To my precious Tiffani,
Today I choose to honor you, and our 26 married years together, with this open letter to the love of my life.
I momentarily struggled with the introduction of this letter – my heart wanting to call you by that name born of the intimacy formed by our intertwined hearts. But I realized that this name is the name that I speak lovingly as we share our private thoughts with one another… the name that I whisper passionately in the dark of night when we’re together in our sanctuary… “No”, I thought… The world need not know it, and my heart intends that you never hear it spoken by any other. This name shall remain exclusively for our enjoyment alone. For the sake of this writing, you shall be “my precious Tiffani.”
So many years ago, you asked me to set the wedding date, and for the next few days I gave serious thought to the question, “How can I set myself up so that I never forget my anniversary?” As silly as it may seem to some, I chose August 28, 1987, which would be my 21st birthday. I just figured, “How many people would forget their own birthday?” And for 26 years now, that logic has never let me down!!
And we can laugh at the humor in this – on the day when most guys are celebrating getting their first beer (legally), I was busy celebrating my brand-new wife! I definitely got the better deal! Even scripture says so…
James 1:17 says Every GOOD THING given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. Proverbs 18:22 says He who finds a wife finds a GOOD THING and obtains favor from the Lord. On August 28, 1987, even though I didn’t yet know Him, God gave me His GOOD and PERFECT gift for my life. I am sorry that it took me a few years to actually figure that out.
What strikes me now though, as I look back through the years, is how dramatically (AND how quickly) the focus of my heart changed from “my birthday’s coming!” to “my ANNIVERSARY is almost here! Oh yes!!”
Truth is, the celebrating of my birthday – adding yet another year’s worth of salt & pepper to my hair, and picking up a few more new aches & pains just isn’t all that exciting to me. I would go so far as to say, except for the sake of our kids, who still have that child-like wonder, it’s a non-event for me.
What IS exciting is knowing that when that day finally arrives each year, that I get to celebrate another year of doing life together with the one whom my heart loves! And THAT is worth looking forward to! I never want to end up like those couples whose life centers completely around their children. Then when the children are finally all gone, they look up at each other and think “WHO are YOU??” Yes, I absolutely love our children, and like to play with them and teach them about life, but I want that to include their mom too. When the last child moves out, I want to be able to take the hand – the very familiar hand – of my precious Tiffani and walk on into The Lord’s sunset with her, secure in the knowledge that I have loved and cared for the King’s daughter well.
You and I have walked through so many fires together – some brought on by you, many more by me, others were probably orchestrated by Satan, and some were simply the hands dealt us by life itself. Many of these fires were small and relatively easy to deal with. Some were much tougher, and a couple even came within millimeters of tearing us apart. (They even succeeded for almost a year.) But I give all praise, thanks and honor to Jesus Christ, our Lord & Savior, who walked with us in every painful step. HE is the reason I can write THIS letter today.
Today, I am honored and BLESSED to have you standing beside me in THIS marriage – the one you and I both started with, and God-willing, the one I intend to finish with. Thank you for standing with me for all these years. I simply couldn’t imagine being anywhere else, nor do I want to. YOU are my good and perfect gift.
I love you, Tiffani. Thank you for sharing this life with me.