I still remember the very first time I saw you. You with your bouncy fro of curls, shouting loudly over a large group of people to try and garner the attention of the masses so that they would join your bible study over the rest of them.

Enthusiasm. Competitiveness. Joy. Immediately I noticed these things in you. You stood out in a crowd, because you wanted to.

Fast forward a year or so. Your hair is short, your clothes are new and oh so fancy. You are in a corner of the College Auditorium talking to a few students.

Intentional. Joyful. Handsome. Immediately I take notice. You blended in because you wanted to.

Never had I met someone who was so magnetic to me and yet from this time it would be almost a year later before you would walk me to my car and ask me out on our first official date. My heart and my mind swirling and being so thankful that my prayers had in fact been heard. Yes. Though we had been like magnets just swirling around one another for the past year, our love had finally connected at just the right moment.

Fast forward a year and we were engaged. Another 6 months. Married. And now, it’s seven years later.

Loving you has really always been easy. Yes. Marriage is hard because it is constant intentionality and dying to self and sometimes I just want to not have to communicate how sinful I am to you. But “loving you”, as Dave Barnes says, “is elementary. It’s easier than 1, 2, 3. And I passed school and so, consequentially, it’s coming so naturally.” I have always been surprised at how easy it is to do ‘us.’ Surprised and thankful, because I know that easy is not the case for all relationships. Even relationships centered around Christ aren’t always easy.

Again, easy doesn’t mean without work. It just means that I enjoy the work. I enjoy the coming home to you. We always said that our favorite part about marriage was that at the end of the day, we no longer have to go to a different house. We share one. And it’s a full one.

Three babies. Two that God has allowed us to hold in our arms. One that he is holding for us. Sorrow and Joy and God’s profound faithfulness.

We’ve traveled to many places and been in the middle of some great and some mundane. Beautiful and messy. Hard life. Real Life. And at the end of the day. Coming home and being home with you is my favorite place to be. You are my forever friend. Here’s to you. Here’s to us. Here’s to SEVEN years. Here’s to praying for at least 53 more.