Let me take you back hun…not just back to August 11th 2007 when we made it official and I married the most beautiful woman on earth. Not back to 2006 when I got my first big time corporate America job plus signing bonus and thought I had really made it. Not back to 2004 when I pledged Alpha Phi Alpha and had the greatest probate ever…featuring my super awesome 20 year old abs. Sure those highlights are great but I want to go back a bit further….circa 1995.
This goes back to my earliest memory of you. To set the stage of my 6th grade experience, I was what some might call ‘uncool’. Glasses, Duckhead polos, LA Gears, & tight fitting jeans (I like to think I was just ahead of the times there). It’s safe to say I didn’t fully understand ‘swag’ or geometry at the time much less women. However, I do distinctly remember a beautiful, brown skin girl that had the sweetest spirit about her…and I was immediately hooked. From that moment on I knew you were the one. That was where our highlight started to develop.
It’s like the gritty defensive rebound that sets up the full court length pass for the Sportcenter Top 10 slam dunk. Not a pretty play, and not even necessarily a meaningful play in isolation because let’s face it some rebounds are just that – rebounds that result in nothing spectacular. Just like most childhood crushes blow over and are forgotten. But when the basketball gods line up just right – the end result is something magical…a beautiful highlight. From that time in the sixth grade, we progressed from strangers, to friends, to girlfriend and boyfriend, to newlyweds, and now into a pretty seasoned married couple. At the same time, we grew from kids, to crazy teenagers, to hardworking college students, to young professionals, to new parents, and now find ourselves being role models for others.
That’s the thing I love most about our story. We’ve grown so much together. We pretty much were there for the shaky starts, the awkward transition stages, and now are getting to see a more refined picture of who we’re ultimately destined to be. I believe that context gives us a unique perspective to be able to understand that we are not perfect and because we didn’t enter each other’s lives at some magical age when you’re supposed to ‘have it all together’, that unrealistic expectation can be put to bed between us.
Through all of the ups and downs, there has been one constant…that we have never given up on each other or on us. Even though we are relatively young, we’ve already seen each other through so many phases, I feel confident that whatever the future throws at us we’ll be able to adapt and take it in stride, just like we’ve had to do so many times before. At the end of the day I believe that marriages only survive when 2 people are committed to making it work no matter what the world throws at them. But even beyond that, I want ours to be a relationship that not only survives, I want us to thrive.
To do that – we can’t just float along in this marriage. We have to be intentional. Making a daily conscious effort to put each other first and do the little things that make relationships tick. I am thankful to the Lord for his grace and the patience that he gave you to bear with me during the times when I forgot to put you first and do the little things.
So I’ll close with this…I still don’t have all the answers (and I never will) but I’m adjusting my approach to our relationship . Instead of attempting to solve things on my own or holding things in – I will look to God as my guide for every step and look to you as my helpmate. Essentially all of the issues we’ve encountered in the past honestly were due to me not trusting God or you as I sought to fulfill the duties that a husband should.
I’m glad God gave me the vision to recognize the gift he gave me back in 1995. To recognize what that girl I first saw in the hallways of Sanders Elementary school could mean to my future. To have that rebound seemingly just fall into my hands. The setup is there, and I know we are poised for another highlight and I can’t wait to experience it with you.
I love you always,