People who live selflessly and openly. People who are more concerned with others than themselves. People who are willing to go out of their way to help. People who are willing to take risks. People who love, share and give. People who brighten the darkness around us.
They are everyday heroes.
Ten years ago today, something remarkable happened. I stood at the alter of a church in Cordova, looking into the eyes of one of these everyday heroes, and made a lifetime commitment. We were young and in love, and as we stood at the alter that day, I knew I was marrying someone special.
Then, after the wedding and honeymoon, came life. Employment. Career. Mortgage. Children. Reality. Routine.
The magnitude and weight of that decision at the alter set in. 3,650 days worth of life has passed that I am able to replay in my mind. The laughs and the smiles. The tears and the fears. The highs and the lows.
I am able to trace them, all ten years worth, back to that one moment at the alter, standing hand in hand, young and in love. Making a decision that would define us for the rest of our lives.
As I look back on that moment ten years ago, through the lens of the life we’ve had so far, I am even more affirmed today in that decision than I was when I made it.
Over the past ten years we have seen a lot of life. We’ve celebrated some amazing moments and worked through some near-impossible challenges side by side. We’ve made some really great decisions, and we’ve made plenty of mistakes. We’ve welcomed new life into the world and then we’ve done it again.
Through it all, I have seen my bride, Michelle, walk through life with selflessness, grace, dignity, and integrity.
She really could have become anything that she wanted to be. She could have been a business professional or a medical professional. She could have been a model or an actress. She could have been a designer or an entrepreneur. With her charm, personality and drive there was no limit to what she could have been. But what she could have been has paled in comparison to what she has become.
She has become an amazing help-mate, and a loving mother.
Instead of career, she chose family. She has chosen to pour herself into us. From house making to home schooling…she gives from the moment she wakes up until the moment she falls asleep. Selflessly.
She invests in our children, in their upbringing, and in their education.
She invests in our ministry, my career and our future.
She gives, and gives, and gives, until it hurts. And then she gives some more. And she looks great while she is doing it!
She doesn’t understand the concept of ‘self’, because everything she does is for others.
She is, a hero among us. The world is a beautiful place to be because of her.
I am thankful for the decision I made ten years ago, and that commitment made in Cordova, Tennessee gets stronger every day.
We have had some incredibly joyous times together. Whether we were driving through a hurricane in order to not miss our Disney Cruise or turning a mundane trip to Kroger into a date, we have always made the most of our time together. It doesn’t really matter what we are doing, as long as we are doing it together.
This isn’t cliche. This isn’t some ‘love-sick puppy’ story.
This is life. Tragedy and triumph. Adversity and celebration. Pain and joy.
And I wouldn’t change who I am sharing life with in exchange for the whole world. I wouldn’t change her personality. I wouldn’t change her appearance. I wouldn’t change a single thing about her.
The girl I fell in love with and married ten years ago has just ‘ripened’ with age, and everything I loved about her then has been amplified today.
I am thankful for you Michelle. I am thankful for 10 years together. I am thankful that we get to spend the next 10 years together. I am thankful I can call you wife. Friend. Lover. Hero.
I love you.