Today I’m not going to post about adoptions. I need to take a break from that for a couple of days. Instead I’m going to take some time to talk about one of the things that I am most thankful for. That would be my husband.
3 years ago on January 1st, I walked down the aisle with my arm looped through my dad’s. My hair was just right. My dress cinched in the back as tight as it would go. My flowers in my hand were wrapped gently in the lace that my Grandma wore as a veil. And my heart was soaring. I knew that in a little bit my heart would no longer be just God’s and mine, it would be completed with my husband’s heart as well.
Those steps down the aisle didn’t seem to go slowly. They didn’t seem to go quickly. In fact, I don’t even remember who was lining the aisle. Instead my feet floated, directing me where and how to step. All I could see was my future husband’s face.
When I got to the end of the aisle everything sped into warp speed. I don’t even remember all that happened. I mean, how could you? My heart was racing, my mind was spinning and all I could do was say and think was “focus, Laura, this is important”. Still to this day I don’t remember all the vows. I don’t remember if I laughed, if I cried, if I smiled like a giddy school girl – all I remember is his face.
Then we said “I do” and I think Caleb and I almost skipped down the aisle we were so happy.
Tomorrow is the 1st. Tomorrow is 3 years. Tomorrow reminds me of forever.
I may not remember the vows, songs, cake, food, dancing, or anything else. But I gladly remember that I promised forever to the most incredible man I know. I vowed to serve him and love him. I gladly do. I vowed in better or worse. (I only know that because that’s in every vow). And we have been through worse and we have been through better.
Our first year of marriage was really hard – and even that is an understatement! I don’t know if we ever had a “honeymoon” period of our marriage. We went through a terrible honeymoon (don’t worry, Caleb agrees), a blown out knee (in the first 3 months of marriage), a stubborn bride (that’s me through and through), job hunting, moving to Portland, seminary, not knowing anyone, I was terribly sick for a long time (couldn’t get off the couch) and then the year ended. And for a while I was bitter about that. But now I see God had a bigger plan in getting us ready for what would be even more difficult.
The next year brought joy and pain. Thanks to my parents, Caleb and I were able to take a second honeymoon to Disney World. And even though I was incredibly ill the whole time we were there, we had more fun that we had had in a long time. We laughed nonstop and were able to act like little kids! We watched the fireworks there on New Year’s Eve to start the year off, then we were able to celebrate our 1st anniversary.
Following that trip, we were able to celebrate a sweet friend’s marriage to a wonderful man. Their wedding was perfect. Their vows were wonderful. We danced, laughed, and reminisced with old friends. I got to dance with my dad one last time.
That following March, my Dad passed away. I remember calling people for my mom and listening to them wail over the phone. I don’t remember much of anything else from that first day after my Dad passed except for seeing my husband and melting. His strength was a gift from God. His gentleness was more than I could have ever hoped or wished for… That night he let me sob on his chest for more than three hours straight. What kind of man would do that?
That was just the start to how difficult that year was for our family. And I could list everything off for you but I stop there. That year I learned that I did not deserve this incredibly gracious husband of mine. I realized that God truly gifted me with someone who portrays how He loves me every second of every day.
Year two ended with my being pregnant with a sweet baby girl. A huge joy!
Year three started with excitement. I was pregnant. I was married to my best friend. We could get through anything! And we can. Not because of my strength, not because of my husband but because of who God is.
We had our sweet baby girl and I realized that my husband was more than that – he was a Daddy now to the most precious little gift God has given us thus far. And what a wonderful dad he is!
So tomorrow as Caleb and I celebrate our 3rd anniversary, I want to say thank you. Thank you, Caleb, for being the best friend anyone could ever wish for. Thank you for leading and loving our family. Thank you for asking me out on our first date. Thank you for letting God be your strength so He could use you to be mine. Thank you for being gentle, kind, gracious, humble and loving when I need it the most. Thank you for never letting “divorce” be in our vocabulary. Thank you for loving our daughter more than anybody I know. Thank you for providing for us. Thank you for your fierce zeal and joy that you take in life. Thank you for laughing when I can’t, for singing even when I’m grumpy and for dancing even when you don’t want to. Thank you for sacrificing yourself on a daily basis for our family. And more than anything thank you for loving our God first because without Him we would have never made it this far!
Tomorrow let’s celebrate the past 3 years. And let’s bring in the beginning of our 4th year. More than that, let’s celebrate that our love is a love that can make it through anything because our love starts in Christ.
I love you Caleb, and I am SO thankful that you picked me to love for forever! Happy Anniversary!