Well, what a year. So many ‘firsts’ have happened in this year, and if I can be honest, I have not always enjoyed them. We have had 2 very close deaths in our family, we have had many family struggles, you had your first mission trip, I became an elders wife, we have changed house churches, we have struggled tremendously with our sanctuary being our home, youth has grown and died in a few areas, church has struggles too and on and on the list can go. You know the desires of my heart and you know my fears too – just like I know yours – but yet you still carried me through most of our challenges.
I have resisted change many many times, but diligent, faithful ol’ you just carried on pushing me. Many times I did not understand why you pushed me so hard to do things out of my comfort zone, and many times I resented you for doing that. But now I see what you were doing, I now see your heart and your motive behind all of that pushing.
So, my dear teacher, I want to thank you. I would not be where I am today, not only physically but also spiritually, without your pushing, your pursuing and your teachings. Those many times you pushed me to be involved in church and those many times you nodded to me in encouragement to pray out loud in front of people, those times you were frustrated with my attitude of self-doubt and insecurity and many more, those times – you were busy lifting me up out of my hermit hole and building a foundation below my feet so that when you put my down I could stand taller than before.
Many times though, I would tear up that foundation and lay it once again above me. I would conceal myself and with a deep seeded cry from my heart I would ashamedly ask for your help to build me up again. And you would, faithfully lay each brick as it was before. Confirming and affirming truths in me that I did not see or chose not to see.
Brick one – you are beautiful. Brick two – you are loved and set apart. Brick three – you have my approval, you will never lose it. Brick four – I see you always. Brick five – Jesus adores you and that is the truth. Brick six – you are able to stand up after a downfall and start again, you are strong. Brick by brick you added.
My darling, when you first washed my feet in a picture of covenant you promised me that you would wash me with the word, you would be a lover to me as Christ is to his bride. And oh how you have fulfilled your promise – you have washed me with the word and day by day I see myself cleaner. You have been my intellectual companion through these past few months and I have felt so privileged that you have allowed me the freedom to venture into the knowledge still unknown to me.
You have extended grace to me as my husband to ask questions that could be offending and outrageous. You have extended grace to me as your wife to grow in knowledge of the word and of how this world works. You have particularly been graceful to me in my frustration with the church, I now see that you didn’t have someone like who you are to me when you started getting involved with Calvary and for that I am so grateful. You have allowed words to come out of my mouth that offend very quickly but all you did was listen. You allowed me to have a voice that was heard and you allowed me to experiment on allowing how much of myself I want to share publically in church. You have been close but also have stepped back, you have been right but you admit when you are wrong, you have been fast and you have also been slow, you have understood and also you have misunderstood.
I feel privileged to have you as my husband. You are the one who leans in closer to hear my thoughts, to hear my dreams and my frustrations. You are not a man who has a strong hand as to cover my mouth and steal my freedom from me. You are a man who is strong but so gentle. In your strength you pick me up, you have the strength to throw me down but instead you place me gently.
You are my security in this time in our lives. You are wise, you are kind, and you are gentle. You are strong but not too strong as to break me. You understand and you guide.
So may I always be your Lily among the berries, for you will always by my apple tree among the trees of the forest – with great delight I will always sit and rest in your shadow and your fruit will be sweet to my taste. Because my darling, your banner over me love. (Son 2:1-4)
You are my most prized treasure and my most valuable contact. I love you and I adore you – so with that being said, happy 1st year anniversary my darling. Thank you for upholding your vows and always loving me. I love you, and I will always love you.