We’ve made it ten whole years. It’s nothing but double digits from here on out! I can hardly believe it, not because I ever assumed we couldn’t make it, but because of how far we truly have come in so many ways that are immeasurable compared to the simple passing of years. Our ten years together increasingly feels like a very short period of time. The more I get to know you, the more I realize that I don’t know you at all. The longer I spend with you, the more I feel like I could never get enough moments with you. The longer I love you, the more I understand that what I felt on our wedding day could not even be called love if I’m defining it by what it means to me in this very moment. We have only scratched the surface of how perfect a match we are for each other.
Reaching the mark of ten years with you used to seem like a lifetime away to me. And we HAVE lived a lifetime together, but it really has only been a breath. All the things we’ve been through have knit us together into a funky, colorful, comfortable sweater that keeps each other and our children warm. I like the people our marriage is revealing us to be, as the layers of incompatibility and misunderstanding are peeled away year after year to show that actually our differences are what make us perfect halves. We are finally starting to see that it’s okay not to change each other because who we are individually is a vital part of what each of us desperately needs from the other.
Today, I let my mind lazily drift over the many, many poignant memories that make up our knitted life. I think of how many frozen coconut daiquiris we drank by the gorgeous pool at the Four Seasons in Costa Rica on our honeymoon, dreaming together of what our life would be and how we absolutely HAD TO come back to the Four Seasons for our five-year anniversary. It’s funny to think that we still haven’t made it back to any tropical locations or beaches since then. We were painfully untried and naïve, but I like to think of how we somehow found each other in the first place and then committed for better or for worse forever. I think of how we had to shop at a food bank for awhile when you couldn’t get any work and how excited we were whenever we scored Amy’s Organics canned soups. I think of how we wept with shock and joy when adding a baby to the mix after just six weeks of married life seemed like an impossibility. I think of how many evenings we’ve spent sitting on our couch talking – probably almost every one of the 3,650 nights we’ve been married. Even if we could be gallivanting around town immersing ourselves in culture and hip new restaurants every night of the week, or traveling the world to visit museums whenever we desired, I wouldn’t ever want to give up the beautiful simplicity of sharing our souls through winters and summers alike in our humble living room. What we have is the better portion. I think of the births of all our precious babies, you at my side through every moment. There have been many moments of crying when we’ve thought there’s no way we’re cut out for five children born in four years, of yelling at each other when the sleepless nights have drained every last ounce of our self-control, of whispered giggles as we cuddle in our nice, nice taco-shaped bed trying not to wake the twins, of weeping wordlessly when the loss of a baby was too much to bear alone. I think of how many jokes we share that keep us laughing when otherwise we’d crumble. I think of the growing we’ve done – both individually and together, sometimes quickly into the next season, and sometimes slowly in trials and grief, fruitfully in some seasons, faithfully despite not seeing fruit in others, easily and peacefully at times, and with much difficulty and struggle for the Promised Land at other times. Truly, Yeshua is the One who has glued us together. Ten years is enough time to start to see the fruit of our labors with Him. It’s still nothing compared to our whole lives, but we have had a great start. I make a toast to you today – my best friend, my partner in crime, my lover, my playmate, my soul mate, my sewn-to-me-with-unbreakable-stitches half. I love you with my whole life. Here’s to another fifty years.