This is my man.
I guess you could say we've grown up together. I thought I had lived a lot of life before we met at 20 and 21. By a lot of life, I mean I had known suffering. I had eloped at 19, been abused and was divorcing by 20, so I felt I had seen more life than my college peer group. He had seen me a few times before, but he really met me the day the only friend I had left asked her young adults class at church to help move me quickly from my duplex.
He says he fell in love with me that day. August 7, 1988
He fell in love with me as he put his hands on the things I had used to try to create a home.
He fell in love with me and called his mom that night to tell her he had met the woman he was to spend the rest of his life with.
There are few other times I can think of that this man has fallen, so I'm grateful that his one big "fall" in life was me.
I ran into him in the hall of my friend's home that day. That day, that day I was a ruined woman. I was broken, unworthy, never to be beautiful again because I believed my scarlet would permanently stain me. I ran into him physically, splaying my hands across his chest to stop the forward motion and said through tears, "Don't ever get married. It's not worth it."
And my man of courage and oh-so quiet strength put his arms around me and told me it was worth it when you found the right person. Then he kissed the top of my head.
I still feel that kiss.
Like I said, I thought I had lived a lot of life. I'm now at the point that I have lived more of my life with him than without him.
We have partnered with God in bringing life into the world four times.
We have buried both of his parents.
We have known the assurance of God's sovereignty, His mercy and everlasting love in facing cancer, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, scoliosis, learning disabilities, and migraines in our sweet family.
Twenty years into our life together I ran a marathon.
Twenty-three miles into the race, there he was. He had the kids there, with signs and encouragement, standing with friends.
I have never doubted the commitment, honesty, and courage of his love for me. As witness to that knowledge, I present the photos...
I see him...
...and just as my heart leapt, so did I...
...and I didn't even think to question whether he would catch me or not. He's never let me down.
...the photo may be blurred, but the image is clear. Here is a man who is strong. He has a strength that models Christ's, a strength that is not emotional, but from a deep, steady place that demonstrates that
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
This is my man. He's my most tangible experience of the love of my Father God. And in relationship with him I've understood better that I have no scarlet stains that have not been washed clean by the scarlet of Jesus Christ.
He's in Washington DC right now, interviewing as a finalist for a position at the White House. It's exciting, and I'm his greatest cheerleader. But we know that everything we have, will be, will do ~ everything we are belongs to God. We are grateful to claim His name.
He sent this after today's first round of interviews:
"By the way one of the questions was rate my marriage on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best). I said a 10. She asked when it was at it's lowest and I said during the time we lived in GA and even then it was an 8. Her response was 'wow' ... I told her I had a beautiful God-centered marriage."
And that is the secret. We haven't always been faithful to God, but He has always been faithful to us. I'm just so glad He's given us the gift of growing up together.
This story is one of my life's best examples that ~
God has never let me down.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your love, O LORD, endures forever-
do not abandon the works of your hands.
LOVE won't ever let you down, Favored One. Love you!