While in college, at Texas A&M, I was a college boy running after everything the world said would make me happy - alcohol, women, pleasure, success, money, etc. None of it satisfied me. Some guys encouraged me to go back to church and I ended up going on a retreat. The first night of it changed my life because it was the first time I went to Confession in many years.
I met Jesus that night.
But, I also met my future wife, Kristy.
Kristy was a shy and beautiful girl from the Hill Country of Texas. We immediately hit it off, because she laughed at my cheesy jokes and I thought she was one of the sweetest and nicest persons I had ever met. We became friends.
At the time I was attracted to another girl I met at the retreat and she had a crush on a guy she met there too. After the retreat was over, we would call each other or meet for lunch and talk, but just as friends.
One night a large group was supposed to go out to a baseball game, dinner, and dancing. But, the forecast predicted rain, so only 4 people went to the game - Kristy, myself, and 2 friends who were dating. We had a blast. Later that night, about 40 of us went dancing and the only 2 that didn't show up were the girl I was interested in and the guy Kristy was interested in.
God knows what He is doing.
By the end of the night, Kristy and I knew our relationship was changing and some romantic feelings had started. The next night we had our first date.
2 years later, we got married right after graduation, and to be quite honest the first year was very hard on both of us. More than anything I had to learn to be a man.
Kristy was patient enough with me to allow me to learn the hard way.
Being a man meant I had to learn to love God, my wife, my children, my family, others, and THEN myself.
I am still learning this lesson every day and Kristy is still patient with me.
Last night I told her I thought she was not only beautiful, but the most beautiful woman in the world. In fact, I am repeatedly stunned by her beauty.
It isn't that I can't see the changes in her after 5 kids.
It isn't that I look past her faults.
It isn't that I believe she is perfect.
Rather, tt is what I see when I look at her with honest eyes:
- She is kind
- She is generous.
- She puts me and the kids first constantly.
- She sacrifices her own desires for others.
- She is compassionate for the people on the fringes of society.
- She is passionate about her faith.
- She finds time to check in with old friends.
- She reminds me that I do have feelings.
- She challenges me.
- She is prayerful.
- She is smart.
- She is honest.
- She is still sweet, but very tough where needed.
- She appreciates me.
- She is (quite literally) my better half.
- She smiles and tears up when I bring her flowers.
- She makes us stick to family traditions, even when I grunt through them.
- She is wise enough to stay away when I am grumpy in the morning.
- She says "yes" every time I ask her to rub my aching back.
- She loves me for who I am.
- She (somehow) really thinks I am kinda cute.
- She holds my hand and we walk together towards Jesus every day.
But, it isn't so much about what she does, but who she is.
- She is my wife.
- She is God's daughter.
- She is the most loving, beautiful, amazing, awe-inspiring woman to walk the earth (after Mary).
- She is my bride.
I love you Kristy. With all I my being.