Monday, June 27, 2011

Another Anniversary

Beej came home Friday night with my some of my favorite flowers.

Saturday morning, we made a big breakfast and afterward, Beej was outside playing with Grace while I cleaned up a few dishes. I looked up and there they were, Grace on Beej's shoulders, waving to me through the window above the sink, enveloped in sunlight, obviously enjoying each other. And all of a sudden, my thoughts burst with memories of my dad and my heart flooded with another terrible longing to see him again, speak to him again, tell him I love him just one more time. It was just seeing Beej and Grace, knowing my dad did the same thing with me, with each of his children--delighting in us, spending time with us, loving us that struck me. And I cried...on our anniversary...a lot.

Beej kindly gave me a few minutes to myself while he took Grace to pick me up a special coffee. But before they took off, he handed me an envelope. It was a love letter, and it was beautiful.

"To my bride of six years ago today, 
Today is our wedding anniversary, and according to tradition, it is the anniversary of iron. The first anniversary is paper, the second cotton, the third leather, the fourth moves to silk, and as last year's gift of a redwood vase had shown, the fifth is wood. To me at least, the progression seems to move in a dance of the various characteristics and attributes of marriage: paper--thin but worth celebrating nonetheless; cotton--beginning to take shape in being knitted together but still permeable; leather--worth assembling a book of memories out of as the story starts to take shape; silk--romance rooted in four years of promises kept; wood--like a tree deepening its roots further in God, one another and family; and now iron...
Did you know iron is actually soft, but it can be significantly hardened by smelting it with something such as carbon? For instance, mixing carbon with iron can be up to 1000 times harder than pure iron. Why this scientific segue on iron in an anniversary letter? Because smelting must take place in high temperatures, and I think that is an appropriate metaphor to mark our sixth year of marriage.
I was thinking of the smelting process our marriage has been through--high temp sadness and high temp joys...all of this--this furnace of trials and blessings in marriage--over the years is producing a more ironclad relationship. 
But what truly makes our marriage strong--though not easy--and where the real smelting strength comes from, is in covenanting together to love each other forever in Christ and before our God. What makes our marriage and this anniversary of iron, 1000 times harder than pure iron, is not carbon, but Jesus....
He has never failed us once in anything that has occurred in our marriage, and he will never fail us as long as we live. I will fail and you will fail and the circumstances of life and other people will fail, but we will trust Jesus who never, ever does, and we will root our marriage in the never-failing, covenanted love that we promised and strive to live each and every day tethered to that magnificent vow....."
I sobbed my way through it--twice. Over the years Beej has written me many things, but as our marriage lengthens and life moves forward, and I think after losing my dad, all of life's little moments have so much more meaning. There is more to the letter, but that's about all of it that I want to share. Oh how I love my husband. Not because he's perfect, but because he is committed. To God first and to me, and I am so thankful for this.


Rachel said...

Thank you for sharing your heart- it made me cry. I love you. BJ has a gift with words.

The Fredricksons: Brian, Britney, Salty, and Jerry said...

That is so incredibly sweet. Several months ago, I decided to repurpose a few frames I had. I am not one of those who saves every card from every person, though my husband wishes I was. I just don't see the point. I only save the cards/letters that include a personal, special note. So without cutting them apart, I arranged a handful of cards and various love notes (be it a whole letter or just a scrap of paper) that I had saved over the years. Only a portion of each card is visible, but it was a great way to honor the words of love without keeping them buried in my drawer any longer. Those two frames, together with a framed version of 1 cor 13, make a great little wall art in our room. A reminder of the love we share, especially when we don't like each other :)

Kate Stockman said...

Thank you for your sweet comments! Britney, I too only save the cards with a special message. You're not the only one! :)

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