I can hardly fathom the passing of time.
When you’re 20, you feel like the whole world is laid out before you. The end isn’t even in sight. You’re eager to grow and experience all the nuances of life. Impatience pushes you towards your goals. You find “the one” and then you want the other ones – the job, the house, the kids. You long for life to move forward.
Then you’re staring 40 in the face. And suddenly you want time to go backwards. At the very least slow down to a measured stillness. You just want to catch your breath.
I’m not sure if it’s age or wisdom, but at some point the switch flips and you find yourself wondering … where did the days go?
My beloved turns 40 today. 20 years together, 15 married, nearly 12 as parents – that’s half our lives next to each other. A treasure that I am well aware many never have the opportunity to dig through.
The beginning is so small and sweet. Before you know it you’re busy doing life and you forget to treasure the little moments. Time speeds by and you’re pressed to recall the intricacies – the seconds that turn into hours that form days in the years that number a lifetime.
Today, memories bloom one at a time – like the etching of a timeline. Our history.
He stood in the window of our high school pre-calculus class while I sat outside trying to figure out some math-baffling-project. I was angry and annoyed and I’m pretty sure I said pre-Jesus mean things. I didn’t like him. One. Single. Bit.
But he stuck around.
In college he drove me into L.A. to visit the Getty Museum for a school project. He hated every moment, but he pretended he didn’t. I fell asleep on his shoulder on the drive home and it’s safe to say he liked it.
He grew to become one of my best friends.
I laid on my bed, phone pressed to my ear, frustrated he wouldn’t tell me who the girl was he liked. I had pestered him for weeks, in person, over our hour-long evening phone calls, over dinners and movie nights. I would help him snag her, after all. I bolted up when he said “she” was me.
That was the hinge moment – every moment in our future was altered because of that one.
My best friend asked me on a date (it might have taken two months). There were first kisses, the stirrings of love, the flutter of excitement that came with being near. There were silly fights and dumb arguments and we grew up in those fleeting moments that seemed like they’d last forever.
Months later, through tears and a broken heart he would walk away from me, choosing first the God I swore I would never believe in. The God who brought me a boy to bring me to Him.
The boy who literally gave me eternity. The same boy who broke up with me then asked if we could still “be friends who kissed.” :)
I shudder to think what my life would look like without that young man’s courage. When we reunited months later, I returned to him richer, redeemed, with a Savior. He was and still is my hero – he saved my life.
A life built on God, love, and family – marked by beautiful milestones. Dreams that those kids couldn’t have begun to imagine would come true, trials and heartache we could not have foreseen, and a sweet, satisfying happiness that settled us into the daily rhythms of life.
A blink. A snapshot. A cluster of moments.
Moments that play out on a highlight reel paced by time that comes more quickly. Never have I been more determined to savor the days, to run the race, fixed and focused – fearless. I’ve watched them pass by. I’ve seen the unexpected steal opportunity and time. I know how fragile, tender, and precious these days are.
Today, we stop and celebrate.
And tomorrow we move forward with faith, with hope.
We ask, plead even, that God will grant us more days, bigger dreams, unfulfilled promises, the lengthening of our timeline, the memories we have yet to make.
That the boy who laced his fingers through mine, in a dark theater on our first date, will hold my hand and lead me to the dance floor on our son’s wedding day.
That the nervous guy who told me (not asked) that he wanted to kiss me as we sat in his truck in my parent’s driveway will kiss me again when we welcome our first grandchild.
That the man, the husband, the father who has provided completely, loved unselfishly, infuriated and frustrated second-to-none, who made me laugh then, and still does today, will keep me in stitches through our porch-sitting, rocking-chair-days.
We pray that God would grant us more of everything. Together.
That together we would treasure, cherish, and resolve to not take for granted that which is not promised. That the love that was small and sweet, then turned rich and deep, will continue to grow and render this most sacred bond unbreakable.
We pray that time would be on our side and God would number our days long and lengthy.
To my love, my very best friend, the guy who is going to read this and say, “this stuff happened?” … Happy Birthday.
Here is to eternity.