To my tireless husband,
I don’t know how to start this. I could never be eloquent enough and could never make it through the tears if I told you in person. I have tried and it never works out. I am already in tears thinking of writing this and still, this, will not be enough.
I love you.
I have loved you since I saw you in the ninth grade. I was the girl in the matching, oversized blue sweatpant outfit and white Keds. You were the boy who was charming inside and out. I had braces and glasses. You had a smile that was perfect and contagious. I didn’t think you even noticed me.
Years went by, the braces came off, the glasses put on the shelf and life slowly started wrapping itself around my neck. So I ran. I ran from reality, from truth, from anything that made me feel my brokenness. I became numb from the inside and there was no reason for existence.
But then there was you.
I would see you here and there and in those moments my heart would remember that life was not what I had made of it. You told me that your first memory of me was in a matching blue sweatpant outfit. You saw me when no one else did. That boyish charm that I saw years before was now a glow. You carried a truth with you that my life didn’t know how to fit anymore, yet my heart new what you had was right. So I tried to run from you too. I didn’t want to ruin you, I didn’t want to hurt you and I most certainly didn’t deserve you.
But you saw me through my brokenness.
I will never forget the day you told me that I could run from you, but God would never leave me as I was. You told me that when I was done running you would be waiting. And in that moment your glow became a blinding beam of light wrapped around me. The truth you carried with you broke my heart to pieces, and you were there to catch all of them. You took the pieces that were for you, but you left what was for Him. You took me as I was.
But you saw me as I was meant to be.
We were never perfect, but I was always sure of one thing: we would be together forever. No. Matter. What. There was still that truth you always had with you, and husband and wife suited us well through many trials, yet parts of me were still so broken. You never left my side, yet you didn’t try to take what wasn’t yours. You didn’t try to carry me when it wasn’t your time.
But you led me to the river.
You waited there with me. Hand in hand you waited patiently, but your gaze was always at the river. You would speak softly and tell me stories of a promise marked on my life. You would whisper sweetly of a story of redeeming love. A love that you could never give, and a love you could never accept from me. A love with perfect promises. I asked you to come with me, but you couldn’t. You held my hand until my feet touched the water and I stared at you wanting to get out.
But your eyes were set on the river.
You said keep walking. You said you would never leave. You said your hand was waiting for me on the other side. So I walked in further. I walked to the middle and saw what you had been looking at the whole time. I saw the truth you always carried with you. I saw the life that was always waiting for me. I saw His face. And all the broken pieces that you knew weren’t yours, were given to Him. He gave me the promise that you said He would. He gave me the life you said you couldn’t. Jesus was all I ever needed.
But you are the one who led me to Him.
You are the one who showed me how.
You are the one who can lead me anywhere, because your gaze is tirelessly set upon the river.