I prayed for you. I prayed for you way before I ever knew you. Way before I ever knew what love meant. Or felt like. Way before I ever knew how to give it. Or receive it.
I prayed that God would give me a man who would love me. Who would encourage me and support me. Who would find my independence and extreme self-motivation a check in the “plus” column. A man who would stand behind me as I soared to new heights; instead of one who would stand in my way. I prayed for a strong man. A man who would be solid and steadfast. A man who wouldn’t think twice before stepping in and protecting me; no matter the cost. I prayed that he would have a gentle corner in his heart. A space that would open up and share his secrets and fears with me. A tiny nook that would grow and spread as I made him a father. I prayed that he would reassure me; always. God had known me long enough by that time and was more than aware that I needed that. He knew I would need to hear I’m loved, more than most people. He knew I would need to feel the craziness I would cause this man. He knew I would need to see his eyes roll; quickly followed by a smirk that said “I love every single annoying thing about you”. So I prayed for that. I prayed for a patient man. A man that would understand that we would go through rough patches. Some really, really dark and trying times. A man that would know there was always light ahead. That there would always be a reason. A reason to fight, a reason to hope, a reason to try, a reason to love. I prayed for a man that didn’t have it all together. I prayed that we would be able to help clean each others’ messes. That we would be two totally imperfect people loved by a perfect God. That our love could be a testimony.
A few years ago, I reconnected with someone I had went to high school with. We hadn’t talked much during those years, but it’s always cool to see someone you know years later as each of your roads have taken quite different paths. We caught up – I learned he had gone into the military shortly after high school. I learned that he had just arrived back to the U.S. after spending a year deployed to Korea and had lost contact with a lot of his old friends. And I also learned there was just something about him that made me want to learn more. There was something about him that made me feel comfortable. He was stationed in Kentucky shortly after this but we managed to keep in touch. A text here and there. A phone call every now and then. But I found myself getting excited to hear from him. I found that when things happened during my day, my brain would think “Oh, I can’t wait to tell him about this later”. Time turned a stranger into an acquaintance. More time turned an acquaintance into a friend; a really close friend.
And soon after, my mind could no longer see my life without him in it. My life was now better having him in it. I started to see a strong man. One that was strong enough to leave his family and friends behind. One that was strong enough to fight for them; to cross seas into a war ready and willing to die for them. I saw and learned about a man who was so encouraging and supportive. A man who was excited about me doing anything and everything I wanted to. I got to know a man who was patient; oh so patient. A man who waited months to see me. A man who sometimes waited weeks to even be able to hear my voice. I began to see a man who affirmed me daily. A man who told me how much I meant to him and how much he liked having me in his life. I grew closer to a man who I let see all my quirks. A man I let hear all the crazy thoughts that go through my head. A man who couldn’t talk me out of anything I had already made my mind up about because I was that stubborn. A man who would just laugh at it all; because he thought it was “so cute”. I started to get know a man who didn’t have his life all figured out. A man who grew up in a broken home. A man who felt like his only choice was to enlist in the army to escape some pretty less than ideal situations. A man who was broken and lost.
And then God did it. He let me fall in love with every broken piece of that man. He let all my walls come tumbling down. He created something beautiful. And messy. And joyful. And aggravating. And reassuring. And trying. He knew exactly what he was doing. There isn’t a single day that goes by that I doubt that. We’ve walked through many seasons of life already. I still mean every word of those vows we exchanged 3 years ago today. They mean more. They mean different. Two giddy newlyweds had no idea what “in sickness and in health” meant. We had no idea how “in good times and in bad” may unfold. 3 years. It seems like the blink of an eye. It feels like forever. It is the best journey I have been on. It is the most comfortable chaos. It has been completely opposite of every expectation I ever had. But that is what makes it so sweet. That is what makes me want to wake up and do this every single day. That is what makes me choose you; again and again. That is what makes me thank God every single night; as I lay my head down on the pillow and pray for you.
I get to love you…. it’s the best thing that I’ll ever do.
Forever I’m yours.
Forever I do.