Sunday, February 8, 2009

"Its 1:53 in the morning -- is it time for me to declare my intentions?"

Five years ago tonight the brief silence in my kitchen was broken by those words.

"You tell me." I responded coyly, and so began the conversation that would change my life. Forever. For better.

We discussed whether or not we wanted to "give it a try" for a couple of minutes and then we spent the next two hours discussing what giving it a try would look like for us. It was more than a mere DTR. (Though, we had no doubt that was what our friends would be calling it the next morning.) For us it was the beginning of our Great Attempt . That was what we christened the new direction our relationship was taking that night. Our attempt to learn to love well and then to love as well as we possibly could and to never stop learning to love well and loving as well as we possibly could. Our attempt to work hard at our love from the beginning and meet problems and pitfalls head on and handle them rather than be handled by them. We didn't use all those words just then, for fear of saying too much, but five years into it that is pretty much how I would sum it up. So yeah, pretty heavy stuff for your average DTR. Maybe that explains why we engaged two weeks later.

I have never stopped being thankful for that night. I never will. I will never stop being thankful to Ron for having the courage to "declare his intentions" when it would have been just as easy not to. I will never stop being thankful to God for the little and big providences he crafted into our lives up to that point so that when that night of great importance came we were as ready as we could be. Neither of us deserved to be as ready as we were.

So, how is it going, this Great Attempt of ours? We are about a mile and a half into our marathon. It is still exciting. It is still hard to believe we are actually really going for it. It is fun. It is a whole lot of fun actually. And, it is already harder than I thought it would be. Turns out the hard work that love requires takes more than love alone to accomplish. It takes nothing less than the grace of God. Fortunately, we serve an extravagantly generous God. It is already a whole lot better than I thought it would be too. It is by far the most rich and rewarding endeavor of my life. I am fortunate beyond words that this bright, pleasant path is the path God has chosen for me. When I think about it in that way I realize that the hard work of love is actually really, really easy.

So, Ron, when you read this, know that I am glad. I am glad I didn't have to work that Sunday. I am glad you spent all afternoon at my house. I am glad yet another silly boy was leading Christen S. on at the time. I am glad I had lived enough to be indignant with him for doing so. I am glad you didn't leave for Charlottesville after the Grammys were over. And I am so very glad you chose me as your partner in this Great Attempt. Attempting with you day after day has been the proudest enterprise of my life. Knowing that you will be here with me, until death parts us, attempting with all God gives you is the sure and solid underpinning of all my earthly joys.

Happy five years as us. I love you.