By: Jana Greene
I don’t remember what life was like before you.
I know the first 37 years of my life existed, obviously. But I was always alone, even when in relationship with others. And I know that I was a complete person then, before I knew you. I wasn’t always a complete person, you know. God had to do a work in me when I was all on my own in order for that to happen.
I’m glad for that because it enabled me to bring a whole person into your world at just the right time.
You changed everything, and for the better.
I can recall the first time our eyes locked in church. I was trying really hard not to look your way. Focus on Jesus, I kept thinking. But I could feel your eyes on me.
I was SO DONE with dating at that point. I’d made up my mind to be single forever, for simplicity’s sake. My mangled-up heart was too raw to consider anything else. But still, it skipped so many beats when you smiled at me.
After church, you asked me to lunch and I said yes, and it changed the trajectory of both of our lives forever. It was (at the risk of sounding completely inane) as if I’d known you my whole life. There was a distinct lack of awkward in our gait together.
After that one event, I was hooked. You were in my bloodstream. You were implanted into my heart. A year later we placed rings on one another’s fingers and pledged our lives to each other, mindful of keeping God at the top of our “relationship triangle” – where he still reigns.
We have needed Him to be at the top of our lives. Loving you has always been effortless, but day-to-day life hasn’t always been easy.
Do you remember a conversation we had when we were dating, in which I offhandedly said, “Things are perfect right now. I hope they never change!” We were in a season of glowy illusion then, everything misty watercolors and cupid’s arrows. (Science says that when we are in love, the same areas of the brain ‘light up’ as do with delusional mental illness. My brain was alight, alright!)
And you said, “Well, of course they’re going to change. Things change all the time, that’s the way life is. But we are in it together no matter what that looks like.”
Life has looked like a lot of things since then!
We were both single parents when we wed. Single parents to teen girls. There were times I wanted to run away from home (but even then, I wanted to take you with me.)
“In sickness and in health” kicked in at starting gate. Richer or poorer, for better or for worse. CHECK.
But we’re still standing.
Eight years ago, life happened, and kept happening. In times of upheaval, we lean into each other harder, and look to God at the top of the triangle to keep us on an even keel so that we don’t fall overboard, and somehow, he keeps showing up and showing off with His love for us.
He really is showing off in our marriage, you know. In a big way.
And the rewards of staying on board are so incredible. You ‘get’ me, and I ‘get’ you, and it’s positively supernatural the way we love one another. Not because it’s easy, but because it is and was always a “God Thing.”
It tickles me that the man I met in church who distracted me from Jesus that day would help me focus on Jesus for the rest of my life in a way I had never done before.
Our wedding vows were not pie-in-the-sky, movie-romance, sugary words spoken as a crime of passion, but as a passionate preamble to a lifetime of “whatever life looks like.”
I’ve got you and you’ve got me, no matter what.
I wouldn’t have it any other way. So much of it looks like laughter, comfort, ease, and passion. It looks like just being ourselves, together.
Our daughters grew up beautifully, with an actual idea of what a good marriage can look like. We are grandparents now. All of the ‘things’ work out and we grow stronger.
I still can’t take my eyes off of you.
My brain has never gone back to ‘normal’ (as if it ever was!) It is still lit up like crazy for you.
Of course things change. Things change all the time, that’s the way life is. We are in it together, whatever that looks like.
Misty water-colors, cupid’s arrows, challenges and trials – all. All of it, I get to do with you.
I cannot remember life before you and I’m glad I don’t have to. God blessed the broken roads that led me straight to you.
Eight years ago, life happened to me at just the right time. You happened to me, My Beloved.
I’m so grateful.