Today you are getting married. I would say at this exact time you are waking up as early as I am up now because the Lord is calling you to go sit outside and watch the sun come up. You'll have to sneak out of bed and tip toe over about fifteen of your friends that are sleeping in every nook and cranny of Mom and Dad's house in Knoxville. Once you make it to the porch, you'll hear the Lord speak some truths over you that will still be so fresh in your mind ten years later that you'll be brought to tears as you recall them. Truths like:
“I have called you by name, you are mine.”
“You are my Bride in white.”
“I have loved you with a redeeming love”
“I have chosen this man for you, and you for him. I will not leave either of you”
Your story, babygirl, is just getting started. You are SO young. You don't feel it because in the last four years, you have seen a lot of life. A significant piece of your story has been written in a number of ways, but its not what will define you and it is most definitely not the last chapter. The pain that you still battle with, even on this beautiful misty morning, will not only fade with time, the Lord will use your story of how your husband met you in one of your darkest places, pulled you out and loved you as you were, over and over again.
However, I must tell you. He will not live on that white horse for long. He is a GOOD man. He is a man who will exhibit incredible character, courage, steadfastness, and integrity over the years, but your husband is not your savior. He is not perfect; only Jesus is perfect. You will learn this the hard way many times over. Then, once you realize he is not perfect, you will try to change him. You will try to talk circles around him to make him understand what you need and what you think he needs. You will wear yourself out because you are not his savior either. You are not perfect, only Jesus is perfect.
You don't have any idea about what your life is about to look like. You will be what some people in the industry refer to as “a road widow.” You will not be good at it for a very long time. You will call it a season instead of his dream. You will be an unhappy person for him to come home to. You will be incredibly unfair and un-supportive. You will selfishly only see the bad and refuse to see the good. In an effort to try and communicate how much you miss him and need him, you will push him so far away that it makes you incredibly hard to love.
One day, however, you will stop seeing yourself as the industry, and many, many, other people around you have labeled you, and you will start to see yourself as part of a team. You will see the many adventures you have been able to have together in the midst of his travel. You will see how incredible he is at his job, how he is living his dream and you are part of that. You will see how his choice to work so hard is because he works hard for you. You will see the gem that he is in a hard industry to remain a man of steadfastness to his integrity, his family and to his faith. You will still miss him and need him, but you will begin to present a more welcoming place for him to be who he was made to be where he is wanted, as he is.
Marriage is nothing like you are expecting it to be. You will not like how much the Lord uses it to reveal your own brokenness and selfishness. But you will see Him so vividly and feel His presence so intensely in how He continually grows, changes, heals and redeems you both over and over again. The joy that comes from the Lord answering sewn prayers are unlike anything you can even imagine.
And then you will become parents. He will be the most incredible father and it will make you fall so much more deeply in love with him. You will have TWO children (which currently, you are still getting used to saying that); a girl and a boy. They will both have names that you treasure because they are ones that tell your story. You will hear his voice read/sing the book Snuggle Puppy and you will melt. You will watch him struggle with the crying (as you will you), and you will both rejoice in the years of more sleep but more words. You will have a Sneech in your family. You will forget car seats, and lunches and learn how to discipline together when you're in two different cities and he will fight for you. He will stand by you and trust you while you hold the fort, and when you feel like his choice to let you handle things is some sort of slight, you will realize its because he values your decision making. He trusts you with his team in his absence. You will learn the need to communicate effectively on a whole other level. You will both learn how to celebrate small victories and how to sturdy yourselves during the long days and short years of hard.
Ten years later, he is not the same man up on that white horse you perched him on, but he is the man that the Lord made to ride alongside you. I wish I could tell you these things so you could be better at loving him and spend less time pointing fingers at him. But you will have a lot of growing up to do, and that process will make you into me. We don't have it all figured out, by any meaI still get it wrong so much, but I'm not you, and I couldn't be more grateful the Lord was not content to leave me as I was that misty morning on the porch.
Today is going to be a good day, babygirl, but just you wait.
Happy anniversary, beloved.