I remember the first thought that I woke up with ten years ago today. After only actually sleeping for a few hours in my doublewide trailer, I awoke with the sunrise and thought to myself: “Am I ready to get married today? I still like to play video games.”
Amanda, you must understand that the person was never in question. I knew I was going to marry you when I spent that summer in Japan and I couldn’t even talk to you. Through countless hours of prayer and meditation, I was convinced that if you would have me, we would be married as soon as I could convince you that it was a good idea.
You were and you are the most beautiful woman – inside and out – that this world has ever seen. I still worry that one day you will wake up and realize: “I could have done so much better.” Truth be told, you could have. But for whatever reasoning, you agreed to partner with me on this journey.
During our year of engagement, I lived away from you in St. Louis for a time. I then moved back to the state and we finished up wedding plans while I started a new job and seminary all the while you were finishing up your final year of college and student teaching.
It was a busy year. When we were able to get time together to talk, we had so much to share and discuss concerning wedding details. Do you remember that date where we said we couldn’t talk anymore about the wedding but only talk about the marriage? We felt like we had been preparing all-too-well for a ceremony and party that would last all of 2 hours, and we were easy to neglect talking about the marriage that would last till death do us part.
It was one of my favorite dates with you ever. We laughed and talked and dreamed. We moved past all the plans that we were making for the ceremony and we focused on the relationship. From that night, we made it a rule. We would only spend a certain amount of time talking about those details, and then we would cut it off to talk about us.
We would neglect the wedding to focus on the marriage.
Those months finally passed and I woke up that morning only hours away from being a married man. I felt confident of my decision yet overwhelmed by the seriousness of what was about to transpire. This was long-term, legit, man stuff. And I still liked video games. I was barely out of college. Was I really ready to be married?
That morning through prayer, I remember realizing this: I would never be ready for marriage, but God had prepared me for it. Where I was lacking, he would prove to be faithful.
We said our vows, we jetted for an incredible honeymoon, and 10 years later with three kids in tow, I still wake up the same way many days (though I wake up even earlier nowadays).
I look over at you, the most gorgeous and godly person I know. I go check in on our three precious gifts from the Lord. I pace through the house and think about the day, and I still think: am I ready for this?
10 years later, I still depend on God’s capability. What I have gotten wrong, it is my fault. What I have gotten right, it is all due to Jesus. There are days when I focus too much on the details and neglect the relationship. But when I submit my life and our marriage to his Word, he makes it something so beautiful.
Thank you for the best 10 years of my life. Thank you for your patience, joy, grace, and love.
I said “I do” 10 years ago, and know this, my bride: I [still] do.