It has been nine years of building.
Building has been so rewarding and so wonderfully challenging.
It has looked like seven children; one little girl that went straight to Jesus’ arms, two little boys for eleven months of investing, and four little girls that we still get to hold.
It has looked like one dog, six cats, and one turtle.
It has looked like a tiny one-bedroom apartment, a four bedroom mansion,to us, with a fenced in backyard, a hotel, a guest bedroom, the floor of a friend’s basement, and now a temporary apartment for only 4 more weeks before we move overseas.
It has looked like unfair arguments followed by yielding apologies.
It has looked like dancing through Scripture and worship together.
It has looked like letting go of our “mine” in exchange for the most beautiful “us”.
It was looked like this building of “who we really are”, reveling in the family unity stitched by our Father.
It has looked like endless parenting tears of challenge and utter joy as we hold each other’s hands throughout this lifelong investment in curls and beautiful brown eyes.
And while the storms sure seemed to build wind and rain surges to hit the very house we’re still building, through God’s grace I always find you with a hammer and a ladder. I’ll take the nails, my love. You will always be worth building and rebuilding our “us”, even on the most exhausting of days.
Love is our choice. And the most utterly rewarding choice of all.
So just like we have sung together over the passing years…
What I’m trying to say in some clumsy way is that it’s you and only you, not just for now, not just today. But it’s you and only you for always.
So if you hold the nails, I’ll take the hammer. I’ll hold it still, if you climb the latter. And if you will, then I will build.
So to my love who is currently asleep crammed in a twin bed beside his sleep-struggling baby girl, I love you. It has been an utter privilege to walk beside such heart and such love for these past nine years. I really don’t deserve you. I thank my Father ever so many times for the gift of you in my life. Thank you, Matthew, for relying on Jesus to love me ever so deeply and continue to lead us in such gentleness.
Looking back on the last nine years, I have nothing but excited anticipation about the beautiful story God is unfolding in our lives. Matthew, I don’t know what the future holds, but I am certain of this: with your hand in mine it is so much easier to find the beauty among this world’s offered ashes. Even though this world is not our home, I find my home in the reflection of Christ in your eyes. As we fix our eyes on Christ and with your hand in mine, we find our feet stepping out in His Word. When the storms arise and the temptations hit too close to home I am thankful that your hand will continue to pull me to Jesus. And I likewise.
Happy 9 years, my Matthew.
And here’s to a lifetime more.