I'm in Japan today, which is a bummer. The bummer isn't because I don't like Japan. The bummer is because I'm not with my wife.
Today, eight years ago, Stephanie and I were married. I couldn't tell you then what our marriage would mature into. I had no idea of the surprises, both good and hard that God providentially had in front of us. I had very little concept of how selfish and sinful I was towards others until I was married. I had no idea of how much grace and love could be shown to a fellow human until Steph showed it to me in our marriage. I had no idea of how much I need a companion, helper, and more than anything a best friend.
In some ways it is a little appropriate that we aren't able to be together today. It's a Divine reminder to me that God has created me for another. Without her I'm the dude that burns freezer pizza. I'm the guy that can't balance his checkbook. I'm the guy that doesn't know how to thoughtfully consider others (her) better than myself. I still don't know that one well, but I am trying to grow there.
Without Stephanie I don't have the foggiest idea of what it means to sacrificially love someone and to lay down my life for her sake. Again, I don't always practice those aspects of the gospel well, but without her I wouldn't have as good of a clue about them as I do now. So, in being apart from her today I'm reminded of how much the Lord has given me her. Second only to Christ, who is himself the greatest and best gift, Stephanie has been God's "great thing" for me.
I am thankful today for her, I wish I could be with her in Japan today but I am eager to be reunited with her at home. I am eager for what God has in store for us not only in this next year, but also for the next eight years and as long as Christ will give us life and breath here.
I love you Stephanie with all my heart!