At 5:00pm on August 12, 1978 in Amherst, NY I married my husband Dw. We had dated a little over 2 years. I was so in love with him! He was my best friend. Thirty years later I am more in love with this precious man than I could ever have imagined possible. He is my soulmate and confidant and he is definitely MY HERO!
Thirty years later.....I still gleefully anticipate seeing him and I still burst into smile when he comes into view. When my cell phone rings his ringtone plays, "I just called to say 'I love you' " and my heart leaps. I can't wait to talk to him at any chance that we can snag even a few minutes throughout the day. Dw hears my heart and understands me better than anyone ever has. As God has continued to knit our hearts, dreams and goals together, we cannot help but stand in awe at how abundantly blessed we are.
We have lots of fun together too. We do crazy things in our home. I often tell the kids and Dw that "We have so much fun - it probably is illegal." We also have a rule for the friends of our kids..."What happens at the Saunders home, stays at the Saunders home." Our kids know that we are madly in love with each other and yes, we let it show. Our Abigail was home recently and blogged on her spot that "My parents are so in love and 30 years later they still have the hots for each other." =)
We laugh hysterically together. I am reminded of recently when we laid in bed laughing so hard I thought the kids would come to see what was wrong. We laughed until our sides were hurting.
Probably one of the things I love most about this handsome best friend of mine is how he helped me walk through my painful past. We had been married about 7 years when I began to have repressed memories surface of my molestation. I had been molested as a little girl for many years and had totally repressed any recollection of it all. It was a devastating time in my life! But God had, in His miraculous grace, allowed me to marry a man who would tenderly help me walk through all the painful memories, thoughts and feelings. Dw was such a comfort and encouragement, far beyond what most men are normally capable of.
Dw was an attorney back then and there were times when the Holy Spirit would prompt him that I was having an especially hard time and needed to talk to him. Dw would ask the judge for a recess and run to the pay phone. Sure enough I was at home praying that God would have Dw call and the phone would ring. He would comfort me and pray with me before heading back to the courtroom. The Lord was the ultimate healer of my past, but He definitely used Dw to minister to me through it. I now can speak publicly about the overcoming power of Almighty God to heal the painful memories of sexual abuse. Hundreds have heard my story and have been ministered to through it.
Dw loves our kids and is the best daddy I could ever imagine. He is a father to many others' kids as well. There are several kids at church, without a dad, who call him "dad". Katie, for instance is our Autumn's close friend. Her mom is a single mom and Katie has never met her dad. She was talking to us about it one day, not long after we moved here 4+ years ago and Dw told her, "I will be your dad, if you want." That was that and I will never forget walking down Main Street a short time later and hearing a young voice screaming, "Dad! Dad!" and looking to see Katie hanging out of her mom's car calling and waving with great enthusiasm to her Dad! It was precious!
Last month when Dw was in Africa ministering to the young African men involved in ministry there he asked a question..."How many of you grew up knowing your father?" Not one hand raised. Dw's heart was broken for these young men. He said, "Well I will be your father." He now gets emails from these young African leaders and they start with things like, "Dear Dad"....and end with "I love you Daddy".
Yes, this man of mine is truly my hero!
On the flip side, life is not perfect! We have to work hard at our marriage, because even though we get along so well and have so much fun together, it still needs to be nurtured and tended to. We have spent 30 years investing in our marriage and we have very good returns!
So tomorrow as we celebrate God's bringing us together I want to honor this man of God, my humble tender hearted husband and soulmate of 30 years....oh how truly blessed I am!