Thursday, July 29, 2010

4 years

I love this guy. More than I love anyone else on this earth. When I met him, he was nothing like he is now...inside or out. He has become the greatest testament of God's faithfulness in my own life as I have watched God shape him into an amazing man in just 7 short years. I KNOW that God has BIG plans to use him in BIG ways...because of how much God has changed him!

We have the best love story, too. I met him in a hallway outside of our french class on the first day of class...he had long, curly hair, a leather coat, earings...and smelled like a carton of cigarettes! He asked me what time it was...and then cooly walked across the hall, squatted down beside me so I could see that he was reading a very thick book about philosophy (oh so very impressive, smart boy!!!)...and I remember arrogantly rolling my eyes at this. But I followed him to the back row of the class where I, now cooly, let another girl sit one desk between us (so as not to be too obvious). And that's where it all began. On that very first day, as we flirted back and forth between the teacher's introductions, she actually picked on us and said that several couples had met in her french class (the language of love)...and later married! we'd better watch out---and she pointed directly to Rich and I. I blushed. He said "yeah right"...

Yeah. Right.

I loved him from the beginning, I think. She paired us up to practice our french speaking. He asked me if I was an idealist or a realist("Est-ce que une idealiste ou une realiste?"), and I stopped to give that some thought. I found myself to be a happy, positive person for the most part...but also down-to-earth, or at least I boasted... :) I answered that I was a little of both. In french, of course. He narrowed it down for me: "Well, do you believe there is a god???" ..."Absolutely!" (or "absolutement!" as the french might say...)...and he concluded, alas, that I was surely an idealist. I remember thinking that he appeared awfully intelligent to have come to this end, about God, I mean...and it was this conflict that drew me in. Hook, line, and sinker.

He appeared so big and strong and handsome and happy and put-together. But all of my experiences with him proved him to feel small and weak and insecure and sad and a total mess of a human being! I appeared confident and carefree and content, but he found me to be needy and lonely and looking for someone to love me. It was perfect. His life, his choices and experiences had led him down a dark, lonely road...a broken road, if you will...straight to me! My life was the opposite. Very nurturing, full of God's love. I knew the answer to what he needed. And he was the kindest person I have ever abounding with love- so free to give it...exactly what I needed!

I bought him a Bible. I wrote him a letter in it (that is in my jewelry box to this day)...and I said, "I dare you to read this book! It WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. It is the answer you are looking for." And what can I say? He's a dare-devil. He read. And read. And read. Pretty soon, I noticed he'd stopped cursing all the time. Then at all. He dropped drugs like a bad habit...ha, ha! He asked lots of questions....and then one night, sitting on a boardwalk on a beach in Charleston, SC---he told me that he'd knelt beside his bed a few nights earlier and cried out to "Whoever" might be out there...and told Him (praise HIM!!!!) that if He was really out there, he wanted to know Him. He wanted to change. And that was the beginning. Of the end. For me. He proposed to me on that same beach just 3 years later...

So from french french an English-American baby! In 7 years. 7 glorious years wrought with much laughter, some tears, and more love than I ever dreamed my heart could feel. I L-O-V-E my Englishman more than words can tell, and so I will just try to show him over this lifetime.

Rich, (aka "french boy")... you are my rock. You know this oh so well. I am your soft place to fall...and I love it that way. I love your kind heart best. I love your easy-going nature. I love when you laugh so hard your face turns red and your eyes water...that's the best! I love just being with you...doing nothing can be so fun. I love the way you look at Shaelyn Jade, like she hung the moon. She sees it too! I love your faith in God- and love for Him...and commitment to follow Him wherever He leads...our family. I love your very tender heart for the less fortunate, and I feel He may lead us closer to them someday. I love the way your big huge arms wrap around me when I am scared or insecure and make me feel like the whole world went away...just like that.
I have loved you from the first day...sometimes better than others. I am way more committed today to our marriage than I ever was on Mom and Dad's front porch 4 years ago. To God be the glory! It's been a journey---so fun and full of joy...and I can't wait for the next 4...and 4...and 4 more! We know, don't we, that God brought us together, from two separate continents and two separate worlds to make a difference for Him? Because we are better together, than apart. Always have been. We complete each other! :) I am so excited to see what He has in store for us. Serving Him. With a housefull of kiddos! It just keeps getting better and better!!!

As we have always said, "It's you and me, baby...'til the wheels fall off!"

Yours, forever...

Dane (aka "french girl")


  1. Man oh man...I just lost it!! Total tears on my keyboard! So SWEET! Happy Anniversary!
    Oh and by the look amazing in your wedding pictures!

  2. yes, but did you talk about whether you liked cats and dogs? ate green beans?? these are the real things to be discussed in french...

  3. Ok, totally crying after reading this....I love you and your wonderful hubby! I love his story...every time I read it, it gets better....I have chill bumps....GOD IS SO GOOD!!

  4. LOVE THIS! I remember y'alls wedding! Such a wonderful day. Love y'all!