Nine years ago this morning, I was up early, too nervous to sleep. I took my guitar out in the backyard, sat in the garden, and sang and prayed. I was praying for many things–that it wouldn’t rain, that the wedding would be beautiful, and that if I was marrying the wrong man, God would keep me from making a huge mistake.
Some people fall in love at first sight, and sunshine and rainbows follow them everywhere they walk. They live in a glowing confirmation of their love, marry, and are sure to live happily ever after. Our story was different. Falling in love was wonderful and glorious, but figuring out if we were meant to live the rest of our lives together was a roller coaster of confusion and clarity, starry eyes and the weighty conversations, heartbreak and forgiveness. There was real love there, but if it would be the kind that would last, only time would tell…
The ceremony was beautiful–in my Daddy’s garden. He married us, with many dear friends and family members there to witness the occasion. It was a morning wedding, simple in every way. We had coffee and brunch for our wedding reception. It was the most beautiful wedding I have ever had the pleasure to attend…
Nine years later, time has told a beautiful story about that day. From the day we were married, our commitment to love one another has been sure. I can tell you with unwavering certainty, that aside from giving my heart to Christ, marrying Randy has been the best decision I have ever made. The more people I know, the more marriages I see, the more I realize that he is rare in all the best ways. I would like to share with you, on this special day, some of the reasons that I love him so…
Here we go…
Randy is sweet. He is smart and funnier than anyone I know. He makes me laugh until I cry on a semi-regular basis… He is just quirky enough to be unforgettable and instantly lovable. He loves to learn new things and his life could be summarized by a timeline of his interests. I call them phases. A Randy Phase is categorized by 1) Discovering Something 2) Getting a stack of books about it at the library 3) In-depth internet research of the subject and 4) Having conversations about the subject with everyone he encounters. Some of his most long-lasting phases were The Beatles Phase, The Mozart Phase, The Miyazaki Phase, The Elvis Phase (and I quote… “Elvis is so awesome. You can have a conversation with anyone in the world about Elvis…”), The Kurosawa Phase, etc. We are currently in the Celtic Whistle Phase. As much as I may roll my eyes, I secretly love this about him, because he loves to learn.
He is brilliant. (Probably because of a lifetime of Phases…) He gets embarrassed when I say he is a genius, but there is no other way to describe it. He can pick up any instrument and figure out how to play it. His intuition about music is stunning. Watching him record this album, I am beginning to see the full spectrum of his musical abilities. Not only is he writing the songs, playing the songs on multiple interments, and personally recording the songs, but he is able to hear the entire orchestration in his head and know instinctively what is right. It is unbelievable. The impact he has made on my life, in this way, has made all the difference. I was playing piano and guitar, singing, and writing songs when I met Randy. But I did not become a musician until his example greatly influenced my life.
Randy loves God more than anyone I know. His love for Christ is genuine, because of how his life was transformed by His mercy. He was just a shadow until the Lord woke him up and gave him life. He lived through a lot of terrible things, but when he came through them, God gave him a new start. This is one of things that always drew me to him. He loves God more than he loves me.
I really did love Randy before we had children, but seeing him as a father has sealed the deal for me. He is the sweetest Daddy you can imagine. I have never seen a father take so much delight in his children. When Rosie was born, he was the one who was instinctively nurturing. I was in shock, in recovery-mode, exhausted and overwhelmed. Randy was calm, constant, ready at any moment to hold her, love her, care for her. He loved to hold her and would take every opportunity to do so. I have watched his love grow with each child that has been born into our family. His smile is so beautiful when he is with our children.
He has taught me to forgive. I was always afraid that I would be the kind of woman who gets more bitter, day by day, because I was never very good at letting old hurts go. But because of Randy, I have taken to heart the scripture about not letting the sun go down on my anger. We have an understanding not to go to bed angry. Randy will not let me stay mad, and he will not stay mad at me. He always leaves me with forgiveness, which brings so much peace into our home.
He is fun. You never know what he will do or say, what his next interest will be. His heart is young. He dances in the kitchen, he bursts into spontaneous song, he wants to stop everything and take a walk, he must have tea and chocolate, he takes every advantage of costume parties, he plays kickball with gusto, he brainstorms ideas for tv shows and cartoons, he listens to audiobooks, he enjoys life fully.
He takes care of us. I have seen him work harder the last four years than ever, relentlessly working on what God has put before him to do. He is driven to provide for us, also to pursue dreams that are important to our family. He lives by faith and has taught us to do the same. God only knows what kind of life we would have right now if we had listened only to common sense or to cultural conventions! God has always provided for our needs. We know what it is like to live in need, and what it is like to have plenty. We have begun to understand that it is possible to have peace in both circumstances. Randy’s faith in God goes deeper than I can explain. It is one of the things I love and respect most in him. His willingness to submit his will to the will of God for all of us.
Randy is the only man in the world, as far as I am concerned. I love his beard. I love all of the seasons of his face. I love his strength–body, soul, and spirit. I love his hands, and the curved-and-pointed line of his elbow. I have tried, time and again, to memorize his face. But there is too much there. He is the most beautiful creature I have ever seen.
Nine years later, I am sure that it was right. I am amazed at how much love can grow. And I am infinitely grateful to God for answering my prayers, giving me a man who is so easy to love.
There has only been one key
That could ever unlock me
There has only been one room
I have ever walked into
And knew I was home.