To my love, even though you are here, my heart is with you:

Happy Valentine’s Day.  This was supposed to be the 13th anniversary of our engagement, but you couldn’t wait until the 14th, so we passed that milestone 2 days ago.   I’m so glad you didn’t wait to ask, and what a journey of grace these past 13 years have been.

You have shown me the love of the Christ, of my heavenly Bridegroom.  Faithful.  Steadfast.  Sure.

Of course I wasn’t sure what our marriage would hold, but the reality has flown right past whatever my expectations might have been.  Instead of constant rainbows and chocolate hearts, my fairy tale life with you has been deeper, and harder, and better than my schoolgirl hopes and dreams…

When fear creeps in, painful memories of my father’s too soon leaving, you assure me that you aren’t going anywhere.  You tell me it is your joy- only by God’s good grace!- to faithfully love me until death us do part.

When we were just barely married a year and my heart shook with sobs at the news our eagerly expected baby was already in his permanent resting Place, carried up to the Father before we got to meet him… you, in your 21 year old confused and bewildered self, held me and pointed me to the Healer and promised we could try again.

And when, a year later, we welcomed another boy- and 20 months later another boy!- I watched in wonder as you took on the mantle of father, and asked our sons to follow you as you follow hard after God.  Then after those sons came two daughters, and  I watch you father those sweet precious girls and my heart swells with love for you and for them.

When I tell you at the end of another day that I am not sure I can do tomorrow, that I am failing and weak and what was God thinking giving this poorly girl these 4 precious children to raise, you remind me this is all His doing and it is all up to Him and tomorrow is another day of His faithfulness.

What did this girl do to deserve a husband like you?  And the answer is, again, grace upon grace.  How thankful I am you asked me to be yours those 13 years ago.