone could ever truly love me, no matter what, forever. Everyone I’d ever loved—left. Or so I felt. I’m sure that goes back to losing my dad when I was only five.
I could dig up all of those bones for you—the good and bad that made me, me—but you already know.
Before you, all of my relationships had walls, including my relationship with Jesus.
I loved Him, but I spent a lot of time expecting Him to change His mind about me if He hadn’t already.
In the past when I’ve written “true love” in our story, I meant it in the mushy, lovey-dovey way.
But not today.
Today, the words true love are different, deeper.
For 3,650 days you’ve shown up and shown yourself to be true.
No matter what.
Loving me that way is not an easy thing—I know. Since our relationship began, I’ve done some pretty boneheaded things.
Sometimes, I’m still that little girl afraid of losing those I love. So I hide—afraid of rejection.
But you pursue me. You call me out of my hiding place and into your arms.
You know all of my shortcomings and accept them.
You love me.
What I want you to know is your love in my life helped me accept God’s love for me.
Before you, I didn’t dare look back. But with you by my side, I was brave enough to open those buried vaults filled with unresolved grief. Having you beside me gave me the courage to look inside the dark spaces.
And God met me there, walking me out of the pain and into His light. Now past hurts no longer have a hold on me, and I’m free to love and be loved. Truly. Forever.
In this milestone year, I’ve been looking back, remembering—the joy, the grief, the wins, and the losses—and there isn’t a moment where I ever found myself standing alone.
Thank you for being willing to take the journey with me, my love.
There’s a quote from Jonas Clark that reads: “Divine appointments are meetings arranged by the Holy Spirit with people that have something in them that you need in you.”
I know God gave me a divine appointment that September day. He sent you where you were needed.
This isn’t just a love story, it’s a life (changing) story. And it’s ours.
Thank you for being mine! And for loving me the way you were destined to from the moment you lit up my screen.
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