In November of 2010 I was selected for a team that would go on a mission trip to the Philippines the following summer. I knew a couple of the people on that team before the roster was announced, but there were a couple of people I had not met. The day that the team was announced, I met those people. One of them, Sam, would become a good friend. The other, Nicole, would become my wife.
We began dating shortly after returning from the Philippines, were engaged a year later, and got married the year after that. Today, August 3, marks 3 years of marriage for us. I have not been married long enough to write one of those, “Here’s what I have learned from marriage” posts. I feel like that’s one of those 20th anniversary kinds of posts. However, I do want to take a moment to honor my best friend on this special occasion.
There is a lot I could say about her. I could write about all of the reasons I admire her. Her beauty. Her hard work. Her dedication. Her kindness. The way that she keeps the details of our lives in order (my lack of organization would ruin us if she wasn’t on top of it all). Her faith in Christ and commitment to Him. The list goes on and on.
As I look back on another year together, I am thankful that she is my wife for a lot of reasons. But there is one reason that stands out today. It is one that I have this year that I didn’t have last year.
I am thankful for her because she is the best mother I could ever imagine for our son.
I suppose I imagined things would go well when we had kids. I knew that the qualities I mentioned above would make her a good mother. Over the last six months, I have discovered that I didn’t have a clue how right I was about her. She is a wonderful mother. She is a beautiful person who glows when she is holding our son. She works so hard to make sure that he is taken care of and is dedicated to giving him more than he needs. Her kindness is magnified by the way that she gently interacts with him and meets his needs. The diaper bag is always ready to go, bottles are always filled, and his therapy and doctor’s appointments are always on the calendar.
Her faith in Christ and commitment to Him have been demonstrated anew as well. Jude’s entrance into the world was not what we would call ideal. There were many moments of uncertainty for us as he spent his first 44 days in the hospital. That season was physically and emotionally draining. It was sad. It was frustrating. Through it all, she was strong, determined, and dependent upon the One who she knew was able.
Parenthood hasn’t gone exactly how I imagined it would. Nonetheless, I am beyond grateful that I get to navigate it with Nicole by my side. 3 years ago, when we said our vows and exchanged our rings, I knew that I was a very blessed man. Today, as I look back, I have a much better understanding of how blessed I truly am.
Happy anniversary, Nicole. I love you.