Happy Anniversary to the man of my dreams!

Nine years ago yesterday I married the man I love. I met him when I was 19. At the time, I was not interested in dating anyone, and truth be told wasn’t sure I ever wanted to get married. When I started to get to know Paul I was scared to death because from the very beginning, I knew he was special. I knew you didn’t walk away from a man like him.

Last night my husband and I got to go for a walk down this beautiful stone path up to the stone arch bridge, over the Mississippi and into downtown. We strolled arm in arm casually talking and walking discussing life and our dreams and our future. Walking with my husband is hands down one of my favorite things. Something we don’t get to do often with the little children needing pushed in strollers and demanding our attention.

For all the reasons that I know I love my husband on a daily basis, I was reminded last night why he is the perfect partner for me.

When we were married, I was 22. I hadn’t done much in being completely self aware and mature. I still had some growing up to do, which I think many young 20somethings do. I remember my husband saying to me one time, “If you never change, I love you just the way you are. But I see such potential in you. You are the kind of the person who can be anything you want to be. I want to be along for that journey.”

My husband knows me better than anyone, truly sometimes even more than I know myself. He saw me before I had found myself. He has walked through life with me as I have grown up and become the woman I am. In the truest way, we have grown up together. He challenges me when I am less than I can be, and loves me when I am a wretched mess. He knows how to show me love, and most often forgiveness. I have never known, aside from my parents, someone who embodies Christlike grace and mercy, much like him.

When I get into a funk, which I can easily do, and wish for another kind of life, it’s never without him and the kids. (OK, in full disclosure, sometimes without the kids, but never without him.) Last night when we were walking we were discussing being content with life and yet striving for more. Trying to live individually and as a couple/family up to our God given potential. Trying to figure out how to be content in the moment and see God in everything we are, but, believing that God has put dreams in our heart that we want to make happen.

I love talking to him about these things because he is my equal and partner in how we approach life, deal with life, and love each other. We can share our dreams with each other, and its always received by the other in most intentional way of supporting each other. I want more than anything to see Paul become the man God has destined him to be. I want to support it, to pray over it, to love him through the process. He desires the same for me. And so we dreamed together last night of who can become together and as a family. And when it was over, and we drove back to the ghetto, which truly looks like one now, we were still content because we have each other.

To my amazing husband, best friend and partner. I love you with a commitment that will never die. Every morning I know I would pick you again in a heart beat. You know me at my worst, and choose me anyway. You are not without your faults, but you are perfect for me. Thank you for nine years of laughs, inside jokes, struggles, pain, forgiveness, love, mercy, chore sharing, and fun. I love doing life with you.

I heard a quote one time that said, “We don’t choose marriage partners to have someone to share the chores with. We choose to get married because we have hope.” We have hope to be loved forever. We have hope that we can be accepted as we are. We have hope that we are lovable. We have hope for joy, passion, commitment, and acceptance.

I am passionately in love my husband. I am still very attracted to the sexy man whom I live with. I still have hope that our life will be filled with love and adventure and commitment forever.

I pray that others have this story.

I pray that others have hope in their marriage.

I pray that others will wait to have this hope before getting married.