Friday, June 5, 2009

Ten Years

It was June 5th, 1999.

I stood at the front of the church with my father on my right, my brother on the left watching bridesmaids and groomsmen come down the aisle, waiting for that moment when the back doors would open revealing the one God had chosen to be my wife.

You were nervous.

Nervous about being in front of people where you would actually have to speak. Nervous about saying the wrong thing. Nervous about being the center of attention. Even now, as on that day, you never want all eyes to be on you. Which is a shame because even now, as on that day...

You are beautiful.

It has been ten years since we broke with our parents and formed our own family. In ten years we have lived in three apartments and one house. Our first decade saw us moved to Massachusetts, live on Federal St. in the town of Salem which you were not happy about because of Salem's reputation for having witches. I told you that was not the case. Turns out I was wrong.

You were right.

By God's grace we only lived there two months, though it was really quite quaint except the floors of the 2nd level duplex apartment that sank into the middle of every room. And we had no air conditioning and it was hot. But during the summer as we looked for jobs and got ready for me to attend seminary, we had so much fun. We played card games while listening to the only radio station we liked which also happened to be the only country station in Boston.

You always won.

And you still do. If anything it was an adventure from driving around the local towns to finding Lynch Park in Beverly one day while working that temp job. Most people form the foundations of their marriage in a familiar place with their support system of family and friends all around them. God's will did not afford us that luxury but did afford us the privilege of discovering a new place as we discovered each other as husband and wife.

You missed friends.

But we made new ones or so we thought. New relationships can be so fickle and even when we moved to the seminary expecting friendships to be bountiful it was a couple from outside the school that became our dearest friends. Polcari's, Kittery, Friday nights playing Parcheesi, Niagara Falls all became synonymous with Stef and Dave who were there when we brought Cailey into this world and during our time in Massachusetts were by far the best part of it.

You miss MA.

God's will is never static nor does it turn as we sometimes thing it would. We went to MA thinking I would end up in ministry. When seminary ended we wanted to stay, even though it was clear God's path for us was not ministry. We tried our best to find a way but when it is not God's will there is no option but the path He leaves open. That path led us to Raleigh which began the 2nd chapter four years after the first page of the book was turned. In Raleigh we bought a house, found a church to call home and hit our stride. We found stability, comfort and more kids.

You are a wonderful mother.

It was you fondest desire. And while we prayed for it to be an easy road, God chose a different one. In His grace He gave us Cailey, Braden and Kinsey. All created and brought to us in different ways and all fulfilling a unique place in our lives. Cailey as the reflection of you. Braden as the sweet boy. Kinsey as the free spirit. Your love for them has been incredible. Your connection to each of them special and deep each according to their need for love. Your heart to teach them cannot be matched and your desire that every day be memorable fills their days with joy.

You are a wondeful wife.

Perhaps the great miracle of marriage is not only the fact two become one but that those that God wills together fit together as perfect matches in a puzzle. You have long undergirded me despite my shortcomings. You understand and love me. You, more than anyone else possibly could, walk beside me in a way that makes me a better person. The traits you bring to our family are more than enough to support my shortcomings and likewise my traits help you see the better angels of your nature. The miracle of marriage is that as seperate individuals we are live and die with our strengths and weaknesses on equal footing. As one flesh, we join our strengths and overcome our failings to become better people.

It is June 5th, 2009

And we are a testimony of God's grace and provision. From the doubts of that summer traveling to MA not entirely sure if we would have a place to live to traveling back to Raleigh not sure if I could find a job. We have never been without. God's blessings over ten years have rushed over our lives as water from a breaking dam. We have never been without and at times it may have seemed like that would be the case we were never without each other. Ten years ago we joined hands, hearts and lives. From that we have enjoyed the fruits of God's love made manifest in our family both in the time we spent with each other and the joy he has given us in three children. In ten years we have learned about each other, from each other and from that spring of wisdom we hope to love and teach each other for years to come as we love and teach our children.

To my bride, my love, my wife. Happy Tenth Anniversary I love you Brian


Laura said...

whoa....that was incredible, Brian! Happy anniversary to you guys:)

Austin said...

Happy Anniversary!

Sarah Kornegay said...

What a great testimony- thank you for sharing and Happy Anniversary!

Heather said...

Wow Brian...that was awesome!! I wish I read that BEFORE I put on make up because I'm crying like a baby! I love it...I love the memories...I love you. Thank you!! Happy Anniversary!

anthonyandbeth said...

WOW...I totally teared up on this one. What a sweet tribute to you Heather and a sweet reflection of Brian's love for you! God has been so good to you both as He has given you each other to share this life journey together! I hope you have a wonderful date tonight! Happy Anniversary!!!

McLeod Family said...

WOW! I am speechless - as tears stream. What a beautiful marriage you guys have. Happy Ten Years!!! Here's to a lot more Ten Year anniversaries!!!

Auntie Anne said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! or should I say "Happy happy happy an-i-ver-sar-ry!" :)

Caroline said...

Wow, I have tears in my eyes. That was incredibly sweet. Happy Late Anniversary to you both!

mishinraleigh said...

How wonderful and congratulations to you both. What a special profession of your love in Christ! :0)