Did you know, thirteen years ago this day, that in 2013 we would live 1,000 miles away–away from family, from lifelong friends, from all that, to that point, we had known and held dear?
Did you know that, in the interceding years, we would experience heartache and loss and disappointment and even betrayal, beyond what we previously imagined possible?
Did you know that there would be times when we had to fight with all that we had–with more than we had, honestly–just to make it out of one awful day and into the next awful day?
…I doubt you knew any of that thirteen years ago. Sure, in theory we knew that stuff. But I don’t think anyone, standing there saying their wedding vows, is really buying in to the worse, the sickness, the poorer.On your wedding day, it’s all about the better, and the health, and the richer.
But then life came knocking. And to your credit, Laura, you opened the door and looked it full in the face. Even on days when I was ready to let life keep ringing the doorbell while I stayed in bed, pretending not to hear, you boldly looked life in the face and said, “What is it this time?” And I’m so glad you did, because there’s so much more to the story than the worse and the sickness and the poorer…
Did you know that, in the course of that 1,000 mile trek from home, God would introduce us to dear friends–dear family–whom we never would have known, and that our life would be that much richer for every new relationship? Did you know that our living away from our biological family, though profoundly difficult at times, would knit us together in a way we would have never otherwise enjoyed?
Did you know that we would see God do miracles that some people go a lifetime without seeing? And that we would see those amazing miracles time and time and time again? And that they wouldn’t just be miracles in our own lives, but that we would get to see amazing, life-changing things take place in the lives of so many whom we know and love?
Did you know that our trials would necessitate a faith far more raw and real than ever before, and that the difficulties we so hated would bring about our greatest peace, and hope, and joy?
…No, I don’t think you knew any of what was to come. Yet in a room filled with witnesses, with an innocence and gentleness I remember so well, you walked to my side and signed up for anything that lay ahead. And today, thirteen years later, you have proved to be nothing less than a woman of your word.
Happy Anniversary, my dear Laura. It is my hope to see more of the better and the health and the richer in the next thirteen than we have in the first thirteen. And so long as you are here, I already have assurance that they will indeed be better and richer than I can imagine.
All my love,