I used to wonder how I would ever find the person God wanted me to marry. Once I found him, how would I ever know he was the right one? If you're married, I bet you remember that feeling. If you're single, I bet you know exactly what feeling I mean right now, in the present tense.
It wasn't magic, nor fireworks, nor fairy godmothers and fancy ballroom dancing when I found Aaron. Or rather, when God found him for me. It was just a sweaty t-shirt shop with loud whirring machines and a tabby cat that ate mice and dcTalk blaring out over the speakers. It was me alone at a table, thinking about my soon-coming trip to India and about the boyfriend at college that I didn't know if I loved. It was Aaron coming over to fold t-shirts next to me and a two-hour conversation. It was me going home that night thinking, "Huh. He was nice."
And that was it for a very long time.
Behind the scenes, as we went on our ways, a loving God was writing a story better than my doubting mind imagined. When the time came, His light was there, slow and certain, and I took each small step toward that big, impossible thing: marriage.
Aaron turned 25 yesterday. Happy Birthday, babe. We're 14 months into this thing, and I have never once regretted saying a forever yes. There was that time I got mad and yelled and ran out to the car, threatening to spend the night at mom's, but even then I didn't wonder "Why did I marry him?" We're getting better at this dance, you and I. This blending of two wills into one, two desires into one, two lives into one. You can take most of the credit for that. Your incredible patience and love remind me every day of how good God is, and how I do not deserve grace, but get it anyway.
You fold the clothes when I'm not looking. You cook dinner when I go to walk with a friend. You ask me to pray in the morning before the crazy beat of day begins. You tell me I'm beautiful when I'm sweaty and hot, and I know that you mean it. You tell me, with little-boy excitement, the interesting things you've read in God's Word. You make dumb jokes that I cannot help but laugh at.
You are a godly, strong man. You are a man that I want to respect and follow. I am so thankful for you.
To 25 more years and then some...