|Photo credit to Keith M|
This morning, we woke to celebrate eighteen years together, eighteen years of saying I do.
Babysitter teen children watched the youngest as my man and I strolled by rose gardens, tinkling fountains, and clanking sailboats in mirrored city skyline lakes. He unfolded paper thin.
“I woke up thinking these words this morning,” he spoke huskily. “They flowed easily, and I teared up remembering.”
20 years ago I met you, and thought you were interesting, Jennifer from St. Cloud.
20 years ago I spent hours talking with you, getting to know you more, learning who you were.
20 years ago I would wait to see you, hoping you would come to a common place where we would meet.
20 years ago I looked into your eyes and you into mine, playing a game, involving our hearts.
20 years ago we started dating, searching to know if this was the one, enjoying a started commitment.
20 years ago we kissed, our hearts started to meld, our future started to be realized.
18 years ago we kissed again, on a bridge, over a waterfall, ring on hand, joy in our smiles.
18 years ago our future seemed to change, we wondered what was next, we were together and God was good.
18 years ago our life moving so fast, we cried once on the floor, we held each other, God held us too.
17 years ago we had John, then Morgan, now Daniel, family together.
0 years ago I remembered what was, we kissed, our lives together, we wondered about the future, it was good.
18 years from now….. I Love you.
My throat filled and eyes blurred as I leaned close, kissing him beside the fountain, ignoring the tourists nearby.
It hasn't been an easy road to get here. We have worked hard, apologized often, and needed God's power for softened hearts and gentle grace.
This week even, I argued with God in the shower. I argued with him in the kitchen, slicing knife through tomatoes oozing red. Washing pasta spirals and cutting sultry basil strips, I talked with God. In the silence, a Voice whispered, massaging my heart.
A turned off heart was not allowed.
Choices shape our lives. They shape mine.
Choose your promises. Choose gentleness and grace. Choose to turn and invest again, anew. I chose my marriage that morning, grimping toes on bare linoleum.
Gritty grace conversations and leaning-into hugs followed, but it started in my heart first. I chose my husband. In humble tones, we talked this week, apologizing, choosing gentle grace, loving anew.
Thank you, God, for your patience with me; for perseverance, and your extravagant grace.
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