I know this is like the standard thing to say, but I find it so hard to believe that it is only 4 years. I look at that number and compare that to all we've gone through and all the ways we've grown and how our lives have changed, and I wonder how all of that living can cram into just 4 years?
I look at that number and think... what else could come? What will the next 4, 14, 24, 34, and Lord willing, even more, hold for us?
For our wedding day we had the word "ahavah" engraved in Chris' ring. It is the Hebrew word for a strong version of the word love. It literally means that no matter what I'm not leaving. Chris and I, and I say this with a strong love and respect for our parents, both come from divorced homes. We saw love give up. In fact when we were engaged our pre-marital counselor told us that we were at the highest of odds for divorce since we both came from divorced homes. We looked at her and said, we totally disagree. Because we know what it is like to have a broken family. Yes, we love our families and now our step families (which the word step just feels weird because it is family). But we also know that it took lots of years to get to this point of peace due to the consequence of a love abandoned.
So we chose the word "ahavah" because we wanted the other to know that we will never give up. Never.
I bring this up because when I look back on the past 4 years, this has undeniably been the hardest.
Karis has added so much joy to our lives we could burst, literally it feels that way. But having a baby changes things. On top of a baby we also decided to sell our house, change our plan and start with Apartment Life (adding a part time job to our plate).
This year has been so sweet. We have grown so much.
But it has been very trying. It is the first year we have really had to fight for our marriage.
So Chris thank you for fighting for and with me.
Thank you for being an incomparable man. I can honestly say I have never wished once for you to be someone else. Never. You are the man that I respect most in this world. You are the man that I hope Karis can find a carbon copy of to marry.
I prayed for so many years to find someone that had just 4 qualities:
1. Loved Jesus in his own way but at the same pace as me. Check.
2. Someone who was a strong enough leader that I could follow. Check. Check.
3. Someone who wasn't trying to be something else (genuine). Check. Check. Check
4. And, finally, I didn't care if that person had a past, just prayed they weren't handicapped by it. Check. Check. Check. Check
You surpassed all those requests. The Lord surprised me with the interpretation of some of them. But as Isaiah 55:8-9 says, "His ways are better... His thoughts are higher."
I am so challenged by how you live your life. When we dated and were engaged we talked so often about how our differences can balance us. I think we've seen how when we aren't intentional they can hurt us. But we are learning, more every day, that the differences have a crazy good balance. I love how you have balanced me out. I love how the Lord knew I needed you.
Finally, this past year watching how you love Karis, I could just sob. Last night I was watching your perfect man hands on her tiny back and how gently you are with her. How tenderly you love her. I can't wait to see y'alls relationship grow. I love that she is a Daddy's girl. I want her to love you deeply and compare every other guy out there to you. Because I want her to have the kind of marriage we have-- not perfect, but fighting for love and for a life together that means something for God.
I love you. A lot a lot.
30 Days of Thankfulness... Starting Now