Thank you all!
This man – friend + brother + fiancé + husband – is my best friend for nearly 10 years, and the champion of my “best self” as well as exemplary in his own pursuit of HIS “best self” .. God’s grace has been inexplicably and awe-inspiringly amazing as he has LED us, has REVEALED himself to each of us, and we both cannot help but spontaneously burst into prayer from moment to moment – even as we see the “world” falling apart around us, our confidence in HIM grows day by day, and our commitment to walk side by side IN this life is louder than either of us thought possible. ❤
God has written a story, here, that both of us thought was only for the love stories in movies .. and it’s been at times a HARD road (we don’t sugar-coat it, “romance” is a LONG awaited prize for us BOTH, even INSIDE our friendship-come-love-story!), but oh so worth it. Even the fact that we have had to face “hard things” together in this past decade has only made us both stronger, more “at peace” (with, God-willing, more wisdom and maturity), more willing and ABLE to be a “safe place” for each other in the stepping forward for what we believe God is calling us to be and do, together.
To the extent you rejoice WITH us, thank you!
To the extent you “pity” either of us for “taking so long” – please do not! The “life” we have each lived has LED us to this point, and better prepared us than MOST married couples we’ve known over the years! 🙂
And to the extent that you may be in “awe” of the sweetness of the love we (at last!) enjoy, please know – REAL love is HARD won. We are always works in progress, but we have “built” on a solid foundation – both our committed FRIENDSHIP to one another, and the dependence we have on the GRACE of God to carry us from this to that .. Any real (merely human) “romance” isn’t easy, but it has BECOME a “fairy tale” by virtue of our longevity and always fighting FOR one another, and now “fighting alongside” one another. ❤ 🙂 ❤
As cliche as it may seem, 1 Corinthians 13 – in its ENTIRETY – is defining to us as a couple:
“1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” …. 🙂 ❤
We are aware of “when” we are in God’s timeline, we are expectant that these “last days” will bring both trouble, AND the sure confidence of Jesus’ soon return. In the meantime, we seek to be faithful, vigilant, and HOPEFUL, and “champion” one another in our life ahead. 😉 ❤