* UPDATE, 3/12/09 * The embedded media player has been disabled because some silly people still use Internet Explorer and apparently it was playing the music all the time. You can download the mp3 here and listen to it with your own player. Sorry for the inconvenience! *
1833 days ago, I made the best decision I’ve ever made. On January 24, 2004, I proposed to the love of my life. I was astonished when she said ‘Yes.’
Come to think of it, she never actually did say ‘Yes,’ but she did hug me, so I took that as a good sign. Turns out I was right to assume she meant to say yes because she actually married me. By the grace of God, we were married that summer (June 19, 2004), after 5 excruciatingly long months of engagement and anticipation of taking my bride.
Tonight my bride is out of town with some of her friends on a mini-retreat of sorts. That leaves me at home alone listening to love songs and pining after her. Seriously.
In particular, ‘Astonished,’ by Kepano Green caught my attention tonight as I was finishing up the dishes. It tells the story of meeting a girl, falling in love–being amazed by love–and beginning a life together. That gave me pause to reflect back on the days when I first began to fall in love with my wife.
I think their word is ultimately suitable. I was ‘astonished.’ I remember that after each date, when I was driving home, I would think to myself, ‘How can this be real? How could God have blessed me with this amazing woman? Why in the world does she seem to like me too?’
After we’d been dating for about a month or two, I wrote her a poem. I never showed it to her until the night when I proposed, though, because it talked about us being married, beginning a family, and loving Christ together till old age. I waited to show her to protect her heart, but I knew from the outset that she was the one for me.
I don’t think it took Adam very long to figure out that Eve was his completion (Gen 2.22-23), and it didn’t take me long either. I know it doesn’t work that way for some people, but I knew as soon as I met Stacey that God had made her to be my glory (1 Cor 11.7).
Tonight, five years later, I remain astonished at no less than three things.
- I’m astonished that she still loves me.
- I’m astonished that I could let a love so extraordinary become ‘ordinary.’
- I’m astonished at the wisdom and mercy of God in giving her to me.
Time after time I have sinned against my bride. Over and over again some horrid sin has overtaken me, or some deep-rooted sinful heart idolatry has been exposed, and I’ve thought, ‘That’s it; she can’t possibly love me anymore. I’m absolutely unlovable.’ But every single time she has shown me love and forgiveness that I can’t justify or rationalize. Her love for me has been gospel-love: undeserved and overwhelming. It is enduring and steadfast and forgiving. I’m astonished she still loves me.
Days turn into weeks turn into months turn into years. As time goes past, the things that were once unexpected become expected. Things that were novel become mundane. I begin to expect things from her that I have no right expecting. I don’t know how, but somehow in my apathy, I get used to ‘being in love.’ The admonition I once found superfluous has now become a rebuke: ‘Rejoice in the wife of your youth’ (Prov 5.18). God forgive me for taking for granted a love that you have so graciously given.
Of all the lessons I have learned over the past five years since I have proposed, this may well be the one I’ve learned the most number of times: God made her for me. She is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. She is the one created to be at my side. She completes me. She is perfect for me. The wisdom of God in giving her to me is mind-blowing. The areas where she is strong compensate for my weaknesses; her few flaws are in areas where I can assist her, by God’s grace. And those areas where we are both weak have caused me to grow in my sanctification in ways that I never would have been motivated to, had God not given her to me. Day after day, year after year, I’m increasingly astonished at the wisdom of God in creating her to be the perfect partner for me.
Praise God for his grace! Tonight I’m praising him for my wife.
Click here to go to Kepano Green’s site and buy their CDs. Here are the words to their song ‘Astonished.’
Oh the first time I wrote your name on a paper, you were astonished
And we went down and ate by the sea and there you were astonished
When in so many words, I told you how my heart was yours
And me, the stranger, finding favour, there… in your eye
We watched stars and they crossed there in the sky, look there, well I was astonished
And you grew in my heart every night and I was astonished
So I wrote in the air how I was feeling, you wondered what I’d said
Though unaware we were beginning something that would never, never end
I have evidence framed in my room… there you stood so astonished
When I asked you to be with me soon, oh, you were astonished
And I promise you there, we were not dreaming, diamonds were on the sea
And we were aware that this was beginning something that was surely meant to be