Monday, December 19, 2011

19 Years

On this day 19 years ago, I married my very best friend.  I never dreamt back then that in 2011, my husband would be in Ukraine without me on our anniversary, living out James 1:27.  I had never even read the verse about caring for orphans back then, nor would I have even cared about it, frankly.


In fact, when we got married, I wanted to have 4 kids and Matt wanted to have 2.  We settled on 3.  But God had other plans, and there is no “settling” with God.  There’s obedience and there’s disobedience.  Period.


How grateful I am that God had other plans for us.  I would have missed out on many of His abundant blessings had I stuck with the compromise my husband and I made of having 3 children.  He had SO MUCH MORE planned for us than I ever could have fathomed, and the same holds true for our future.  He has SO MUCH MORE planned for us in the days to come, more than we can possibly fathom.  How great is our God!


Before I met Matt, I seriously thought I would never find the man of my dreams.  I had a list in my mind of everything my husband would be.  You know what the very top thing on the list was?  He would have to LOVE children.  Yep.  That was #1.  (It should have been that my husband would adore Jesus, but somehow that didn’t make it in the #1 spot.  Sigh.  Praise God that He delivered me a man who adores Jesus, even though I hadn’t put that in the #1 slot.)


The summer of 1990, I learned about Matt when I was working as a camp counselor in San Marcos, Texas.  Matt’s sister, Pam, was my campus director, and she talked so highly of her brother, Matt.  When I learned that Matt was spending his summer as a camp counselor in Pennsylvania, I was mesmerized.  Could it possibly be that this guy was REAL?!?!  He seemed to have every single quality from that list I’d created in my mind since childhood.  This guy seemed too good to be true.


Well, Matt came knocking on my apartment door in August 1990, the day after he arrived home from his job as a camp counselor in Pennsylvania, and the rest is history.  He really IS the man of my dreams!  He met every single criteria on my mental list, but, what I never ever imagined is that he would be SO MUCH MORE than that silly little list I’d concocted.  I am so undeserving of this man who loves kids, loves Jesus, loves me, and loves others wholeheartedly.  I never feel worthy of this gift I treasure so deeply, but, deserving or not, I thank God regularly for giving me Matt as my husband.  I did nothing to deserve this man, yet God chose to unite us as one anyway.  So undeserving, just like Jesus’ gift of salvation.  So undeserving, yet He freely gives us His gift of eternal life, regardless.  God is so good.  So, so good.


On this day, I praise God for the gift of my husband of 19 years.  I praise Him for all He has done in our lives.  I praise Him for growing us into people we once were not.  I praise Him for His continuous work in our lives.  I praise Him for joining Matt and I as one, until death do us part. 


Happy 19th anniversary, Matt!  I love you and I miss you and I thank you for traveling halfway around the world as you live out caring for orphans in a way many husbands would never choose to do.  You are my hero, and I love you more today than yesterday.  Thank you for being you.  Thank you for loving me.  Thank you for loving kids.  Thank you for loving Jesus.  You ROCK, Big Daddy!  So proud to call you my husband.

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