“…and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” Mark 10:8 (NIV)
This month we celebrated 16 years of married life, 18 years since I first met my husband, Bill. In one sense, I feel like we’ve been married forever because of how closely we’re connected – a closeness that can only come from living life together. In another sense, it feels like we’re still in the honeymoon stage as I’m head over heels for the man I’m blessed to call my husband! I can honestly say I’m more in love with him today than I was when I looked into his eyes and said, “I do.”
Today we celebrate his birthday and I want to take the time to tell him how wonderful it’s been to share this journey called life with him leading the way. He’s been the leader of our house since day one…but he has always led with gentleness, never wavering in unconditional love and commitment. He’s a man of few words, but when he speaks, I know it will be something worth listening to.
Bill is the one who started our family on this writing journey back in 2011. One day in 2010 he asked me about my dreams/desires/passions. Nothing more was said until in January 2011 he presented me with tickets to a writer’s conference the following October. He had every excuse he knew I would think of already refuted and that was the beginning of our journey. He has unwaveringly supported, encouraged, listened, and offered opinions for the various projects that we have published together. His ideas are valued, his insight is priceless, and the books that are for sale wouldn’t be what they are today without his opinion and wisdom.
He has always supported me when I begin a sentence with, “Bill, I think God is telling me that we need to…” His usual response, “If God is speaking, then we need to listen.” Other times it’s him that comes to me, “Cheri, I think God is telling us we need to…” and then I’m quick to support what God has revealed to him. We are partners, through the good, bad and ugly, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
No one makes me smile quite as wide as he can with just one look. No one can make me laugh with one word that reminds me of a shared moment from years past. No one else can finish my sentence that began with, “I think…” so accurately.
Emergency room visits, 24 hour plus deliveries, late night feedings and night terrors, puppy training, potty training, adolescence and temper tantrums – I wouldn’t want to have shared these moments with anyone else. Sunset cruises around Lake Michigan, picnics in the living room on a snowy Sunday afternoon, bonfires in our backyard, family vacations cross country or two hours from home, building snowmen, raking leaves, and celebrating special holidays. I can’t imagine sharing those special moments with anyone else and I can’t wait to share the rest of my life and all the new adventures that God has planned for us together for many years to come.
Thank you, Bill, for asking me to be your wife back in 1998 and choosing to share all of life with me.
I thank God every day for the privilege of loving you.
© Cheri Swalwell 2015