Funny the things you remember when you look back and reflect on years gone by.
I remember a guy who was a great friend, fellow intern on a street ministry and passionate Christ follower. I remember admiring that he had such a big heart for people. If someone needed a listening ear, he was usually sought out.
I remember long conversations about our faith, our families, our hopes and where we were heading in life.
I remember him asking me to a dinner where he played chef, waiter and date to win me over, which absolutely sealed the deal!
I remember a proposal and making plans. I remember him standing in line during a recession to get a job sacking groceries so he could save for our future.
I remember him moving to Dallas to find us an apartment while he worked for a church, looked for jobs for me and began to get ready for our wedding. I remember that since we would be moving to Texas we decided playfully to call each other ‘Darlin’!
I remember him coming back the day before our wedding and after the rehearsal declaring that we must run to Town West to pick up my wedding gift he had purchased. What a beautiful gold heart locket with our wedding date engraved on it!
I remember the rehearsal dinner and the beautiful song that he wrote and sang for me on the guitar.
I remember 35 years ago walking down the aisle to a handsome young man waiting for me at the front of the church. He was so nervous I could hardly make him smile.
I remember moving to Dallas in a U-Haul a week after our wedding, anticipating starting jobs, seminary and a new life in the big city with hand me down furniture, new gifts and hopes full of all that God had in store for us.
I remember that first cock roach infested apartment that resounded with my screams every time I opened a cupboard! I remember how grateful we were to be able to leave there to move into seminary housing!
I remember trying to find a store in Dallas to buy supplies to clean our new apartment only to get a speeding ticket in a school zone for deaf children. After arriving back to our apartment declaring to him that I had just received a $200 ticket (need I mention that we probably had less than $1,000 to our name?) he just said, “it will be o.k.”
I remember fixing a spinach/mozzarella pie with the anticipation of starting our marriage out with healthy cooking. I remember how he gagged it down and thanked me for the ‘good’ meal!
I remember on our limited budget buying an outfit at Target and bringing it home wondering if he would think that I should not have purchased it. I remember him smiling and saying, “that looks great!”
I remember what was probably our first argument because he wanted to hang a railroad crossing sign in our apartment living room! What?!
I remember going to visit a church and someone asking me, “how long have you been married?” I heard myself say: “Three weeks”. For some reason that stuck in my brain and I thought to myself that I would never forget when I had only been married three weeks!
I remember baby #1 arriving on the scene and how enamored we were with her but how he bonded to her and carried her around on a front pack when he would clean apartments so that I could rest.
I remember how he adored being a dad to each child that arrived and he never once has griped that I or they were a financial burden to him. What a great provider he has been for me and all of them! Even when our finances are tight, he can’t help but hand some bucks to his kids. When his schedule is hectic, he always take their phone calls. I knew he would be a great dad and I have not been disappointed!
I remember feeling spoiled and blessed because he worked hard so that I could be a stay at home mom. I remember his sacrifices for us, over and over.
I remember a Christmas that he gave me a gift and a note for 12 days representing the “Twelve Days of Christmas”. Each gift represented something that reminded him of me!
I remember a time that he was in great internal struggle and he was absolutely broken before God and I witnessed the genuine heart of a humble man who wanted more than anything to be a man after God’s own heart. I remember that I have always respected him for that.
I remember the hours of prayer we have spent together and his love and concern for the people God has entrusted to him. I remember that I have married a man I can be on mission with.
I remember that he has seen me at my best but also at my worst. I remember that my secrets are safe with him. I remember that he has proven faithful to his vows and I have never been jealous or concerned that he would leave me for someone else.
So, I remember the times that he has asked me, “are you ever sorry you married me?”
Remember my answer today and for all the years to come: “Never and not ever. Not in 35 years or a thousand.”
Love always, Your ‘Darlin’!