Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What I am Grateful For


Dear Dutch,

Remember this picture?

I don't recall taking it - but I must have - for I remember the moment well. We had been married two weeks; we were on our way to North Carolina; and the car had run out of gas in New Mexico, underneath a silver, cloud-patched sky. It truly was the best of times and the worst of times... as you and I know better than anyone. But I love this picture, I treasure it in fact, because it typifies the kind of person you are - the kind of person you will always be, I wager, if, as your father would say, "history is any indicator"... You are not, as you said when you saw it lying on the counter, "the kind of guy who would run out of gas," but one who perseveres when presented with an obstacle - one who will apply his energy and intellect toward solving the problem; and persisting even when it seems the problem cannot and will not be solved...

One thing you have taught me in the seven years since we married is that the obstacles in themselves are unimportant; or rather that they are important only so far as they teach us to depend on God. It truly isn't success or failure that matters; it is trust in Him. A very hard lesson for someone like me, who was always accustomed to measuring her value based on the perceived outcome she was able to achieve...

"Consider it all joy, my brothers," says James, "when you face trials of many kinds for the testing of your faith produces endurance...And let endurance have its perfect result that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." To be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. Now if that isn't a description of everything I long for I don't know what is... and contrary to my intuition, James tells me that I will gain perfection by first gaining endurance; and that I gain endurance by having my faith tested through various trials...

I have watched you in the face of trials, one after another, for years; we continue daily to face our own trials, jointly and separately. You are always telling me to swing for the fence. No matter what the stakes are, no matter how bad the odds, just keep showing up at the plate and giving it my best, paradoxically trusting that God will get me where He wants me to go no matter how hard or short I fall. And that is what I have watched you do, morning to night, every day since the day we wed. In the early years, just getting through the day was tough. But you did. And I can't help but think of Revelation when it says: "to him who overcomes will receive the crown of life."

We have been blessed far beyond what we deserve. And yet I know that we have many more trials to face together... but I am so grateful, on this Thanksgiving, that God given me you to face them with.

1 comment:

The Who said...

I love you two. Happy Thanksgiving to the two of you. I am so glad to know that that car ride 7 years ago landed you in our back garden (in a way) for a year full of friendship that would bloom far into the future. We are so grateful for you two!