Friday, August 20, 2010

Five Years

On this day, five years ago, I married the most beautiful woman on the face of the earth. The day is and always has been a blur to me, but I know that she remembers every detail. All I can remember is that it was raining in the early morning hours, but by the time the wedding started the sun had come out and a gorgeous day was breaking upon us.

I wept as she came down the aisle. That, of course, I remember. Before the ceremony I wondered if that would happen, assuming that it probably wouldn’t. But it did, and I made the ugly cry face as she glided down the walkway, radiating beauty for a thousand miles all around.

Since the day we swore to our friends, family, each other, and to God that we will always love one another, our life has been a whirlwind. We’ve averaged a move every 12 months, and a baby every 20. There have been sweet days, bitter days, and a whole lot of days that were a mixture of both. But through it all our bond of love has only grown stronger. I love her now far more than I did the day she made me cry exactly five years ago.

Breena has been everything I could have hoped for in a wife, and more. I’ve seen her at her best and her worst, and she’s certainly seen me at mine. We’ve walked many a path together. She has been with me as I’ve walked the path of vocational frustration and despair. She has always been my biggest fan and supporter. Her trust and belief in me has never waned or faltered. Even when I doubted myself and God’s call on my life, she did not. She never gave up hope in God’s plan for me and our family. And for that I am grateful beyond words.

I have walked with her along her paths of loneliness, which are especially hard for someone so extroverted. I’ve seen her despair of ever making friends, and I have seen her heart come alive as she plays hostess to wonderful companions in our home, friends far more amazing than we could have ever dreamed of having. We have walked healing paths together, and I have seen God’s hand at work in the awakening of her soul. We have walked patient paths together, reminding one another that it is God who leads us, not us who lead God. We may have run ahead, but he has waited for us. We have called out to him, and he has answered us.

The story of the first five years of our marriage is one of trial and error, of glory and chaos, of realized hope and hope deferred. We have learned when to talk and when to be silent. We have learned how to fight and how to forgive. We have learned that living with another human being to whom you are totally committed isn’t easy, but it’s well worth fighting for. Our story is a tale of exhausted joy and overwhelmed bliss. Every day there is a new lesson to learn, and an old one to relearn. We are not bored. We are very greatly loved.

Blessings come in many shapes and sizes. Ours have names. Cyrus. Eisley. Ezekiel. What wonderful children God has given us! Parenting is the ultimate humiliation, but I pray that these three beauties would find their place in our life and in this world, and that we can someday send them out with confidence that we have raised young men and a woman who know their names and the name of their God.

In some ways our life has been incredibly easy. Our children are healthy. We haven’t known infertility. In other ways our life has been very difficult, like one long trial full of wandering and waiting. But, just as the rain can be both a trial and a refreshment, I believe the early morning of our marriage is passing, and the sun is coming out from behind the gray clouds. I don’t know what lies in either the near or distant future, but I know that we will always walk these roads together. The journey, after all, is the destination, because the one with whom I travel is the one who feels most like home. Wherever God takes us we will always be at home with each other. I love you Breena Ra’cee. Here’s to a glorious mid morning!


Breena Holt said...

Thank you for your love, thank you for believing in me, thank you for being an amazing father to our children and thank you for sticking it out with me ;) I love you Andrew William!!
Your Beautiful One

Anonymous said...

Oh Andy, I hope I can find a husband like you one day. You're so sweet and encouraging, and you two are perfect for each other! I love you both.

rachelspiegel said...

Good stuff. Good stuff.

4thpoint said...

Congratulations as you celebrate God's faithfulness today!

I, too, have gaps in my memory of our wedding day nearly 11 years ago. But one thing I remember is how the weather was great for pictures in the morning. Our wedding was in the fall; that morning, the leaves on the trees were brilliant hues of orange and red and yellow, and they made a great background for our pictures. During the reception that evening, it began pouring rain, and the following morning, many of the leaves had fallen and were much less colourful. I thought at the time (and still think today) that it was less our good timing and more God's providence and blessing.

Continued providence and blessings to you, your wife, and your family. –Stanley

Karen Downing said...

Absolutely beautiful thoughts Andy. Congratulations on 5 very blessed years and many, many more.