Once upon a time I was young, but I was right about you. We met at a Christian conference in Pennsylvania for college students. You sat next to me in a workshop called “Giving Your Life Away”, and I liked your West Point uniform and the goodness in your eyes. You scribbled your email address on a piece of paper, and I stuck it in Isaiah 6 in my Bible.
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
We’d only just met, but I knew almost immediately you were the kind who would say, “I’ll go. Send me.”
We corresponded off and on for months, and you asked me to be your date to a military ball. I took the train from New Hampshire to New York. I put my hair up and wore that black dress, but I totally should have worn my hair down that night. I’d had little things with boys before, but you were my first serious love. My first real everything.
After graduation you went to flight school in Alabama, and I got a job in Boston. We were officially dating by then, getting to know each other through letters, emails, phone calls and occasional weekend visits. Can we ever forget those Alabama weekends?
You tried to surprise me with a visit one Easter weekend. (But the truth is B, I’d already figured it out. And I already knew you were going to propose. Of a marriage proposal, you’d said, ‘It’s just like the Lord coming back. You know it’s going to happen. You just don’t know when.’ Dude, I knew when.)
I was watching TV in my parent’s basement with my little brother. You walked in and asked Corey to make his exit, but he took his sweet old time. My serious man, you were on a mission. Before I could blink you were down on a knee asking me to marry you. I was distracted by the fact that my kid brother was there, eavesdropping, anxious to get back to watching his show. It took a while for me to answer you…
What I thought then is what I know to be true now: You say you are not good. But God’s goodness flows out of you. I love that you are wise and thoughtful and purposeful. You live every day wanting to give your life away to God and others. I love that you want to pray with me every night, and that the margins of your Bible are filled with notes you’ve written to yourself. You are Top Gun sexy in a flight suit. When you make a decision, a promise, you are always faithful to it. I know good and honorable men, but your character and integrity sets you apart. You are so generous in your love toward me. I want to go with you until the end.
So I said Yes because the answer was always Yes.
That was fifteen years ago. Before 9/11, and wars within and without, and months and years of separations and moves and kids and special needs and surgeries and heartbreak and “love washing over a multitude of things.” The journey has had more hills and valleys than we imagined but you have held me tight and kept me close and called us blessed.
Your life is a story of giving – to your family and country – willing to go not once but three times on yearlong missions to the Middle East. You’ve sacrificed all just so our daughter could stay in place and get the education, services and medical care she needs. Yours is the kind of love that says, Here am I; send me.
The very nature of Christ reaches through you to love me and our children and words cannot ever express my thanks and I love you.
Once upon a time I was young, but I was right about you.
Marriage Letters is a project at the RunaMuck.com in which spouses write to each other on various topics. It’s great idea for me while Brandon is deployed and one I hope to continue when he returns. It’s about openly blessing your marriage and staking a claim in it over and over again. This month the topic is on remembering… going back to where we first began. For more letters, click here.