I met my wife Terri in high school. She was a sophomore and I was a senior. She was the shy, studious, academic type (all the qualities that endeared me to her). On the other hand, I was more of the underachiever, do-only-what-I-have-to-do-in-order-to-graduate kind of guy. I can remember the first time we met. Her older sister introduced us to each other. I was hooked. Game. Set. Match. After our first date on a Friday night, I went to school on Monday morning and said to her sister, “I am going to marry your sister one day.” She laughed at me. I am not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet, but I got that one right. Originally, we planned to be married two weeks earlier. However, my unit deployment to California was extended and the Marine Corps did not share my enthusiasm about my upcoming wedding nuptials. I had to call Terri and tell her that I would not be home on time. Let’s just say that “not happy” should about cover it. So, our wedding date was pushed back two weeks. I love her for the fact that she did not care that our wedding glasses and napkins had the wrong date on them. The marriage was more important to her than the ceremony. I appreciated that then and I appreciate that even more now twenty years later.
I remember our wedding day very well. It took place at 3:00 in the afternoon in a small country church, Grace Baptist Church. It rained. No, I take that back, it poured. I was nervous. I don’t know why. I was absolutely certain I was doing the right thing. I was absolutely certain I was marrying the right person. I am still certain of those things. My wedding pictures reflect the fact that I was nervous. As Terri entered the back doors of the church and make her way down the aisle, everything seemed right in the world. She was beautiful (still is) and I was so proud to be the one standing at the altar with her. Since then, life has moved us in many directions between the military and the ministry. There have been many challenges and bumps along the way. The Lord has blessed us with a son who is the joy of our lives. Through all of the ups and downs, the good and the bad, the sickness and the health, I love Terri more today than I did on that rainy Florida day back in October of 1992. So, on this our 20th wedding anniversary, I want to share the top 20 reasons why I love my wife.
1. I love my wife because she gets me. She lets me be me. She understands who I am and loves me anyway. I am not perfect and it is not easy being married to a pastor.
2. I love my wife because she does not mind sharing me with others. People and places in the ministry demand my time and attention. Terri is not threatened by this reality.
3. I love my wife because she knew I was called to the ministry before I did.
4. I love my wife because she is a good Christian woman. She loves the Lord and seeks Him daily. She prays for me and I can tell it.
5. I love my wife because she leaves notes for me. Whenever I travel, I often find notes of love and encouragement scattered among my clothes.
6. I love my wife because she is a terrific mother. She loves our son Jordan and has sacrificed a great deal for him.
7. I love my wife because she watches college football with me. She is becoming quite the Florida State fan.
8. I love my wife because she tells me that she loves me. Often.
9. I love my wife because she loves to hold hands. Her hand fits perfectly into mine. It is as if God made it that way.
10. I love my wife because she is Jordan’s mother.
11. I love my wife because she still wants to have “date nights”.
12. I love my wife because her family is very important to her.
13. I love my wife because she has saved every letter that I have written to her over the past 20 years, including those high school “locker notes”. I think that is very cool.
14. I love my wife because she makes sure that I match before I leave the house. This is very important. She has perfected the phrase, “You’re not going to wear that are you?” Until they make Garanimals for adults, I’ll need her for this.
15. I love my wife because she is patient and a good listener, not only for me, but for others as well. I love the fact that she can be trusted to keep the confidence of others. That is a beautiful thing to me.
16. I love my wife because she tolerates, and at times enables, my ever-worsening book addiction.
17. I love my wife because I am more comfortable, stable, and confident when she is in the same room with me.
18. I love my wife because she shares my weakness for a really good cheeseburger.
19. I love my wife because she shares my love for the Marine Corps. We both know it was a defining time in our lives.
20. I love my wife because she misses me when I am gone. Even if it is just to the store. How do I know? She tells me.
Happy Anniversary Terri. I love you with all of my heart.