I am guarded when I write in this space. And I think that’s mostly good. This is not the place for words baptized in my hot tears. This is not my private journal, or my family scrapbook.
So how to express my gratitude for my wife of ten years? How to say to God and everyone who reads here how thankful I am, how humbled I am –how astonished I am at this gift I’ve enjoyed for ten years?
Some rare, open words…and (grateful) tears that you can’t see.
Gina has been beside me in the very worst hours of my life. It was very early on in our marriage that we went through what was to us, a nightmare (a long season of great difficulty centered around my health problems). I think we both expected that it was very possible she would be a widow early in our marriage. Those were very dark days.
But there she was and here she is. She is constant.
Out of those horrible days we, like everyone, have had many other more ordinary challenges -many involving sickness, discouragement and upheaval in our families, church, home…you name it. We have not suffered like some have suffered, but we have suffered –many know about some of that and many don’t. It’s not my goal here to focus on that, but merely to acknowledge it. I sometimes think that some people (who don’t know us well) think we “have it together,” that we live a charmed life. Maybe I contribute to that by not expressing much in the way of our challenges in this place.
But out of a very rough start we feel like we, by God’s grace and mercy, weathered a terrible storm together.
We were given a hard providence, but emerged loving each other more and clinging more closely to the Gospel of Jesus Christ by which we stand.
I admire Gina for increasingly, over time, leaving less and less room for bitterness. For moving toward contentment and simplicity. For not letting evil times produce a resentment and selfishness in her heart.
I think we feel more humbled by our experience with pain. We feel less inclined to be certain of ourselves, but more certain of the promises of God. I hope that aids us in future suffering, which is pretty certain (for all of us).
So far this has been a heavy telling. Isn’t this a time for joy? Yes! But isn’t sorrow and pain often where deep joy is rooted? It is with us.
I am deeply thankful for my bride of ten years. We have had such tremendously happy times together! We have been blessed far past anything we deserved.
We have had more joy in a year of our life than many millions of people ever experience in a lifetime.
I feel like we have been given, from God, a joy in life that is rare. I believe he has answered our deep longings again and again by his good gifts.
He has been so merciful to me in the wife he provided. His grace is heaped up on me every day that I have her.
I won’t exhaust her virtues here. But she has been what I have needed. A hardworking, home-centered, beauty-adding, life-giving helper to me. God has called me to many things, and has called Gina to be beside me. She is wise, understanding, humble-hearted, content, merciful, industrious, beautiful and faithful. She really is those things. I thought about each one and say each carefully. Truthfully.
I’ll add one more, and this has actually been a great gift to us in some of the hardest times. We really love to be together. We get along well. We like each other. We laugh at each other. Gina is hilarious and fun to be around. We like a lot of the same stuff and have learned to love things we didn’t love before. I trust her and she takes care of me, even when challenging me (a very cautious, fearful person) to expand my horizons. (She has really added so much appreciation to my life in the area of food, for example.)
We both stumble in many ways and I know a lot about her sin, just as she knows about mine. Our list of failures would challenge yours, I’m sure.
But the theme of the story of my life with Gina has been the mercy and grace of God to me and to the children he has given us.
I cannot imagine how my life would be without her and am overwhelmed with gratitude to my Father –a giving, loving Father.
Many women do well, she excels them all.
Cheers, for Ten Years!