Ten years ago, two weeks after walking across the graduation aisle, I stood at the altar waiting while my beautiful bride walked down the wedding aisle to Brian Mcknight’s Love of My Life. It was, and still is, the happiest moment of my life. Not many people are fortunate enough to find a lifelong partner, particularly at such an young age, so everyday I recognize that we have been blessed with the gift of our relationship. A culmination of almost 4 years of dating throughout college, but if you ask me, I knew fairly quickly that she was the one for me. And I’ll tell you what sealed the deal then, and still does to this day: we each saw the best in each other, and we’ve been willing to grow together, embracing the changes along the way.
Early on, we both realized that despite our similarities of growing up with shared faith experiences, similar values, and common aspirations of success for our families, we we both very different. I’m probably one of the more boring people you’ll meet in terms of my habits, I do the same things, eat the same things, like to visit the same places, etc. Familiarity, Discipline and Consistency are core values of mine. Samantha likes to try new things, she’s adventurous (she moved south for college without any friends or family, whereas I ventured all of 2 hours away to a city where I already had a base). Samantha is naturally empathetic in a way that completely disarms and endears people to her, that’s what makes her such a great nurse practitioner. Her patients always remember her, and most importantly to them, she always remembers them (meanwhile, I can’t remember names at all). She cares about the little things, the stuff that makes a house a home. I remember in our first 3 months of marriage, I had to travel to Houston for new teacher training for 5 weeks. When I came back to our apartment for the first time, not only was it furnished, but decorated with all the perfect little touches that only comes from someone who notices the details. She keeps me in the present, focused on being in the moment. I may always have a camera in my hand, or journal nearby to capture the moment, but often she encourages me to put them aside to participate in the moment as well.
There’s a great biblical principle that describes how I feel about our marriage: It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps. (Ecclesiastes 4). I mentioned earlier that we each see our relationship not only as a gift for us to enjoy as we grow, but also a gift to be shared. Early on, we committed to being a model, both for friends of ours who needed examples, and also for others who we’ve been fortunate enough to share. But it’s at this time that I’d also like to recognize the many models we’ve had of our own. Many of them have come from the parents of our closest friends, seeing the successful families they produced made us want to learn from them. So thank you Mr. and Mrs Ward, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd, Mr. and Mrs. Simms, Mr. and Mrs. Link, Mr. and Mrs. Mosely, Mr. and Mrs. Hurley, Mr. and Mrs. Stevens, to my aunt and uncle Ronald and Serita Acker, to my wife’s aunt and uncle, and so many more couples who have mentored us and encouraged us along the way with simply their model of sustaining.
People ask us from time to time what our secret is, and there’s no secret. Just grace. Grace from each other, grace from God. Each day has to be a clean slate, a fresh commitment to growing together, and accepting the other person right where they are, and believing the best in each other, and watching as they develop into their unique potential-because that’s really the fun part of the relationship (it’s also the point). There’s no time to get bored with each other when you’re busy growing together. #truth
So happy anniversary bae, and here’s to many more. #TheWakefieldCampaign