Written November 30, 2011…
The location was the “Big House” (rest in peace) at Pike Grace Brethren Church.
The date was November 30, 1998.
The occasion was a surprise birthday card shower for Adam Johnson after Wednesday night youth group.
We celebrated the 18th birthday of my friend and “big brother”, Adam, whom I adored and seemed to always see the potential of who he was going to be. Fourteen years later, I feel insanely blessed to be married to this same guy. (Though I’m thankful we’ve changed a bit since this completely unflattering picture was taken.)
* Spoiler Alert: I’m going to brag on my husband a bit here. Feel free to stop reading immediately if you feel the need to gag.
As I’ve thought often over the past few days about the birthdays I’ve shared with Adam, it’s been very rare for there not to be a giant lump in my throat and fresh tears filling my eyes. You can call me an overly emotional, hormonal pregnant woman, but I’m sure there’s more to it than that. To say the least, I’m overwhelmed by God’s grace in my life in calling me to be Adam Johnson’s wife and helpmate.
Several times over the past year, Adam and have danced in the kitchen to Dave Barnes’ song, “God Gave Me You” (which is MUCH better, by the way, as a lesser known love song by one of my favorite artists than it is now popularized, overplayed, and perhaps butchered, by a country singer…just my opinion…remember, you can stop reading whenever you want to).
I’ve been a walking heartache
I’ve made a mess of me
The person that I’ve been lately
Ain’t who I wanna be
But you stay here right beside me
Watch as the storm blows through
And I need you
God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I’ve lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it’s true
God gave me you
On my own I’m only
Half of what I could be
I can’t do without you
We are stitched together
And what love has tethered
I pray we never undo
I HAVE been a mess MANY times over the past year or so. And my husband NEVER ran (or even walked) away from me when I needed him most. It’s been so evident that God gave him to me for not only the “daydream worthy days” but also for the dark days of doubt and intense pain. I really can’t imagine life without Adam and can’t thank God enough for a husband that is so patient, tender, and selfless towards me.
A husband that makes me laugh hysterically…daily…some times hourly. (For any of you that know Adam, you know this is not an exaggeration.)
A husband that is an INCREDIBLY attentive Daddy to our little boy.
A husband that is admired and respected by my brother AND my own father.
A husband that is adored by so many people that come in contact with him.
A husband that loves other people’s kids like they were his own.
A husband that other youth pastors call to get advice from and younger guys want to be like.
A husband that enjoys a meaningful conversation and cup of coffee as much as I do.
A husband that rarely loses his cool and always manages to rescue me from tears when moments like our Christmas tree collapsing happen.
A husband that does so much behind the scenes that he doesn’t get acknowledged or credited for…and doesn’t feel the need to be.
A husband that has a crazy gorgeous tenor voice…especially when he sings in Italian and/or plays a favorite song of mine on repeat in his office for a week just to learn it to sing to me on my birthday.
A husband that is sensitive to my needs and desires, but yet also isn’t afraid to lovingly confront my sinful heart.
A husband that chooses to love me, even at my ugliest.
A husband that is comfortable in any social setting and quickly makes my friends hisfriends.
A husband that calls and tells me not to cook, then surprises me by bringing home Chipotle (exactly how I would have ordered it) for dinner…just because I like it. (Okay, maybe that one wasn’t completely selfless.)
A husband that never leaves me feeling anything less than fully confident in his love for me and commitment to me.
A husband that works hard to not put his job/ministry/relationships/fatherhood ahead of nurturing his relationship with his wife.
A husband that passionately loves Jesus and wants his life to be a contagious testimony of that.
A husband that never thinks he’s “arrived” or “good enough” and is consistently striving to get better.
A husband that is fully aware of God’s work of redemption in his life, as well as his distance from perfection and is usually first to admit his own pride, shortcomings, or failures.
A husband that, though he will appreciate these words, will feel completely and utterly unworthy of any of them.
All that said, Adam Johnson, I am ever so thankful that you were born 32 years ago and am extremely proud to be your wife. Mark Tedford was right…I did marry up. 😉
Gosh, I like you,
It’s not always easy and
Sometimes life can be deceiving
I’ll tell you one thing, it’s always better when we’re together
Yeah, it’s always better when we’re together…
And there is no, no song I could sing
And there is no combination of words I could say
But I will still tell you one thing
We’re better together…
– Jack Johnson