Monday, July 19, 2010

to my SFOC

7 years ago, today, a young girl said these words...

I, Christine, take you Matt to be my husband.
I pledge to you my love
in the presence of our family, our friends, and our God.
I promise to be yours and yours alone,
and to love you as Christ loves his church.
I promise to celebrate with you in times of joy,
and to comfort you in times of sorrow.
I promise to love you faithfully; to honor and cherish you-In sickness and in health; in good times and bad.
I promise to be your best friend; to pray with you and for you, and to hold your hand
as we help each other get to Heaven.
Where you go I will go, where you stay I will stay.
Your people will be my people, and your God my God.
This is my promise for as long as we both shall live.

7 years ago today...we made promises to stand beside one another through anything, and we had no idea what that would mean, even in our young marriage. I am so thankful to have the greatest partner; so selfless and devoted, and perfectly suited for me. Matt, you make me feel so loved everyday. On July 19, 2003 I thought I couldn't love you more, but I was so very wrong. Each day, I fall more in love with the man that you are and the man you are becoming. The road hasn't been easy, but the Lord has continued to provide for us and show us His grace at every turn. You have been such a wonderful leader, faithful to follow His call and to lead our family in His ways. You are so selfless and devoted to our little family. You posses such strength and yet have such a tender heart. And you have shown that you believe that our family is worth fighting for, and that you will do anything you need to do in order to keep us on the path we are meant to be on, and to protect us from the destruction that Satan would like to see.
We have seen sickness and health, we have seen good times and bad, and I have no doubt that we will face many more trials. But I am truly confident and at peace knowing that I am traveling on this journey with you beside me. We have lived in six different homes, we have graduated college, we have seen jobs come and go. You have stood beside my hospital bed, holding my hand, as we welcomed two precious souls into the world. I can't even describe the joy and pride that I feel when I watch you as a father. It is something that God truly designed you to be, and you are teaching Jack and Sam every day what it is to be God's man. Watching you be a father to our boys only makes me fall in love with you more.
Thank you for loving me, for putting up with me, for understanding me (or at least pretending to). Seven years doesn't seem that long, and yet I feel like you have always been with me. From the days before we had met when you led your school in prayers for a girl you didn't even know; not knowing that she would someday be your wife, to the nights now that I listen to you pray over our sons, our marriage and our family...I am more in love with you than I have ever been, more thankful for you with each breath, and more excited to watch the future unfold in God's perfect timing for our little family. And just as in the words of Ruth that we spoke in our vows, there is nowhere that I would rather be in any situation than beside you.

I remember the verse that we claimed on our wedding day, and I continue to pray it over each day of our lives together...
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ ~Romans 15:5,6

The words that I sang right before I walked down the aisle were true then, and are true each day of my life with you...
"My Jesus, I love thee. I know thou art mine. For thee, all the follies of sin I resign. My gracious redeemer; my Savior art thou. If ever I loved thee, My Jesus tis' now."

You are faithful, you are kind, you are honest, you are gentle, you are courageous, you are talented, you make me laugh (and everyone else), you are a wonderful father, you are handsome, you are strong, you are selfless, you are understanding, you are loving, you are are the love of my life.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

getting back home

i have this recurring dream, and i have had it many times during this five week hospitalization. while details change here and there, ultimately, it is always the same. someone or something (not exactly sure who or what) has taken me away from matt and the boys, and the entire dream is about me trying desperately to get back to them. it is one of those dreams that is so vivid that it almost seems real; so exhausting and heartwrenching that i am more tired when i wake up than when i fell asleep. but the one good thing is that the dream always ends the same way...i am back with my family, where i belong.

it doesn't take a rocket scientist to recognize the symbolism that my subconscious is creating for me. and, unlike in the dream, i know good and well who it is that wants to tear my family apart with this illness. but that is not going to happen. because no matter how exhausting and heartwrenching this journey...i can rest easy knowing that i
will get back to where i belong.