I’m sitting here staring at my best friend, the man I chose to marry nearly nine years ago. When I first met Tim, we were teenagers and I barely noticed him. He was my good friend’s younger brother. Over the years we got closer and the summer before I moved to NYC for college, we started dating. It only lasted a few months and we went our separate ways. The years that followed had us weaving in and out of each others lives, a friendship ebbing and flowing as time drove it, until one day I looked up and really saw him, maybe for the first time and I realized how special he was to me. If you ask Tim, he will probably tell you that he loved me from the start, and I wish I had caught on sooner, but God’s timing isn’t mine.
Tim proposed to me on bended knee on the Brooklyn Bridge during a torrential downpour. The rain was streaming down our faces, our clothes soaked from all the water. Lighting was flashing and the wind was fierce. And the moment was perfect.
A few months later we were married. Two and a half years later we welcomed C into our little family. Having kids does a strange thing to your marriage. In some ways it draws you closer together, a new life completely dependent on you both and it is marvelous. But in many ways it pushes you apart. When your children are very little, sleep is like a vapor and before long you are running on catnaps and caffeine. Your body is pushed further and further on fewer resources and before you know it, you are drifting away, each of you clinging to passing debris, trying to stay above water.
The thrill of early romance fades away, and while you see glimmers of the person you married, you also see flaws and annoyances and they see them in you as well. And while choosing to love your spouse was second nature at “I do” it is more of a necessity as time goes on. And maybe that is why so many marriages end. Not that people become lazy, but they become disenchanted, having been told all their lives that there is a Happily Ever After if they just find the right person. If they can just find the person that will make them complete. But no one can fill that hole and it is disingenuous to expect another flawed and incomplete individual to do so. That is too much burden for any one person.
So while Tim does not and never will complete me, he is my right person and he always has been. These past two weeks have reminded me of that. I look in his eyes and I see the man I married, the man that gave me butterflies in my stomach and I couldn’t wait to hold. He is the same man that has held my hand through this horrible situation. He has cared for me with such gentleness and kindness. He has walked along beside me and helped to carry this burden. In the first few days he held me as I cried, helped me in and out of bed and made sure all of my needs were attended to. He provided stability and love for our children. He worked tirelessly so that I wouldn’t have to. All the while coming to terms with his own grief and disappointment.
So in the midst of this special kind of horrible, I’m seeing a glimmer of God’s purpose- a stronger marriage and a tighter bond. A reminder that I married a good man, an honest man, a godly man.
Tim’s my best friend. And that’s a beautiful thing.