Dale and I were married 9 years ago today. On that day we were surrounded by such wonderful people - our family, more complete then than it is now as some have gone on to be with the Lord; some incredible, lifelong friends that stood by us; minsters that had an eternal impact on each of us; others in the crowd - friends, parents of friends, teachers, coaches.... all people who had given something of themselves to us and in doing so, had helped to shape us on some level. It was a great day and one I enjoyed and remember vividly, despite being told it would all be a blur.
I am so thankful for that day and all it represented. As we stood before God and friends, vowing to love each other for life, we felt blessed beyond words. We chose to end the ceremony by walking out to Stephen Curtis Chapman's song "Speechless". We had to have SCC there in some form in honor of Dale's admiration for him and his music (mine too, but his bordered on man-crush at the time). And he was busy that day, so he just sent us a recording. ;) Here's the lyrics to the chorus:
And I am Speechless
I'm astonished and amazed
I am silenced by your wondrous grace.
You have saved me
You have raised me from the grave.
And I am Speechless
In your presence now.
I'm astounded as I consider how
You have shown us a love that leaves us speechless.
At the time, it was appropriate as we had each experienced God's amazing love and grace in our lives and were so thankful for His salvation. And yet, He would do even more for us and give us each other. And I am so glad He gave me Dale for a husband! He loves me, balances me, makes me laugh, challenges me, serves me, inspires me, is the best Dad to our girls, is my best friend, makes me proud......
And I am still amazed by God's love and grace towards us. Together we've packed a lot into these years. It's been a never-ending adventure as we've lived in 4 states, with Tennessee getting the most attention. Although, we have left family and friends scattered in each of them. We left Texas - the true homeland :) - just 3 months after marrying, and passed through Alabama for our seminary years. Nashville quickly became our first real home together as we settled in, bought our first house, and began having children. Hannah and Kaitlyn have changed us forever, as only 2 sweet little girls can. And now we find ourselves starting again in Washington - a new home, new ministry, new friends.... and a new phase in our marriage as we learn even more about each other while trusting the same God who has been with us from the beginning. We have shared great joys and accomplishments as well as intense losses and disappointments.
And now we stand together in a place that holds a lot of uncertainty. But, what I am certain about is that I wouldn't want to be in this place with anyone else.