This early morning, again sleepless, I've been looking back through a huge library of photos we have taken in those four years and the family photos Gordon has scanned and remastered. I've not been able to pick out anything that can convey the roller coaster ride of these past four years.
And then it hit me. This current dough bowl project is a perfect visual representation of the best four years of my life.
They have been difficult, exhausting, emotionally draining four years, primarily because of external circumstances.
I've never felt as loved or protected or blessed as I have felt in these past four years. Gordon and I can, in hindsight, clearly see the positives that have come from each external problem we have had to face.
God is slowly carving away the junk we each brought into this marriage... the emotional baggage... the expectations that are not God's best for our life together.
We've cut a few new hurts in the past four years, but with each pass of God's chisel, we reach stronger hardwood.
There is still some decayed sapwood to be removed. There are still some deep cuts to carve out. This dough bowl (our marriage) has many hours (many years) of work still to be invested.
The grain of this cherry hardwood is tight and beautiful and strong.
With each problem we have faced, overcome or learned to live with, God has been making our marriage stronger... more beautiful.
Four years ago, I had no concept of how difficult was the task of growing a close, loving marriage.
Four years ago, I had no concept of how beautiful it is to love and be loved in this way.
Thank you, my dear husband, for your strength of character, your faith in God and in our future, your patience in helping take care of my mother and uncle, and above all, your steadfast love.