29 years. I’ve known her for 29 years…plus a month or two. I’ve known her longer than I haven’t. 29 out of 48 years. We lived across the square from each other in Township East, Bethel College. Let’s see… first memories. We met in the shower. (Waterfight.) She fell for me big time. (Literally. Taylor’s Falls State Park. Think traction, blood, etc.) Our first date was a double date. (Except she was my room mate’s date, and her room mate was my date. Before the date ended, we had switched.) Her paying job at Bethel was making chocolate chip cookies, every once in a while she would bring me one.
Middle memories. Wedding (Hottest day on the planet.) Sarah’s birth. (Wow you screamed, that was scary.) When the search committee from First Baptist in Grove City came to help us move to our first church. (They came with a Cattle Trailer instead of a U-Haul. Somewhat clean, but smelly. You were such a gracious champ.) Katy’s birth (Bedrest.) Practical jokes in Grove City. (With Good friends.) Jake’s birth. (First boy.)
Later Middle memories. The move to State College stopping in Dubois at the Burger King with Tim and Tracy to eat. (Why I remember that I have no idea.) Josh’s birth. (The sexes even out.) Vacations to Orlando. Hurricane Dennis in the Outer Banks. Hawaii with the kids…and without the kids. Family mission trips to Estonia and Myanmar. Graduations.
I could go on and on. She has seen me at my best — in fact she and God have been most responsible for me at my best. She has seen me at my less than best… and loved me in both. We have walked through really good times and some times that were more difficult. But when I look back on 26 years I can’t imagine missing a single one of them. I haven’t just known her longer than I haven’t, I’ve loved her longer than I haven’t.
– I have loved watching her grow in her relationship with God. She inspires and motivates me in that.
– I have loved watching her be a mom. She has poured so much good and God into our kids.
– I have loved watching her discover who God has created her to be, and how God has created her to serve. She does it in a one-on-one kind of way, but I have a suspicion that when we get to heaven, God will show us that the mark she left on the world, out-marked mine.
– I have loved having fun with her. There is no one I would rather laugh with, vacation with, serve with, or take a long drive with…
I’ve loved her longer than I haven’t and I’m looking forward to loving her longer than I have. Here’s to the next 26 years…God-willing.