Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ten Years

It's just over a month ago now that college students and campus staff alike saw the end of the academic year, meetings slowed down and people on an academic calendar began to reflect on some of the bigger lessons of their year.  For me, this year feels particularly significant because of two things. One, it's now over ten years ago that I was in my final week of classes as an undergrad at Richmond. I was feeling that crazy mix of nostalgia, panic and impatience that plagues the seniors with whom I'm in contact every year.  I had a vague idea of what was next, at least for a few months, but beyond that I had no real idea what the future held.  It's now hard to remember not knowing what my twenties would look like! Two, it's ten years ago that my husband and I went on our first, albeit awkward, date. Ten years! I can still remember many of the specifics- the roommates convincing me to say "yes", the awkward front door interaction, Reed getting lost on the way to the coffee shop, my spectacular tripping episode while walking up the stairs at Palani Drive.  Ah yes, young love. 

Having a first date in the midst of so much transition and uncertainty was perhaps not the wisest I idea I've ever come up with.  I didn't know what I wanted out of life let alone whether I wanted anyone to share it with me. At that point in my life I was still really stubborn about men, still decidedly certain that marriage was not necessarily the path for me. Enter Reed. There wasn't this "starbursts and marble halls" moment, for those of you Anne of Green Gables fans, just this quiet, Godly man who wasn't afraid to be himself even if it meant our first few dates would be awkward. He didn't try to impress me or pretend he was some smooth talker, he was just, well, Reed.

Our courtship wasn't what you'd call a whirlwind. It was this slow learning process, playing football or basketball in the park, meeting each other's college and high school friends, learning the insanities and joys of our respective families, watching Office Space all the time as his time in the corporate world needed increasing doses of humor, the telling of childhood and college stories and those tentative moments of talking about the future (possibly together) that we hoped for.  We did have our romantic moments-running in the rain, hiking humpback rock, sweet and quiet dinners out, playing the guitar together at the gazebo on campus and, of course, his very well-orchestrated proposal involving trickery, way too many roses and a self-composed and well-performed song.

Now, on our eighth anniversary, I am so thankful for our story.  So thankful for the best friend that I made during those two years of dating and engagement and for the ways I have seen God work in both of us since we made those crazy and unkeepable promises to each other eight years ago. I didn't know what was ahead- the craziness of starting over in a new town, the joys of the sweetest little man on earth entering our family, the struggles with loss and infertility- but I knew he was the right man for me to share that journey with.  And so today, I'm deeply thankful. Thankful for 10 years of knowing Reed and 8 years of marriage to him, of learning to trust God when I'm a good wife and when I'm not, and so thankful that He has set this covenant relationship up in such a way that I can wake up each morning and confidently know that my husband is committed to God and to us and to our child.   

Happy Anniversary, Husband. Thanks for our life together. I can't wait to see what's next!

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