Most of us have relationships from the past we'd rather forget. Today, however, I celebrate one I will always remember and hope to celebrate for a hundred years more. Eight years ago, Darin and I were married at the First Baptist Church of Joshua, TX.
Ours is a somewhat unconventional love story. I was playing catcher and he, running from third to home, thought that I wouldn't be able to catch the ball 'cause I was a girl. He was wrong.
It wasn't his love that bowled me over that afternoon, though; it was his 6' 10" frame that knocked me to the ground. As I turned to tag him out, his flailing* elbow made contact with my head, causing me to tumble down and drop the ball. After running the remaining 400 yards* to home plate to score the run for his team, he returned to where I lay, unconscious*, to make sure I was OK.
We actually didn't see one another again until a couple of years later, 1995, when he served as my supervisor on a summer missions program called Youth Led Revivals. I'd just graduated from college, planning to attend seminary that fall, and he, a fairly recent seminary grad was able to share some of his insight and experience with me. Those conversations sparked a friendship that has lasted more than 13 years.
That's why I smiled this morning when I saw todays' devotional passage: 1 Samuel 20. The story of David and Jonathan's pledge of faithful friendship. I'm so blessed to know that kind of commitment and love. One of those relationships of the past I'd rather forget was where I learned that a person I knew and the person he really was were two very different things. Following that experience, I prayed, asking God to allow me to someday marry my best friend - someone I really knew, because trust was so well established and character so fully revealed.
The Lord answered that prayer 5 years later (an eternity, it seemed) all the while developing and strengthening my friendship with Darin. Sure, there were and still are the normal surprises of marriage, but discovering that he was indeed trustworthy was not one of them.
So, to anyone, I'd say that marrying your best friend is the smartest, most secure way to do married life. And just like any valuable friendship, it must be fed with laughter and fun, time and attention, encouragement and reliance, respect and consideration, forgiveness and mercy, authenticity and vulnerability, candid openness and truth. I'm awfully glad God answered that prayer from 13 years ago the way he did.
Happy Anniversary, Darin. Thanks for the love and friendship. Thanks for allowing me to be me. Thanks for being you. I love all you are.
*Italicized words may be slight exaggerations. ;-)
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