Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Saved the Best for Last



There’s been this little skip to my step this last week with this knowledge of something that only one other person can celebrate with me. Thursday, April 27th, the celebration happens – and John and I can rejoice that we have been married for ten years.

I remember so vividly coming back from our honeymoon, just as giddy as we could be with each other. When people would see us, they would congratulate us then give us that condescending smile, as if to say – “Ah, newlyweds – you just wait, and reality will hit”. John and I so wanted to just have a few months under our belt so people would stop acting that way.

Now, we have ten years under our belt – and worshiping with him at church on Sunday – clutching his arm, singing together, I can say we are closer than we’ve ever been. To the folks who gave us those condescending looks, - you don’t know anything!

In honor of this special day, I pulled out a very old journal and thought I would share with you some of my feelings towards this man before we even started dating. Just to give you a frame of reference, Lance and I had officially called off our engagement on October 31st, 1994 –

December 4, 1994
“Lord, you know the crush I’ve developed for John Riley – what a silly word for silly feelings, but, he is definitely on my mind. What encourages me most is his first love for You and how evident that is – Lord, I want to get to know him more, spend time with him, become his good friend. Father, I pray that he initiates a friendship – and any other desires or hopes can be met or sought through You.”

March 4, 1995
“Oh Lord, You know all of the thoughts and desires [about John] that have crossed my mind lately- and I confess – they are certainly not confined to friendship…..though that’s what I’m having everyone believe. Instead, my mind is racing ahead to a hopeful time when John would reveal his true feelings about me – and I could finally admit all that I have been dreaming about. Those thoughts certainly make me grin as only a dream come true could, but once again – this dream may never unfold…..”

I was going to spill forth more entries, but I thought they just might put you to sleep…. I get a kick out of them and have thoroughly enjoyed sharing all of my pre-dating secret feelings to John this week, but for you, I’ll try to make the long story short… The first entry was followed by many others praising him, then, followed by a depressing account of how he and one of my best friends started dating. The second entry was one of many encouraging entries following their break-up in which I consider our eventual relationship practically a “sure thing” – Only to be followed with more depressing accounts when “Tiffany” came into his life and they started dating. They broke up – John and I became super close friends again – and then one magical night, (July 19, 1995) – John finally WOKE UP and realized “he’d saved the best for last”*

There’s been no looking back for us. We both wanted marriage so bad – and had that “best friendship” going into it, the struggles for us have been shockingly minimal. Everybody’s story is different – I figure, John and I had three broken engagements between us to practice and then finally get it right. In response to my March 4th entry – Yes, it truly has been a dream come true…..

* That is the title of the Vanessa Williams song that just happened to be a huge hit at the time we were “becoming friends”. How many nights did I listen to this verse and wonder if it could ever happen to me…..?

“All of the nights you came to me, when some silly girl had set you free. You wondered how you’d make it through, I wondered what was wrong with you? Because how could you give your love to someone else, but share your dreams with me? Sometimes the very thing we’re looking for, is the one thing we can’t see….. But now, we’re standing face to face, isn’t this world a crazy place? Just when I thought our chance had passed, you’ve gone and saved the best for last.”

4 comments:

chele said...

Stephie-
You put brought me to tears and I don't have time for that this morning. What a beautiful tribute to a an exceptional marriage - we are so proud of you.
We love you both so much...
Congratulations!!!!

StephieAnne said...

Ah shucks, - thanks, sis.

Colie said...

Thanks for sharing! I can somewhat remember the time frame and small events that played out - although it was all stories coming from Chele. God is so good to us:-). It's so fun to see your beautiful family and what God created using the two of you.
Congratulations!

HollieHobbie said...

Happy Anniversary! 10 years??? I didn't realize you'd been together that long. This pic of John kinda reminds me of Ryan from the OC.