22: to my husband
Eight years ago I was really nervous that you were a big distraction.
I moved home on a sabbatical of sorts – to give myself space to heal and receive from the Lord’s hand. These verses were my song and, though I didn’t know it then, the valleys were going to be lifted up and the mountains would be made low in ways I’d as yet not experienced. And you would be part of that. The rough places were about to be made smooth at the hand of a Mighty God who bumped me into JJ & Chastity one afternoon and had her say, “Hey – are you gonna be in town for a while? You should meet our friend Cameron.”
You know this part: how her husband called you that day and said he’d just “run into your future wife” and how for the next three months I refused to be introduced to you, but I also maybe googled you to find that really great photo that we still talk about that nearly convinced me I should never be introduced to you, because really, who captions stuff like that? #God #Country #NuffSaid Also hashtag MySpace.
But in August I relented and visited their church and reluctantly met you in the foyer. With your oversized Enyce suede top and Timberland boots and pants so baggy I wondered if I could ever even possibly consider bringing you home for dinner. And I held a friend’s baby and you shook my hand and smiled and Wow. You kind of had a great smile.
It really was the smile that did it. All teeth and squinty eyes, like a laugh was just going to take over your whole face.
So I agreed to church softball games and barbecue with the team and sat between Welborn and Patterson and let the boys pick on you. And I gave you my number and let you take me out for coffee.
We’d only been going out for coffee etcetera for four months when God’s peace came over me: This is the one. This is the one you’ve been waiting for and you can trust me in Him. Two months later you put a ring on my finger and the following fall we said, Yes, forever I choose you. I do.
And you are nothing that I expected and everything that I needed for God’s healing hand to begin smoothing out the rough places in my heart and nurturing me back into His abiding love. So I can write this open letter to you not only because I am amazed at God’s kindness in maturing us and loving us and drawing us to one another, but because I am proud to be your wife.
I am proud to be your wife.
You have more energy and passion in your little finger than it seems I can conjure in my whole being. You are passionate about pursuing God and being made into His likeness and you submit every part of yourself to His refining fire. When the Spirit of God convicts you, your knees hit the floor and your hands lift high and you change. You change. Not because of your own power, but because you are so convinced of God’s holiness and righteousness that you will stop at nothing to surrender your will to His.
You administered love and grace to me when I was a giant hot mess and you believed God on my behalf when I was unwilling to see Him as loving. You romanced me when I was acting tough, with poetry and flowers and ridiculous quips that made the little black book worth keeping. You are silly when I am serious, you are spontaneous when I’d prefer to plan, and these pairings make us both an unpredictable and perfect fit.
I am so grateful you father our wee beastie in the ways you do and for the things she is learning as she observes you. You teach her how to say "sanctification" and she sings Jesus, Jesus, Jesus when she falls asleep because you are the father God chose for her, to train her up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Also jumping off couches, playing hide and seek, listening to Trip Lee, and shoveling mulch in the backyard. You are the best dad for this little woman.
You have withstood incredible scrutiny and criticism as we’ve traveled this road together. Rather than allowing the words of men to distress you or belittle you, you consistently take those things to the Father for His say-so. You seek out godly counsel, submit yourself to elders in the faith, and pursue righteous living. You obey God when it would be easier to do what others suggest is right. Your acts of obedience have made it possible for our little family to grow, for me to hear God’s voice, and for others to know the delight and grace and joy of walking in truth.
These days, you are doing a ridiculously hard thing and you are doing it by the indwelling Spirit of God and for His glory. You daily submit yourself to hope deferred, with a posture of faith that suggests to your wife and daughter Obeying God is always worth it. To obey is better than sacrifice.
This is one-hundred percent what I want our daughter to see - that obedience to God is THE thing that matters. That allegiance to His word and His ways will always yield the fruit of the Spirit and that the only will worth marrying our hearts to is the will of God.
And here is the thing: We know and see your giftedness to communicate with grace and truth the Word of God and we see the delight it brings to you. And we wonder with you how God will move. But we know He will. And we will wait with you.
So, my darling...
Thanks for the laughs.
Thanks for the hysterical weeping that turned into laughs.
Thanks for holding my shaking shoulders, for holding my hair back, for holding our daughter when we met her for the first time and for holding my heart.
Thanks for providing exercises in spontaneity and silliness to this sober woman. Thank you for years of saying yes to Almighty God and for choosing Him over and again.
And thanks for choosing me.
I adore doing life with you, whodie.