Tuesday, January 22, 2013

8 Years Ago

Eight years ago today, I married the love of my life.  I was 18, he was hot, and I wanted to be with him 24/7 for the rest of my life.  I had no idea what this adventure called "marriage" would entail.  I thought I knew.  Isn't that the joy of being 18...being totally oblivious to the fact that you really don't know much of anything?

The excitement in my guts kept me from sleeping at all the night before.  I showed up at the church early in the morning with my niece, Alyse, and we were giddy for the day ahead.  One by one, people began showing up.  Hair, make-up, dresses, photos, more giddiness.

I walked down the hall to the sanctuary at go-time.  I was so nervous, and the two water bottles I'd drank that morning left water in my belly that made noises as I breathed in deep breaths.  To calm myself, I joked about the noise, pushing my belly in and out and laughing at the noise.  It didn't help.  I was still nervous.  My belly was still loud.

When our friend, Dave Harder, went to open the sanctuary doors, I begged him to wait.  Not because I didn't want to get married, but because the swarm of emotions that hit me like a ton of bricks at that moment overwhelmed me, and I wasn't sure that I could remain composed for even another second.  My pleading with Dave did not help; he smiled at me, and swung open the door anyway.

My eyes caught Ben's.  Tears filled both of our eyes, and I quickly looked down thinking "please don't cry, please don't cry" to myself.  I cried.  I don't remember noticing anyone else in the room.

I don't remember much from the ceremony.  I do remember how handsome he looked.  I remember how nervous I was about repeating the wrong words or my fingers sweating so bad that my ring wouldn't fit.  I remember the shock as we took communion together and I realized that the "wine" was, in fact, wine and not the standard juice.

Here I am, 8 years and 3 kids later, wondering how on earth time has gone so quickly.  Still laughing at the ridiculously funny comments that come out of Ben's mouth, and thanking God for the blessing of a great husband.

So, to my husband, Ben...

Thank you for choosing me.  For loving me.
Thank you for supporting, encouraging, and fighting for me.
Thank you for your smile, your sense of humor, and your love for life.
Thank you for laughing at me, being silly with me, and making me feel like we're still 23 and 18.
Thank you for the three beautiful children you've given me.
Thank you for choosing to pursue God, and for sharing your love of God with me and our children.
Thank you for trying to constantly figure me out.  Maybe some day you will.
Thank you for being you.

I love you, Ben Locke.  Let's grow old together and gross our grandchildren out with our public displays of affection.

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