I will never forget our first date.
He nervously asked me to dance. Neither of us had ever slow danced before and we stood there awkwardly looking at each other. Our friend, John, yelled out across the room, "Hold her like Jesus would, Scottie!" and flashed his ornery smile. I miss that smile. John is now among angels and that moment became one of my favorite memories of him. I don't think he ever knew how much his words would mean to me all these years later.
As we danced, our friendship changed. He held me in his arms for the first time and yet it felt so familiar. In his innocent gentleness and quiet strength, I felt so safe and cherished. It felt like...home.
4 years later in a white pine forest, he asked me to be his wife. He slipped that ring on my finger, held my hands in his, and prayed over our new life together. With tears in our eyes we thanked God for giving us this gift of each other.
6 months passed and I became his bride. We danced to that same song again on our wedding day. Holding me in his arms...I was home. In our 13 years of marriage he has never stopped holding me like Jesus would. His unconditional love has carried me through the hardest moments. He has loved me when I least deserved it. He has loved me in spite of me. He is my comfort through the tears, my strength through my doubts and fears. My best friend when I have felt so alone. My protector, defender, and my biggest supporter.
I have watched him hold each of our babies with the same gentleness and unconditional love. It makes me fall in love with him all over again each time. And now we are just weeks away from meeting our 8th child. I know he will hold me through my labor pains and fears, speaking words of strength and peace.
I am so humbled that God would bring this man into my life. My first date, first love, first kiss...to be each other's one and only is truly a gift. This little love story of two high school sweethearts has grown into a family of 10. I can only imagine what God has planned for our family, for our children and the generations to come...and it all started when he asked me to dance.