This morning I told Bob I thought that by the time we were married 25 years we would be old. Ha! I guess it's all relative. 25 years!! Incredible. That was quick! When I look back at our lives, all that has changed, how we have grown, gains and losses, I am amazed. I'm not sure what I expected things to be like after 25 years of marriage. The only thing I knew for sure was that I would be by his side. And I am - for the long haul and through it all.
Way back then, as a young college student, I looked at marriage as a fairy tale. All we would need is love and each other. Well...we did need love and we did need each other, but marriage is far from a fairy tale. I learned that the hard way. We needed a lot more. Through my husband God has refined me in many ways. Going through the refiners fire is not easy, quite frankly it isn't pleasant either. But I'm thankful for it. It has brought me into deeper relationship with my Father and with my husband.
I have learned a lot from Bob over the past 25 years - more things than I have time or space to share here. He has taught me to think before I speak and to weigh my words heavily. He has taught me to take risks and trust the outcome. He has taught me how to stand firm and stand up for myself. He has taught me not to run from conflict. He has taught me to examine the teachings of others carefully so as not to be deceived. Through it all, he has pointed me to Jesus.
There are so many things I love about being married to this man. He is fun and funny. He is handsome and charming. He is sensitive and caring. He loves our children with a tough love, that at times is frightening and difficult for me, but needed nonetheless. He is strong and tender. He leads with confidence and wisdom. He is thoughtful and creative.
I didn't know 25 years ago what things would be like today. I didn't know we would move 10 times. I didn't know we would live far from our families. I didn't know we would be blessed with 3 incredible kids. I didn't know we would lose a baby. I didn't know we would lose my mom at such a young age. I didn't know we would find such blessing and heartache in ministry. I didn't know friends would betray us. I didn't know I would get gray hair so early! I didn't know we would both change so radically between our 20's and our 40's. But this I did know...that we would love, honor and cherish each other; that we would be faithful and true to each other; that we would stay together through sickness and health, for richer or poorer.
I'd do it all again, just to call this man my husband. He is a blessing and I love him with all my heart.