Our mornings this year have been a little crazy. Matt wakes up first to go running. I get up and get my running clothes on, so that when he gets home I’m waiting in the kitchen to swap the arm band with him. Then, I’m out the door. While I’m gone, he gets his shower and does his priority time and, hopefully, doesn’t take all the hot water. (Good thing he’s first because I certainly would take all the hot water.) I get home and take my shower, usually while Lottie talks in her crib and Lydi sits in the bathroom with her cute bedhead giving me the full rundown of all she wants to do that day, and Matt heads out the door to work. All before 6:50 AM.
But all that craziness was worth it last Saturday when I watched Matt cross the finish line for his first half-marathon. I spotted his blue shirt and red shorts around the last curve, and I instinctively started jumping up and down. I’m not sure which one is sweeter, crossing the line yourself or watching someone you love do it. He had done it, and I was so proud of him.
In January, Matt chose his word for the year–perseverance. Not long after, I started praying Philippians 3:12 for him, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”
Recently, I left Matt a note on the bathroom mirror telling him how proud I was of him, not because of some number he had reached at work but because of the man he is every single day. I pray all the time that our girls will marry a man just like their daddy because I know if they marry a man with a fraction of his integrity, compassion and generosity they will be loved like Christ loves. I know because I’ve been loved like that.
Marriage is a lot like a marathon. It’s hard and grueling and sometimes you just want to give up and get a cheeseburger. But when you cross that line, you realize it’s worth it. Every mile. Every step. Every hill. Every drop of sweat. For you have taken hold of that which few others will–a marriage that not only makes you happy but holy. If the goal of everything in life is to shape me, mold me, make me more like Christ, marriage must be one of His greatest scalpels for every day parts of me are exposed that need to be cut away, reworked and pieced back together. Marriage is a long race with hills and dips and lots of asphalt. But we press on, for we know the finish line will be worth it.
Press on, Matt. And know that I’ll be beside you cheering you on, hand-in-hand, every step of the way. There’s no one I would rather run this race with than you.