I know a woman named Sandy.
She buried her first husband, and raised two kids all on her own.
While that was going on, she buried her sister, her father, and one of her brothers.
The remarkable thing about Sandy is that, while this was going on, she continued as a worship leader at a few small churches. The darkness in her life never made her love of Christ falter.
One day, Sandy and I met on a blind date.
Remarkably, or sadly, depending on your point of view (I have heard them all), she made the incredible decision to marry me.
What this woman has brought to my world, the gift of love she gave me, the wonders seen through her eyes, are barely able to be described, and, frankly, I fear I will cheapen them by trying to explain them to you.
Still, I ask you to hear me out.
The first thing that drew me to you, Sandy, was your incredible smile, and impish sense of humor.
It is rare to find a woman who loves God as you do, but still be able to, without being crude, make a Senior Master Chief blush like a school girl.
You amazed me from the start.
I was afraid of you.
I have never been afraid of a woman before.
When I had my very first glimpse of you, I saw our future together. It was so different, and so blazingly overwhelming that I ran from you.
Prescience can be a terrible thing, and can lead to a lot of bad decisions. My bad decision was that I avoided you for the following 6 weeks.
But I could never put you out of my mind.
Now, after 17 years of marriage, I can truthfully with all honesty, say, given the choice, I would do this all over again.
Through the grace of God, we have grown together, We have laughed, we have cried, we have agonized and we have celebrated, all of life’s ups and downs.
You have given me my child. And you have raised her to be a beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful and gifted woman.
The touch of your hand is evident in her. All the hours you spent reading to her, all the love and kisses you gave her, all that is beautiful in Hannah, you have placed in her through your remarkable love.
And what has your love done to me?
Amazing things! Wonderful things. Beautiful things.
Your patient, consistent love and grace broke through my very hard heart so I can see who Christ Jesus really is.
Even when you hated me, you loved me.
Even when you wanted to quit, you persisted in giving me all you are.
God used your gentle grace to break me.
All my anger and all my religion and all my evil subsided because you never gave up.
You took my hand and patiently, sometimes dragging me kicking and screaming, took me to the throne room of God, where I was able to see who the real Jesus is, not the one I learned about in Seminary, or in religious dogma.
Your grace with me showed me that there is an even greater grace and love. You would not have been able to live with me otherwise. When the world was telling you, you had the right and duty to give up on me, you didn’t.
How can I adequately describe your beauty, your love, all that you are to me?
For once in my life, I am at a loss for words.
I love you, Sandy.
I declare my love for you in the face of the whole world.
You are a gift from God, an amazing musician, a beautiful wife, an awesome mom, and a woman of God.
You are God’s beautiful and beloved daughter, whom He loves very much.
We recently went to Missouri to retrieve the rest of our belongings from storage.
That cost a small fortune.
Then our car broke down, and will cost us another fortune.
What that means is, I cannot do the things I had wanted to do for you on this, our 17th anniversary.
But one thing I do give you, I give you the gift of my heart.
I cherish you.
I desire you.
You are my best friend in all the world, and my greatest love.
No matter what life brings our way, I am overjoyed that I get to walk through it with you.
God has shown us our purpose as individuals and as a couple.
I am excited at the thought of walking out the remainder of my life with you and God.
I look forward to what God is about to begin in us.
And I will cherish every living moment I have with you.
I love you,
I love you,
I love you.
Let’s Be About It!