30 years ago today I was jumping from a railroad bridge into the Delaware river and riding a dirt bike. My friends were in town and we were celebrating. 30 years ago today, I was putting on a brown tuxedo for the very last time, with a cumber-bun! 30 years ago today it was 100+ degrees in eastern PA, I remember this well, because I was standing in an unconditioned church sweating from places that don’t normally sweat. 30 years ago today I said yes to the most beautiful bride. 30 years ago today, I did.
“I did” is the past tense of “I do”, right? I said,”I do.” “Do you Dan take Lynn whom you hold by the hand as your lawfully wedded wife?” “I do” began the ride of a lifetime. Other than the choice to surrender my life to Christ, not a single decision has affected and shaped my life more than the decision to marry Lynn. I can’t say that she’s my better half because I’m not really sure where she begins or when she ends. She is my best friend, my greatest encouragement, my most gracious critic, and my partner in ministry. She has been (and yes always will be, even though the last one just graduated) an amazing mother. She has shaped me more than she knows through her prayers and through her heart. I have a prayer shield made up of men from Calvary, but Lynn is my intercessor.
We have laughed together, feasted together, vacationed together and argued together. Once in a great while we have even exercised together. Together we have raised my four most favorite sons and daughters in the whole wide world; Yoshi, Snaker, Louby and Bear. This last week all four, plus Josiah who has been grafted into our family, were home for Josh’s graduation. I love the fact that they love each other and like being with each other. Do they fight? They fight well. They are perfecting the skills of teasing and annoying handed down to me from my father. And they still like being with each other. So much of the health and well-being of our family flows out of Lynn’s heart.
As I look back on 30 years worth of vacations, dinners, arguments, tears, laughter, back-to-school nights, games, dates, holidays, worship, Disney-trips, bills, late nights, broke-down cars, science projects, country projects, kid’s sleep-overs, mission trips, prayers, ministry discussions, sermon evaluations, hospital visits, long drives, practical jokes, lifegroup meetings, and discussions about our future, I can honestly say I wouldn’t trade-in a single year, (maybe a day or two, but probably not even a month). They have all been too good to miss.
Most of you who read this will know that, while I am writing this to celebrate and honor Lynn and our marriage…it’s mostly true with very little hyperbole. I have known her longer than I haven’t and I love her more than I imagined; more than I imagined I could on that day 30 years ago in an old unconditioned stone church… where I said, “I do.”