Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)
Today I got to tell the story of how God arranged for me to marry Jen. Our friends Ryan & Charmagne (he’s not Ryan… he’s Chi.) were over for the day and somehow I mentioned that Jen & I never dated, and that piqued Charmagne’s interest, enough that she asked me to share our story. How did we come to the decision to just get married, without dating?
It’s a long story, that I will save for our book, but basically, the re-telling of that story helped remind me of a lot of great things God taught me during the time he prepared me for, and “brought” Jen to me. (Genesis 2 says that God “brought [Eve] to the man” and Jen and I believe He still does that today, if we let Him.)
Ten years ago today, July 16th, was an amazing day that I had many times thought might happen – and many times thought would never happen. When I met Jen in 10th grade – at age 16 – I was told she was “the kind of girl you could marry”. Our introducing friend did not specifically mean me – it was the generic “you” – but, it was prophetic.
Ten years ago today we were hanging out together as friends, rehearsing a song we would sing together for the wedding of some friends, and as we talked – like we had done so many times before – we opened our hearts to each other and were able to share the love we had then, and have deepened since.
Jen said to me, “I can trust you with my heart.” I said, “As my love for God grows more than I could have imagined, I am amazed how my love for you grows too.” And later in the conversation, “This [what we were then saying] sounds like marriage, to me… can that be??”
Within 24 hours, we had thought through not only the shared thoughts and feelings of the past night, but the thoughts, feelings and experiences of the past seven years. Spending life together, as husband and wife – best friends, confidants, partners, mates… was perfect. Who better to go through life with than your best friend? The person you most enjoy being with, and sharing your life with?
That person for me is Jen. I am a people person, and love to be with people and have a chat over a bowl of ice cream, or a cup of tea or something. But there is no one I can confide in more. There is no one I want to be with more. Sometimes we don’t get to enjoy that as much these days (10 years and 4 children later…) but it is more true than ever.
I love you, Jen. Every part of you. I am blessed beyond words that you decided to marry me 10 years ago. We have both grown in our understanding of and ability to love each other over that time, and I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years brings us. You are constantly in my thoughts, and I am not me without you. You might not feel like that’s true, but it is probably a deeper truth than I can even know.
Thank you for loving me for ten years. I hope we get ten more. And then another ten more. And then another. I could not possibly have been given a better person to spend my life with. God is amazingly good – and we know his timing is perfect.
I love you today, ten years ago, and from here forward as long as I am able.