I was 15 when I first met my husband, stomach all flutter with butterflies as I frantically looked for a seat in our high school cafeteria. He was a senior, and I, an insecure freshman taking advanced math.
For nine months we shared a table, cafeteria burgers and fries, friends -- the guys, his, the girls, mine -- and lots and lots of laughs.
He had a way of looking at me with those sky blue eyes, trusting, hopeful, like a puppy dog, and at the same time, full of wild adventure, like he knew something I didn't. His sense of humor and corny jokes drew me in, a moth to the flame.
I fell gentle, laughing, warm in the arms of love. Dreamed dreams. Stole his favorite Pitt hat at a youth retreat, and kept it, hidden treasure. He took my heart and did the same.
We didn't start dating until a year later. On the way home from a football game, our cheeks still cold and apple red from the autumn air, he stopped his Dad's old Pontiac in the middle of a dirt road and kissed me full on the lips, so warm. I melted, got lost in something I had never tasted before, something so sweet and pure and full of promise. He didn't know it, but I promised him forever that September night.
It took several years for happily-ever-after to become official. Last month we celebrated our 27th year, just the two of us, sharing a table at our favorite restaurant, holding hands, loving each other with words and laughter. We decided not to buy gifts. It was enough just to be together.
It hasn't always been marital bliss. In life's journey we have battled some wicked storms, weathered seasons where a weaker love would have shattered and lay broken, awash in regret. But here we are, still dancing, still holding on to each other in the midst of "the mine fields," and that says so much... Of my husband's strength of character. Of the holy of our union. Of the healing balm of laughter. Of the amazing grace God has given. I give thanks.
Today, and everyday, I want my husband to know how much I treasure his love (more than his hats.) I want him to see how I value his commitment and faithfulness, his willingness to lay his life down for me and the girls. I want him to hear me still laughing with him as he jokes. I want him to feel, as we grow old together, that I have given him the best of me.
I listened to this song by Andrew Peterson on a friend's blog today (Thank you for the inspiration, April!) It is our story. And maybe yours as well.
I'm posting this in honor of my hubby, my love, my best friend. Here's to many more years of being held in your arms, living, laughing, loving. Happy Belated Anniversary. I love you!
To listen, pause the SoundClick play-list at the right. Then click on the arrow above. Enjoy.
Photo Credit: flickr - Tim Parkinson