My love, my sun, my moon and stars,
It’s been quite a couple years hasn’t it? Yesterday was just the third time we celebrated my birthday together, the first time being the day after we got engaged. Some may have thought it too soon, having just met in June, engaged by September and married by December. But in so many ways, our entire lives up until that point was all about us meeting, falling in love, and uniting as one. We were ready. We knew it. Nothing else and no one else mattered. It simply had to be done, God as our witness and all of heaven rejoicing in our union. I could not believe that to be true any more than I do.
And here we are two short years later and what feels at times like a million light years away from then. We aren’t doing any of the same things – different jobs, a baby, living in borrowed spaces, storing up all our earthly possessions in a 10×24 unit under lock and key. We have nothing. We are poorer than either of us have ever been. We have less hope on the horizon then we have ever had so far.
But in you, I have everything. (This letter was already taking a sad turn, eh? I’ll stop being a hoser, eh, and get back to the good stuff.)
I wouldn’t do this with anyone but you. I have said a hundred times that I would be happier living in a cardboard box with you than I have ever been anywhere else all my life. And I still mean it. God has blessed me with a man I always dreamed of and then some. I marvel at how He placed us together, prodding us toward each other from some 20 years ago until now. We couldn’t have known it then like we do now.
I smile at how in January of 2012 I rededicated my singleness to God, willingly giving up – whatever it takes – to bring Him glory. Like the lanterns we lit up in the sky, I made an offering of my life to Him to use as He sees fit. And at around the same time, through a Presbytery meeting, you shared your journey and your pain and struggles with the elders there. Not so coincidentally, you and Camper got reacquainted and you were invited to come preach at my church. This was God’s prodding us toward each other. And it was good.
I can’t help but see how so much of our lives mesh together, weaving a beautiful, rich fabric, binding our souls for all eternity. We are so uniquely suited for each other, so similar in temperament and the understanding we have gained all our lives guided our dating and our decision to marry. It couldn’t have happened any other way.
So here we are. Just two years in and while most would hardly call it a storybook marriage, I would. I have done my share of self pity and wallowing. I have certainly had days when it was hard to get out of bed and face the day, the days filled with uncertainty and fear. But I rise up and you rise up and we still look to the horizon. It takes a certain kind of person to keep looking where there are no signs. It takes a certain kind of belief – a faith that doesn’t come from just anywhere – to keep watching the sky and truly wonder “Could this be the day?” I pray we never stop looking.
And I think our marriage is storybook for reasons that the story books don’t tell. We aren’t living in a palace. We don’t have the singing harp or the goose laying golden eggs. There are still dragons to slay and witches who need to stop turning things into newts. But the storybook parts are the times we sit and laugh and hold each other’s hands like they were the most valuable, precious thing in the world. The storybook marriage is one where we tell each other all the hardest parts of the story, not to be met with scorn and shame, but acceptance and grace and redemption. The story book marriage we have is the one where we have no fear of each other, where our hidden, worst enemy is our sinfulness – something we know how to conquer, and we have a Hero to do it for us. Our storybook marriage is one that ends happily ever after every night when we get to crawl into bed together, putting our cares and worries to bed for the night, and wrapping ourselves up in each other’s arms like a magical spell coming over us and setting everything in the kingdom back where it belongs.
In those moments, the whole world longs to be us. The richest and most powerful wish for a love like this. Marriages all around us don’t get to see this kind of peace, this kind of rest. I pray we will know this peace and love for all our days, come what may.
With all my heart,