Last night I realized that I have known you for eight years. Eight years! Right around this time, eight years ago, a mutual friend of ours sent you my phone number. You had come to our fall festival, interested in another girl. But she didn’t want anything to do with you. However, upon further consideration, you realized there was a much prettier and fantastic girl in the room (a.k.a. ME) *ahem* and not all hope was lost. Then you promptly chased me through the fellowship hall with a fly swatter. Love at first sight, I tell you. This is the stuff of romance.
My friend asked me after you left if I wanted her to text you my home phone number. I said no. She did it anyways and didn’t tell me. You called me later that night and asked me if I liked you. I was too embarrassed to answer, but I finally agreed to give you my answer and then hang up the phone. “YES” *click* You called right back laughing because you didn’t think I’d really hang up. This is the stuff of romance.
My dad asked me that night who I was talking to. “Don’t worry, Dad. It’s just some guy I met at church. I’m sure he’ll get bored with me after a month or so.” This is the stuff of romance.
About two months later, we were at the same mutual friend’s house for a New Year’s Eve bonfire. It was just me and you standing in front of the fire for a few minutes….everyone else had gone inside to get something to drink. Your Aunt called, and you told her that you were at a bonfire with your girlfriend. I pretended not to notice that you called me your girlfriend. After you hung up, you looked at me and said “It is alright that I call you my girlfriend, right?” I giggled and said yes. When you left to go home that night, you kissed me on the forehead and I think I may have almost passed out from the butterflies. This is the stuff of romance.
Within a few months of dating you, I knew I wanted to marry you. I was so certain that I even put it into my tenth grade English essay...which you know, definitely makes it a sure thing. “I hope I get to marry him, but if I don’t, then we will definitely stay best friends for the rest of our lives.” Luckily, I got the best of both worlds and married my best friend. I also made a 100 on my essay. This is the stuff of romance.
We’ve known each other for eight years. We’ve been together for seven of those eight years. We pulled all-nighters talking on the phone. I got in SOOOO much trouble when I finally got a cell phone and my parents saw just how many minutes I spent in one month talking to you. We broke up at six months for *gasp* one day. Then we broke up for *gasp* one day a month after that. We argued. We had the typical drama that only happens when you have two sixteen year olds “dating”. My parents didn’t let you drive me ANYWHERE until Homecoming. We thought we were so cool when we hopped into your mom’s truck and drove off. This is the stuff of romance.
Senior year was rough. We had a major fight. We broke up for ten months. We both entered into unhealthy relationships. I’ve spent much of my adulthood trying my best to forget everything that happened my senior year. But I can say one good thing came out of it: that first time you hugged me after I managed to get free of my ex-boyfriend was the best. thing. ever. I was quite damaged. We got back together. Then I left you for two months because I couldn’t figure out what was up and what was down. God did a major re-work in my heart, and I figured out that you truly were THE one for me. I never knew just how much I loved and appreciated you until I had lost you. We’ve been together ever since. This is the stuff of romance.
We got married when everyone else said we were too young. My own best friend later admitted that she thought it was a terrible idea. But our wedding day was the best day of my entire life, because I pledged to be yours for the rest of forever. We took two weeks for our honeymoon, and everyone laughed at us because apparently that was the longest honeymoon in the history of ever. But I don't care what they say, those two weeks hold some of the best memories for me. We came home flat broke, living in that crazy-awful trailer. I still have nightmares about the hot water running out after ten minutes, the ugly wallpaper, and that terrible time I had with the roaches. We struggled our way through college, through jobs we didn’t like, through three months of summer with no air conditioning (hell, I tell you), through ministry and through complete exhaustion. We adopted a cat. Then another cat. Then a puppy. The puppy was against our parents’ wishes because they thought we would get tired of him and try to bum him off on them. HA! Yea right, that puppy quickly became our fur-child…..who still tries to sleep in between us every night and has a fit when you try to hug or kiss me. This is the stuff of romance.
We’ve made plenty of mistakes. Fought plenty of unnecessary fights. We’ve battled through fourteen months of infertility. It has been the most heartbreaking time of our lives, and it still isn’t over yet. We’ve endured all of the medicines, doctor appointments, negative pregnancy tests, tears, and doubts. We’ve questioned everything that we thought God had planned for us. It has been a test of both our faith and our marriage, but so far we are walking through the fire and I know that eventually we will see the good in all of this. This is what we do. We relish the great times, and fight through the hard times. We cling to our Father when the road gets rocky and praise Him when the path is smooth. We stay faithful to Him and we stay faithful to each other. Because that is the stuff of romance.
Our story is not perfect, but it’s ours. And I’m thankful for the life I’ve lived with you. We are in that in-between stage right now. We haven’t had our first child yet. We’re still unsure about what we want to be when we grow-up. We still act more like teenagers than anything. Eight years ago seems like such a long time, but it really isn’t. But I’ve had the best time knowing you these past eight years. I’ve enjoyed learning about you and falling in love with who you are. You are strong, funny, smart, incredibly handsome, and a hard worker. And one day (hopefully soon) you’ll make an amazing dad. You are a man of great faith and dedication to His kingdom, and that is why I love you most. I still can’t believe I get to wake up next to you every morning….but I really wish you weren’t such a cover thief. This is the stuff of romance.
Trials will come. The road will not always be easy. We still have plenty of unnecessary arguments in our future. We are still battling infertility. But despite all of that, I will always love you. You are my best friend. You are my better half. You are my husband. You are wonderful. I love being your wife and being able to see you grow into such an amazing man of God. America and Hollywood, take note: this is the stuff of romance. It isn’t sleeping around. It isn’t divorce. It isn’t having an affair. It’s following God’s plan for a family: marriage. It’s unconditional love. It’s sticking with that person no matter what comes your way. It’s the joining of souls into one flesh. That is the stuff of romance.
To my best friend: Happy Eight Years of Knowing Me. I am certainly glad to have met you eight years ago. And I look forward to the many years of knowing you in our future.
“And the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” ~Mark 10:8