marriage letters: seeing you come alive

Dear Eric,

My dad is a man of many hobbies and talents. From restoring an old car to planting a garden to riding dirt bikes to building bunk beds, my child-self was fascinated with the projects he could accomplish.

It’s not surprising that I married a man who is the same way.

Whether it is building a coffee table or installing new shifters on your bicycle or planning out our next camping spot, you’ve always got something new on the radar. Something else you want to accomplish or learn or start.

You come alive when you know you are capable of something. 

photo (2)I watched you last weekend as you competed in your first Cat 5 cycling race. I watched the detail and attention you paid to your bike as you prepared for the event. I watched you talk to other riders, seeking advice and tips to set you up for success. I watched your eyes, hard and determined, after you passed me on that first lap, pushing through after the crash that slowed you down – but didn’t stop you. I watched you finish strong, already thinking about the next race, since you now knew you were capable of competing.

You had proved yourself.

As someone who played competitive sports throughout my life, I remember the thrill of the moments before the whistle blows and the rushing adrenaline and the attention to detail and the pre-game rituals. The thrill of your efforts and training finally about to pay off.

You came alive in experiencing that thrill.

I have always known you to be someone who persevered, someone who refused to give up. That determination still shines through, and I hope you see yourself as capable.

The best part about a husband who dares and tries and does not shy away from challenges is that you want to involve me. You let me help you sand and stain that coffee table, even if you had to go back over my work. You ask for my hand when you replace brake pads on our car. You encourage me as I try to pedal hard up hills, helping me feel capable to keep up with you on the bike.

You come alive when you see that you are needed in this marriage – when I need you as a shoulder to cry on or advice on spiritual issues or someone to open the pickle jar. You spring to action (usually going to prayer first) when things are wrong, ready to prove yourself once again. Ready to prove this marriage.

And that proving gives me a sense of security that I never dreamed of.  Even when things are harder than expected, you have what it takes – for your hobbies and personal goals and, most importantly, for this marriage. 

And I love watching you come alive as you realize at the end of each day what you are capable of. I know God has equipped you with what it takes, and I believe in you.

Love,
me.

_______________________________

marriage letters logoOn the first Monday of every month, I’ll be writing a letter to participate with Amber Haines in the “Marriage Letters” series on her blog. Though it’s only been two years for us, I want to develop this practice of blessing my husband and our marriage. You should also check out Amber’s most recent marriage letter and the others that are linked up to her post.

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marriage letters: once upon a time

Dear Eric,

Once upon a time, there was a girl confident in how to handle every situation that came her way, except when it came to boys. I don’t know why you chose me as the object of your pursuit (especially when I turned you down for six months), but you did. Your persistence bothered me then, but now I know it is one of your best qualities.

Remember that November Night and the moonlit field? I don’t think we had even held hands yet, but I knew I wanted to be with you, and the feelings grew after that. We daydreamed of a life of ministry together, maybe seminary too, and I remember thinking that this was why we fit so perfectly together. My hopes and dreams for our future were wrapped up in the idea of where we thought our lives were headed.

Once upon a time, we got married in another November under a gray sky and gold leaves. I remember the autumn breeze toying with my hair and the way your eyes overflowed with tears. I remember how right it all felt, how safe.

People told us the first year of marriage would be the hardest, and I prepared myself for arguments and annoyances and slammed doors.

I didn’t expect the difficulty to be from outside forces instead.

I didn’t expect to both have jobs which were not only not “in ministry” as we planned, but jobs we didn’t like. The late nights you worked by lamplight while I curled in our bed missing you were not planned. I despised that your job was taking away your life.

Then you lost that job. We laid on our porch hammock in early spring, and you told me they didn’t need you to go back to work anymore. I could see the fear in your eyes, uncertain of what the future held and uncertain of how your new wife would react — so I kissed you.

And we prayed.

Jobs have since changed, and we have a faithful God who provides, but on this snowy morning we sit together at the kitchen table, and you are participating in a conference call about dog treats. I know that you are “in ministry “even when it comes to discussing chicken jerky, but I know your heart is not engaged in the way it was designed. Yet you are faithful to where you are right now, so you spout off facts about Facebook fans and new packaging shipments.

I bet you never planned to raise support while also working 45-50 hours a week in a corporate job. Even when we started this new journey, I never planned to break down this often, allowing my emotions and my fears to get the best of me. I never thought it would be this hard to get to where we wanted to be, where we thought God was calling us, even.

But you are persistent. You let me cry and you speak truth to my faltering heart. You are in it for the long haul – both with the fundraising and with me.

Just over two years in, I know more trials are ahead. I know we aren’t even done with today. But I have seen how adamantly you refuse to give up. And I won’t, either.

Love,
me.

_______________________________

On the first Monday of every month, I’ll be writing a letter to participate with Amber Haines in the “Marriage Letters” series on her blog. Though it’s only been two years for us, I want to develop this practice of blessing my husband and our marriage. You should also check out Amber’s most recent marriage letter and the others that are linked up to her post.