I didn’t have a clue how much baggage I was bringing with me that day.
We started dating in March, engaged in July, married October 28th. I sometimes wonder if God knew we would both probably talk ourselves out of it if we had any longer to discover all the ways we were broken.
There were as many days that I wanted out as there are that I want in. Days taller and wider than my soul could climb. Depths deeper than I thought I could ever recover from. The invitation begging for vulnerability and sacrifice and surrender. Me digging my heels in demanding my rights and my entitlement and my way. It was easy for me to declare I was a Christian, that I had died to myself so that I could live in Christ…before I had this person in my space, in my life, who was asking for all of me to be joined with all of him.
Throw in three little humans in three years and pure exhaustion will drive you to dream of sleeping pills, escape routes and fast cars off of steep cliffs for some relief. I planned for the days when I didn’t expect to wake up and see him next to me. I figured he would leave and we could both stop pretending this was going to work.
But God…in His mercy, He held us together. On the days when I writhed and squirmed to get out of His grasp, to make Him let me go so I could run, He held me firm to Himself…and to my Keith. Gently, daily drawing me to near to Him and drawing me near to my beloved. As much as I fought, He would hold. As much as I longed for escape, He would reveal how staying was teaching my heart to heal.
To make walls fall.
To let love in.
Nobody on this earth loves me quite like my Keith. His loyal resolve to never leave me kept him steadfast in those years when his love had been stretched thin, weak, beaten. When the meshing of our souls felt like sandpaper ripping at the flesh of our beings and there was no way to relieve the pain of dying to myself to let him in. The gritty mess left behind by letting God mold me and letting my Keith have me. The fear of losing myself trumped by the fullness of becoming one with him. Believing the best instead of stacking my doubts.
Still, 5,475 days later, while the surrendering daily is required, the promises behind being my Keith’s fully makes fingers open more easily knowing each time I let go of my ways, God fills palms right up with His giving way to whole joy.
My Keith is the friend I didn’t know I could have.
He’s the solid and steady to my crazy and erratic.
His love a reflection of my Savior’s when I don’t have the faith to believe it.
My Keith is Love’s sweetest gift.
Because of everlasting Grace that holds us together.
Happy 15th Anniversary My Love, I love being yours and doing this whole growing old thing together.