Today marks the anniversary of my marriage to the bride I wed 31 years ago.
Ours has been its own unique marriage, as any other marriage. My wife Debbie had her eyes on me when we were both in the same high school and church youth group, but I the male was on a deferred schedule. Her designs were wisely withheld from me and eventually, our timetables were sweetly synchronized.
The most beautiful girl in the world, however, did not have an interior to rival her exterior. Health problems surfaced within a year of the birth of our third and last child, and my wife proceeded to slowly worsen for over twenty-five years. We could write a book chronicling our trials and triumphs.
I am thankful for the wife God gave me. She has demonstrated grit and grace in the midst of mountains only faith has been able to move. Somehow, she has also managed to maintain a patient and tender spirit toward others, including me when I have been less patient and tender than I should have been. My life has been challenged and strengthened by my mate who countless times has felt her life to be less than fulfilled. Her dream was to be a blessing to me, and she is. She continues to fulfill her dream in ways she did not desire or seek. Nevertheless, I am blessed by my wife.
I am thankful for the path God chose for me. My Creator knew exactly what I needed, and I have experienced much as my wife and I have walked in the ways designated by the Ultimate Guide of Life. Many times were difficult, perhaps "bad" times in which I felt injustice and frustration, but my definitions of "good" and "bad" are incomplete and inadequate. The All-Knowing and All-Wise Good Shepherd who loves His sheep -- Who loves me -- brings no harm to those He loves. I am safe, secure, and strong when I joyfully allow God to work His good will in me and through me.
I am thankful for my life. I rejoice with the wife of my youth, as Solomon's Bible Proverb says; I am content with what I have, as the Apostle Paul wrote in the New Testament of the Bible. I treasure my children, who because of our circumstances are closer to me than most children are to their fathers.
Life's hardships actually have simple solutions, although those solutions can and do take time to see, depending on how long I wait to turn my eyes in the right direction. As self-centeredness recedes from the shores of my mind, selflessness replaces the fog that obscures and the lull that hinders with a light that clarifies and a zeal that fulfills.
On this anniversary day, I thank God for the precious wife He has given me, knowing that His grace that has sustained us and enriched us for over thirty years will continue to do so as we avail ourselves of His strength, peace, and love. I want no other life partner than the wife I have. I am just right for her, and she is just right for me. Thank you, Dear Lord, for leading me to my dear Debbie. May your hand be upon us both.