I saw this boy when I was 18, newly in college, and I noticed him first for his stride--everywhere he walked, he walked with purpose--head forward, moving fast, on a mission. Then I noticed he was better dressed than any of us at that basketball game, and that he was flocked by friends. Then he looked at me, and I noticed those blue eyes, and that was pretty much the end of me.
A few days later we met, and while driving down the Tennessee back roads on the way to explore a cave with a group of people I didn't know, I heard him talk about his first Love, Jesus, and that was pretty much the beginning of us.
Looking back, I can't quite believe I even went with him on the caving expedition--I am scared of everything creepy and am highly claustrophobic. You'd never catch me in a cave now. But I went, even with a large group of people I didn't know, because somewhere deep inside me I knew I needed to get out of my shyness and meet some people before I curled up and died of homesickness. What I didn't know is that I'd meet my husband, and that for the rest of my days, I'd be smack dab in the middle of a party, always surrounded by people, music, noise, laughter, and everything else that he loves. What I didn't know is that he would be the end of my homesickness, because he would become my home.
Going caving was a good decision.
Today he's 37, and we don't crawl around in caves anymore. We've grown up, and now I'd never get in a car with people I didn't know. I do responsible things like pay the bills and eat greens and change the air filters in the furnace. I don't stay out all night in a cave, lighting candles to put in the crevices, and reading Psalms while people I don't know strum their slightly-damp guitars and sing praise songs.
But that night, I did, and I'm so glad. Today he's older, but that purposeful stride hasn't changed, he's still always surrounded by friends and music and noise and laughter, and his passion for Jesus hasn't wavered. He's still one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Happy Thirty Seven.
(That's us shortly after we married, wearing the backpacks. It was been quite a journey ever since!)