Four years ago today, we spun around the dance floor to Tracy Byrd's "Keeper of the Stars." We had a trial dance-off to half a dozen songs in my apartment while we were engaged, and this song was the lucky winner.
I loved the first verse:
It was no accident, me finding youWe were pulled together so magnetically and so perfectly 5 1/2 years ago that I knew we were never not meant to be. I took great comfort in this evidence of a God who knew my story before I did. We were engaged 5 months after meeting each other and married 10 months after that. Surely God was writing a "happily ever after" masterpiece.
Someone had a hand in it
Long before we ever knew
Now I just can't believe you're in my life
Heaven's smilin' down on me
As I look at you tonight
In the last year and a half, I've had serious reasons to reconsider that fairytale. But through the transforming grace of God, I've seen your heart change and I've seen my heart change and I can see that God intended for this to happen all along. These four years have not been for the faint of heart, and I wouldn't wish heartache on any marriage.
But without the storm, I wouldn't have seen the rainbow. I wouldn't be in a marriage that's so different and that's growing into something so much better than I thought possible. I would not have faced the darkness in my own heart or learned to begin to forgive the darkness in another's.
Today I can stand back and laugh at the days to come and shake my head in awe of this wonderful God we serve. Indeed:
I tip my hat to the keeper of the starsOur marriage has been the best thing that ever happened to me, and the worst thing that ever happened to me in my 27 short years on earth. We almost didn't make it to this four year milestone, but I'm grateful we did. Even after everything we've been through, it's easy to start focusing on my messy piles of paper, your inability to leave the toilet seat in the proper position, our disagreements on what makes an acceptable dinner or date night or vacation. We sometimes think that lack of intensity and lack of agreement means lack of love.
He sure knew what he was doin'
When he joined these two hearts
But if we're graced with many decades together, I pray that we never forget what God has taught us through marriage. We aren't entitled to the gift of marriage or even someday, God-willing, children. But through God's mercy, we are called to living the life we're given with grace, and I'm grateful that Grace has given me you.
p.s. thanks again to Erica for taking such treasured photos this summer!