When I was 13 years old I met the man of my dreams. He wasn’t yet a man, he was a 14-year-old horny, arrogant, self-absorbed boy. But I didn’t see any of that. All I saw was his smile and the way that his mom loved him. The first time that he put his arms around me in the woods under the night sky was the first time that I ever felt safe. I felt a lot of other things, but that isn’t something that I will ever put in print.
We were kids. Dumb kids. But we connected somehow. It wasn’t just one of those teen crushes that is meaningless. I know this because 17 years after the last time I saw him as a child that arrogant self-absorbed boy came home from Iraq and he wasn’t any of those things anymore.
I sat in the airport with my suitcase full of clothes and liquor waiting for his plane to land. I was texting Candie to try to keep calm. My hands were shaking and my heart was beating so fast, I thought I might pass out. I had no idea what he would really be like, if he would be as cool as he sounded on the phone or if he would even really like me once he realized that no matter how hot he thought I was now, I was still a nerd inside. I fumbled with my stuff and I almost fell, which is so typical of me. I finally decided to sit in a chair so that I would look calm and cool. That was really my safest option.
Finally I saw him. He was on the escalator coming down to the floor that I was on. I was trying not to stare or even look like I was watching him. Remember? Calm and cool. But inside my head I was screaming because it was Stacey motherloving Adams, and he was claiming to be in love with ME and now he was walking towards me. I was sure that I would throw up all the tuaca that I had shot trying to calm my nerves when I was getting ready.
Once he was in front of me I stood up to say hi to him, and somehow I ended up in his arms. I wasn’t planning on it going that fast, I was trying to at-least act like I wasn’t as easy as I was when I was 14. But I failed and now I was surrounded by this familiar feeling. That feeling of safety that I had felt so many years before and all the other feelings too.
On our wedding day as I walked down the aisle of the Chapel, in my white dress holding the arm of my uncle and my oldest child, I looked down and saw this extremely handsome cowboy waiting for me. I was no longer wondering if I would like him or if he would love me, I knew that he loved me. I had given up on ever knowing that kind of love long before the day that he came down the escalator at the airport. Part of me had been certain that he would turn out to be the same as the rest at some point. But on our wedding day , I saw him waiting for me at the end of that aisle and I knew that somehow God had answered my prayers. The prayers of a lonely 13-year-old girl who just wanted the hottest boy in town to love her. It took Him a few years, but He answered me.
My husband has worked every single day since the day he started his company. He has made sure that I never have to worry about money, bills, taking care of my kids, or a roof over my head. So much so that he’s ended up so overwhelmed with carrying it all himself. Why? Because I spent so many years carrying the load of everything all by myself and he wanted to make sure that didn’t have to do that anymore. It’s made me spoiled and fat and him stressed out, but he is my hero for doing it for all these years to take care of me. Now, it’s my turn to take care of him, our house and our family. This has to be love because I actually like cleaning! That is a miracle of some kind.
After all the fights that we have had for the last year, I sit here writing this and thinking that I do not deserve the kind of love that I have from my husband. And there are days when he does not deserve the kind of love he has from me. That is marriage. Choosing to love someone who sometimes doesn’t deserve our love. That is what Christ did on the cross. We did not deserve that kind of love, but He did it anyway. That is Grace.
Love is a choice.
Not only do I choose to love my husband today and everyday, but I chose to be thankful for him, his life, his hard work and his smile. I’m also thankful that he grew up to be the best man who I could ever have dreamt of being married to.