"We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet... I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things... all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness'."
- Shall We Dance
Tomorrow is our first anniversary.
Last year at about this time, I was laying in my bed for more than an hour trying to fall asleep. My heart beat with anticipation for the following day when I would officially begin my new life as Shawn William Newby's wife.
The day I had longed for for years was truly perfect. More than anything, it was abundantly worshipful. I don't know if I've ever experienced the fullness of worship as I did that night. It was such a fitting way to set the tone for our marriage. And yet when we said goodbye to our family and friends and drove off into our first year of marriage, we had absolutely no idea what it would hold.
You, my love, have been my rock through it all. You have cared for me through intense physical struggles this year. You've cooked dinners when I was too sick to stand up and calmed me down during panic attacks. You've treated me like a princess, carrying me to bed each night and making my tea just the way I like it. Not only that, but you've tended to my emotional and spiritual needs as well, knowing when I need time alone with the Lord and encouraging me to seek it. You have been a patient friend to me and listened to my heart, even if what comes out isn't pretty. You've shown me grace like I've never deserved.
You have exhibited an unmoving faith, trusting the Lord to provide for us each and every day. I am so thankful for a husband who knows he's not in charge and isn't afraid to ask the Lord for help.
I love that you love the Word and can't go a day without it. I love that you pray with me and for me, just as you promised you would. Your passion for Jesus is contagious, Shawn. You are a bright light in this very dark world.
So 364 days into this marriage, I am deeper in love with you than I've ever been. I remember praying for you in high school and college, thinking I already knew who you were (and oh, I was so wrong). I would write you letters and pray that you were waiting for me as I was waiting for you. Little did I know how God was preparing us in intricately detailed ways to spend life with each other. He even had you listening to my mom's singing in Germany long before I knew you! That is no coincidence. He created each of us to be insatiably creative, passionately driven, and adventurous. And yet He balanced us perfectly so we make an amazing team. You are the leader God knew I needed.
As I write this, I can see you sleeping on the other side of the room. No words that I write could ever do you justice or accurately describe my love for you. You have loved me so well this year and sacrificed so much on my behalf. I'm the luckiest girl to get to walk with you through this adventurous life that we have just begun.
You are the one I waited for, and I am so thankful I did. I'm praying for at least another 50 anniversaries to celebrate with you.
I love you,