Thanking the Maker~

“If it took Brother ten years to be sure you were the one, how did you finally convince him to say ‘I do’?”

As your sister asked the question, in my mind’s eye, I could see you sitting there in your spot by the fireplace, looking over your shoulder to the couch where we were sitting, with a smile on your face and a twinkle in your eye as your eye met mine.

“I didn’t convince him.  The Maker did.  I owe my life as Mrs. Sanchez to Him.  He’s the one who got my man in a “yes” mood.”

Then, I proceeded to tell her our story.

How, after 10 years of being your best friend, I longed to be your best helpmate.  How, after 10 years of being your girlfriend, I longed to be your wife. How, after 10 years of saying goodnight each night, I longed to say good morning, each morning.  How, after 10 years of hearing students address me as “Miss Mitchell” I longed to hear “Mrs. Sanchez” over and over, all day long. How after 10 years of being you and me, I longed to be “us”.

I was sure. So very sure.  But, you.  You had to be sure.  Marriage was sacred and holy.  Not to be entered into lightly.  Not to be exited out of once vows were spoken.

“Take all the time you need.” I had told you.  “After all, what’s another 10 years?!”

But, at night, when it was just the Lord and me, I prayed if this truly was a union made in Heaven, He would speak it to your heart.

“So, what happened?” your sister wanted to know.  “How did God convince him?”

Again, in my mind’s eye, I could see that so familiar smile on your face and twinkle in your eye, as I remembered the day my doorbell rang and I found you standing at my front door.

“Ok. Let’s do it.”

“What?”

“Get married. Let’s do it. What are we waiting on?”

“Really? Are you sure? We can wait until you’re sure. I don’t want you to feel any pressure to . . .”

But, before I could  finish what I was saying, you gently, and oh so tenderly kissed me.

“I want to marry you, Beautiful. YOU. No one else.  You. I know you are the one God has for me.”

Then, you proceeded to tell me your story.

How, driving in the mountains, with the windows down and the radio up, you were seeking God with all your heart.  How, spending time alone with God, you prayed for God to speak His plans for us loud and clear.  How, turning onto a little dirt road, with your heart listening for His answer, your tuned your radio to a different station with a stronger signal just as Alabama starting sing this song:

 

And, you knew.

The Maker said take her – and, you did.

And,  after 10 years of being Steve and Stacy, we became “us” –

The Maker Said Take Her~

Mr and Mrs. Steve Sanchez.

Only God could have convinced you to marry me.

And me,  I will forever be thankful to our Maker, for granting me the desire of my heart, to marry you, my handsome honey, and be your wife.

I would be more than happy to still be

standing by your side,

lying by your side,

praying by your side,

laughing by your side,

living by your side –

telling you goodnight, each night –

and good morning, each morning.

But, the very same Maker who told you to take me as your wife, has now taken you.

And while my heart longs for you back, how can I ever begin to argue with The Maker who gave me such a precious gift in you?

Through you, He has proven to me His ways are perfect. Perfectly perfect.

And in this – me, here without you, especially in this, I have to believe this to be true, and keep right on thanking the Maker who makes all things beautiful in His time.

Wishing I could thank you, too, Handsome. Wish I could thank you over and over again for listening to His voice and saying “I do”.

If only I could tell you. If only I could . . .

If Only I Could …

As soon as I step out the front door, I see it.

Big, bold, beautiful.

The first bloom on our hibiscus.

As soon as I see it, I whirl around and head straight for the front door, straight back inside to tell you. Only, as soon as my hand grasps the cold metal  of the doorknob, my heart grasps the cold, hard reality of your absence once more.

Tears spill down my cheeks and drop onto the welcome mat.

And, the longing of my heart spills out into words that aren’t merely running through my mind, but are tumbling out my mouth. Out loud. For anyone and everyone to hear.

“If only I could tell you!  If only I could run inside, grab your hand, and lead you outside to see this beautiful bloom! If only I could . . .”

Tears take over and all I can do, despite all I wish I could do, is cry.

Looking down at the welcome mat, this new place I find myself, here without you, feels anything but welcome.

And, if truth be told, without you sharing our address, sharing our kitchen, sharing our conversation, sharing our prayers, sharing our bed, and sharing “us”, I no longer feel welcome here either.

It’s as all that once was, no longer is.

Everything is new. Only none of the new I am experiencing is welcome here either. None of it.

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Except, maybe, the beautiful bloom on our hibiscus.

I  still remember the day you bought it for me.  That day, knowing how much I love these big, bold, beautiful blooms, you were the one heading straight for the front door, straight inside to grab my hand and lead me out to see the new “beautiful” you had bought for me.

“Look, Beautiful!  Just for you! And, look how beautiful!  Just like you!”

I loved it. And, I loved you all the more because of it.

As I stand in the doorway, half way in and half way out, I realize I have a choice to make.

I can let this moment steal the beauty of what now is by longing for what used to be, or I can let this moment stir up thanksgiving for the beauty you have left behind.

As new tears slowly make their way down my cheek, landing once again on the welcome mat, I choose to welcome this new bloom, this new beginning, this new moment into my life.

“Thank you, Handsome. Thank you, that even now, you are still making my heart smile, still starting my day in a beautiful way, still reminding me of your love, still leading me out to see the beautiful new thing God is doing here in this new place.”

If only I could tell you.  If only I could . . .