You walked into the quiet parlor room next to the sanctuary where we were about to get married and saw me standing there in my wedding gown. This was our moment alone before we were to say our vows in front of hundreds of family and friends waiting just outside the door.

I began to cry as snot ran down my face, triggered not only from the tears, but from the sinus infection I had been battling for weeks. You grabbed the box of tissues and began to hand me one after another as I blew and blew and blew the never-ending stream of mucus from my nose while apologizing for being such a hot mess. I knew all this snot and crying was destroying my makeup and the moment, but I had no way of stopping it. With your arms around me while holding the box of tissues, you kept telling me that everything was going to be OK. We laughed at the way our “romantic” moment played out, as the photographer agreed it was quite unique. I remember this scene with vivid detail because it has symbolized what was to come in our marriage in countless ways since.

As we reach our 18-year mark of doing life together, I reflect on all the times you have wrapped your arms around me with tissues in hand and told me everything’s going to be OK.

You have always been my rock, my refuge, my comforter and encourager when I needed you most. We have faced many storms together through all these years, and every time the waves come crashing into our lives, you have anchored me in with your assuring words: “Everything’s going to be OK.”

You are always steady when I am struggling. You are my place of sturdiness when I can’t stand and my harbor of healing when I’m wounded and weak.

With life’s unpredictable madness and mystery, your unchanging ways hold me together when I am close to falling apart. 

I don’t know how you do it. How you stay so positive and strong no matter what life brings. But I thank God for giving me you. He knew I would need a man who never seems to falter when I fail. A man who remains steadfast amidst the ongoing stream of life’s erratic ways. He knew I would need someone who could handle the weight of so many things, when the world around us begins to crumble. He knew that in my own weaknesses and worries, I would need a husband whose strength would carry us both.

So, my beloved husband, I thank you. I thank you for always telling me everything’s going to be OK. The confidence you have in those words have always helped me have faith in them, too. I’ve grown to depend on them, on you, on us—because of your relentless way of loving me, caring for me, understanding me. 

Thank you for staying by my side in those messy moments, handing me tissues and holding me tight. Thank you for always, always believing that everything’s going to be OK. Thank you for always, always believing that I’m going to be OK, too. 

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Christine Carter

Christine Carter writes at TheMomCafe.com, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through her humor, inspiration, and faith. Her work is published on several various online publications and she is the author of "Help and Hope While You're Healing: A woman's guide toward wellness while recovering from injury, surgery, or illness." and “Follow Jesus: A Christian Teen’s Guide to Navigating the Online World.” Both books sold on Amazon.