Today would have been our 5 year anniversary, I had no idea when we talked about forever together that it would only mean 4 earthly years.
We never had an opportunity to go to dinner on our anniversary that I remember, every year on that date you were serving at elementary camp pouring eternal truth into 5th grade boys. I always would pack you a bunch of love notes, scriptures, and prayers to read since you didn’t usually have phone service so we could talk.On the one year camp was cancelled, we couldn’t go out because something with our three babies came up. I was looking forward to my favorite thing, time alone with you.
We never were able to go on that big trip we talked about doing, just the two of us. We were saving up for it with my extra money from singing and it never happened. Oh, how I wish I had the pictures and memories of you all to myself for a whole week.
We only had 6 months in our marriage where my body wasn’t growing a baby or nourishing a baby. You gladly shared me, encouraged me, and served me throughout the transitions!
We never got to go on a walk as a family of five. Peyton was asking to go on a family walk the other day and I just couldn’t do it by myself. It still just hurts so badly that we were never able to do that. We usually do that in the fall, and you were with Jesus before we had an opportunity to do that with our newly added baby. I miss that time with you.
We never had that “easy season of life” we always dreamed would someday arrive. Through stressful jobs, crazy long hours, three hard pregnancies, and three babies that didn’t sleep good we were living in Crazyville USA. We dreamed of the day when life would slow down and get in a rhythm.
We never got that precious girl with your gorgeous blue eyes and my curly blonde hair. Our sweet Layla Noel. I never got to see you interact with your baby girl, and see your heart melt and see you pretend to have tea parties with her. We talked about it often and dreamed of it, I will always wonder what that would have been like.
We never got to renew our vows when were were old, rock on the front porch and talk about our grandkids, and talk about the “good ole days of diapers and messes.”
We never got to see our boys face light up when they told us they found the One to marry, the girl we have prayed for before they were even born. We never got to watch them become tall godly men like their daddy.
We never got to see our boys come to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ as we had prayed for a thousand times. You planted many seeds, baby, and I am doing my best to water them even through tears.
We never were able to start doing all that marriage mentoring we had dreamed about doing when we were the “older couple.” We had so many ideas of ways to encourage, support, and invest in marriages which in turn invest in family. We wanted to give back where we were so generously blessed.
I never got to see you lose all your hair like we always teased about. I used to tell you all the time what a super hot old man you were going to be. You always teased that you would be a cranky old man and I would reply that I wouldn’t let you.
But we did have…………..
Trials after trials that tested our faith and made us stronger. Our marriage was deeper and more intimate than anything I could imagine because it wasn’t easy. We fell to our knees together, we wept together and God gave us strength and grace to walk through each hardship we faced.
You served me and loved me. You held my hair while I threw up with all day sickness in my pregnancies and would say, “thank you for doing this for our family, you are so beautiful to me”.
You whispered, “You can do this” during labor and were my greatest encourager. Even if I did say “brush your teeth, I can smell that Krystals burger.” haha
You held me and our babies and prayed over us and committed each life to the Lord. And each time you did, I fell more in love with you. In fact, when most people think they loved the deepest was their wedding day, that was the day I loved you the least in our marriage. It grew deeper each and every day, and through each moment where we had to CHOSE each other and the Lord.
You struggled, I struggled, we struggled together. We found victory in surrender and learned that life wasn’t about the destination but honoring the Lord in the journey.
Every year we did marriage “tune ups” whether it was counseling or marriage mentorship, it was valuable and nourishing for us. We made this a priority. This year I miss that, I miss you, and miss working on that together. I am just so glad that we were given the gift of marriage in the first place.
We learned more about the Lord and each other through dying to ourselves. You once told me that God told you that “a dead man has no expectations” and God was telling you to die to yourself and expectations. It was SO challenging for me to hear that. I will never forget that amazing word you spoke to me through tears. Thank you for for challenging me to die to myself and live for the Lord.
One day I told you my biggest annoyance in marriage was the way you snooze your alarm every day waking the whole house over and over and you said for you, it was the way I loaded the dishwasher. You called yourself the quality control manager in our house, our dishwasher misses that and I miss it too.
After 4 years of marriage, I would gaze at you and think, “I can’t believe God gave him to me!!!”One occasion, an older lady came up to us after a party and commented that she had never seen a couple look more affectionately at each other in the midst of hustling kids around. That was a gift I cherish, I am so glad she took the time to share that. I am so glad our love was obvious.
You were proud of me, you loved me, and always said you couldn’t believe you got me. I felt the same way about you. A perfect match. A love story written by God. I remember several times people commenting to us wanting to have 6 kids and I would say, “when your husband is that good looking and amazing, you want as many minis as you can of that.”
One day right before you went to be with the Lord you came home from a bad day at work and told me that you always loved coming home to us. You said you felt valued, loved, respected and needed here. I will never forget that. I am so glad you knew how valued and cherished you were.
Our marriage was FAR from easy, it wasn’t perfect. There were times that life was busy and intentionality and communication didn’t happen. And there was grace. Lots of grace for the crazy season we lived. Thank you for being faithful to us throughout.
We were looking and waiting for relief from the stress and exhaustion. You are living that, and I am jealous. I long for the day that ALL things will be made new and restored. Where my heart will be whole and my longing fulfilled.
We never wanted to be famous, we just wanted to be found faithful. I know when you arrived in heaven God told you “well done my good and faithful servant.” You were faithful in the little and faithful in the much.
You fulfilled your vows in every way and for that I am grateful!
I, Patrick, commit to a lifelong Covenant with you, Brittany, for the purpose of serving Christ together. Through life’s joys and trials, present and future, I promise to faithfully love, lead and protect you, as Christ does his church, until God takes me Home.
I, Brittany, commit to a lifelong Covenant with you, Patrick. I promise my faithfulness to you through life’s pleasures and its pressures, now and in the future; that our marriage may be an act of worship to Jesus until God takes me Home.
We commit to the sacred covenant of marriage as defined in God’s Word for His glory.
You were my first hand hold, my first kiss, my first love, and God blew me away with how He answered prayers through the form of you. I will choose to always be thankful for you and not complain about the time I didn’t have with you. The season, although short, was one I will cherish and rejoice in always. Thank you for being mine, if only for a short time……I will love you deeply for life!
I will do my best to do you good not evil ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE! (Proverbs 31:12)
Until Eternity joins us again, I will cherish the memory of you, baby!
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