**Five years ago, I wrote the letter below to my husband for our 35th wedding anniversary. In a few short weeks, we will celebrate number 40. Wow. Where have the years gone? We’ve now been married nearly two-thirds of our lives. I still wouldn’t change a thing. I still love you, and I will love you forever.**
July 3, 2011
When I was a little girl, I dreamed–as little girls do–of one day being married. I thought it would be cool to be married to a military man; and then after the Lord saved me, I changed my focus and thought how cool it might be to be married to a preacher.
Well, thirty-five years ago on July 3, God combined both of those girlish thoughts into one person, and we stood before our pastors, families and friends and repeated our vows. I don’t really remember all that was said that day, do you? Still, it was a beautiful day, and the beginning of the best years of my life.
I’ve thought of so many things I’d like to say as we celebrate this day, but no matter what I do say, it can’t possibly ever reflect all that is in my heart. But let me try and put some of it in words.
We met on a blind date, but we both acknowledge that God arranged our meeting. Six weeks after we met, we were engaged, and five months after we were engaged, we were married. Kind of a whirlwind, but we just knew that we were supposed to be married, so why waste time?
I took my wedding dress out of the closet the other day, thinking I might just try it on. Guess what? It fit! …my leg. Seems we’ve both “grown” over the years, in more ways than one. Oh, well…Maybe for our 50th.
I’ve learned some things from you, too, over these last years:
I’ve learned to take a joke, to laugh at myself, to laugh at you—you are so funny!
I’ve learned that the best marriages don’t always have an easy road, but by holding tight to each other and trusting God, the rough road is easier to navigate.
I’ve learned that when one of us is having a bad day, the other is the strength that gets us through it.
I’ve learned that, even though you aggravate me to pieces because you take so long sometimes to make a decision, that you are carefully thinking through every angle, considering how to make the best decision for your family. And I have grown to appreciate and love you for that.
I’ve learned that life with the right person can be amazing—and fun!
I’ve learned that little girls should keep their dream alive of marrying their knight, because he does exist.
Thirty (now 34) of our married years have been in the pastoral ministry, and you have been my pastor.
I admire you because you love the Word of God and treat it with respect and are so careful with your teaching.
I’ve learned some Greek and Hebrew meanings, and have come to appreciate the richness and depth of the Word because of your teaching.
I love just sitting and discussing Bible stuff with you.
I am thankful that God brought us together. He gave us two beautiful children. We raised them in the faith and trusted God to help us be the best parents we could be. Now, we are doing our best to teach our (4) grandsons–three of whom call you dad–the same.
I’ve never wondered if you were coming home to me at the end of the day. I’ve never doubted your fidelity or your commitment.
In the words of the song:
“I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s perfectly imperfect. So crazy, but it’s worth it…. I’m truly, deeply, madly, completely devoted to you. Until my last breath, I’m yours. Something tells me even if I could, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
I love you.
Addendum: Now you are retired, and I will retire at the end of this year. We are moving into a whole new phase of life together, and I can’t wait! Let the adventures begin!