Saturday, July 16, 2011

Love Letters

I recently posted a brief and somewhat anti-climactic post about our one year anniversary (which was June 27th, people!) and promised "more soon." My short post was in part because I can get overwhelmed with all I want to say about a certain thing and have no idea where to begin or how to organize things. So I thought I'd just jump in! I want to reflect on our marriage thus far by honoring the one person who has made it all happen: Jesus. If not for Him, we wouldn't be married. And I'm not exaggerating! It was Jesus who first brought us together, because it was Christ in me that Michael was attracted to from the very beginning- even before he was a Christian. And it was Jesus' love displayed so profoundly toward me through Michael's example that ultimately melted my heart and made me want to be his wife. And it is the Gospel that continues to fuel our marriage with grace and energy to "go out" to others and tell them this good news, even as a way of celebrating our one year anniversary! But I decided that rather than try and explain all of those things (at least, not right now!) I'll let some of our history speak for itself.

Here's a poem that Michael wrote me on our first official "date"- one year before he proposed.

A town has its names,
Names to signify recognition.
The Smiths, who are they?
Perhaps the big contributors;
Smith Library, Hospital, Arts Center.
They give a piece of themselves
For their name's sake.
My heart has its names.
Recognize their significance.
My love, who is she?
Perhaps a big contributor;
Her joy, diligence, love-
She gives herself
For His name's sake.

Here's some of a letter I wrote him while in Europe about 6 months before he proposed:

"...I'm so thankful for all God has done to bring us together (including the things that were against our will!) It just increases my love and trust for this God who knows infinitely better than we do...who lovingly cuts away the dead branches in our lives so that we can grow to our fullest and bear much fruit. I pray that we can continue giving ourselves more freely and fully to the loving hand of God in our lives, trusting that everything He prunes is for our good- and for a chance to know Him more deeply and walk with Him more closely.

...I pray that we can give our lives away because we have found life; that we can be poured out like water for love of Jesus. I also pray that we can do this together. I often thank God for the honor and blessing it is to have you in my life right now- a precious gift, an example of Christ- because of your love and servanthood toward me, your sacrifice for my good. You have taught me so much- not just intellectually but actually- about the love of God, and you have been one of the greatest instruments of healing in my life..."

And some of a letter he wrote me yesterday:

"...Your presence in our home brings energy that I can only say is Spirit-driven. You and your relationship with God inspire me to want something like that."

I'm thankful to God for writing this romance that doesn't center around Michael or me, but for giving us a marriage that brings both of us into greater admiration and affection for Christ. My prayer is that through our marriage, He will continue to make Himself known; that in our own home and to all who see us do life together,
the story of the Gospel will be lived out and seen as beautiful.

And just for good measure, here's the front of the card Michael gave me that had the oh-so-serious poem inside:

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