It has been three short years since Josh and I tied the knot... can you believe that? It truly feels like ten, and I mean that in a very good year. These have been three of the most fun, exciting, adventurous, intense, rewarding, non-stop, busy, fulfilling, and incredible years of my life and I cannot imagine living it with anyone else. Three years, two children, three states, two successful church plants- some people don't even do that in a lifetime! I feel so blessed by all of it.
I can still remember the excitement I felt when Josh first put that ring on my finger... you know... "the" ring. He proposed on an ordinary Thursday night because he told me that he could not wait to spend the rest of his ordinary days with me. As sweet as the sentiment was, I can honestly say that our days have been anything but ordinary. What we've seen, done, and experienced in those days since we got engaged and married is enough to fill a book. But that day was the start of it, and that ring was a symbol of things to come.
I remember how at first I could not stop looking at it. I would love when people would ask me to show it off or hear the story. The lighting in our church at the time was incredible for making that ring sparkle, so I can honestly say I heard very little of the messages since I was too busy admiring my bling. But three years later... it's just a part of me.
This ring represents so much more than just an eternal commitment to the man I love. It now carries a few years of great memories with it, and countless stories through our ups and (very few) downs. Although I'm pretty good at getting it cleaned up every six months, it is a bit more dull in places and on any given day may have remnants of play-dough in the prongs. Those added extras are simply reminders of the fact that my hands have gotten dirty as we've planted a church together... we rolled up our sleeves and put in the work side-by-side as partners. I have also worn it as I literally played in the dirt with our rambunctious two-year-old and dunked my hands in soapy water to bathe our babies. And it the very few times that I have taken off for one reason or another, there is a definite absence that I can feel and do not enjoy. My left ring finger is not right when it's bare. It is meant to carry that symbol... of our love, our vows... but mostly our story.
I hope that I can someday pass down these rings to a child or a grandchild, either for themselves or for a an intended spouse. By that point I also hope that they are even more "broken in" and have a few more dings and dents in them, because that would be the result of a few more decades of this life with my love. We never know how much time we have on this earth, but I am thankful for each and every one that I spend with him. My life is so much better with him in it and I am such a better version of myself than I've ever been.
So Josh, thank you for these past few years. Thank you for your encouragement and constant reminder that I can do anything and be anything that I want as long as I put in the work. Thank you for loving me and our kids unconditionally and for showing us every day. Thank you for working harder than any person I've ever met to make sure our present and future is the best it can be. But most of all, thank you for picking me. Thank you for asking me. And thank you for letting me wear this ring everyday. It just keeps getting better and better and I look forward to what is to come.
Forever and ever...