“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 4:8
“Loving can hurt
Loving can hurt sometimes
But it’s the only thing that I know
When it gets hard
You know it can get hard sometimes
It is the only thing that makes us feel alive…”
Excerpt from “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran
There was the usual morning worship service, a memorial service in the afternoon, and then about 30 minutes after that all ended, we had our youth group kick-off night. Some might not think that’s too much, but for this introvert pastor, I came home afterward and crashed. It was all wonderful and so exhausting.
Through that entire day of being the Reverend, Marion was there. And because my heart is bursting with gratitude for him and the ways in which he has been an amazing supportive partner to me, I’m writing this post of gratitude to him… to the guy who is marrying a pastor.
Now I feel like I need to say publicly (because, I mean, look at us, we look super cute and super happy and now I’m about to write a super sappy post about how great he is)…I need to say that we are not perfect. We’ve lived over 30 years of our lives without each other and trying to integrate our habits, lifestyles, and how we do things together after doing it our own way for so long has not been without its struggles. Add to that recipe that we are both super stubborn in our own ways and it can be ugly. But I think that’s exactly why I’m feeling especially grateful too. Because we really DO love each other and we have both worked hard at understanding one another’s quirks and learning to be patient with them. We both recognize this…and when we do take time to recognize it, our love continues to grow.
Okay, so back to the guy who’s marrying a pastor.
Dear guy who’s marrying a pastor (aka my awesome fiancé),
I am sure you never dreamed you’d end up engaged to be married to a pastor. I am sure that your friends are probably even more surprised that you’re engaged to be married to a Presbyterian minister. But truth be told, before I met you, I had given up on meeting someone who would be as supportive and “by my side” as you have been since we have been together as I live into this odd and wondrous calling. I just wanted to find someone who was okay with it, wouldn’t discourage me from it, and I expected us to live separate lives when it came to faith and church. I have friends who do this and live in happy and loving relationships, so I was cool with it.
God probably knew that I needed more than that though…for my own sense of sanity and peace. And when a day of ministry like yesterday happens, your presence and help and willingness to jump in when I needed you was a grace upon grace for me. That all sounds wordy and beautified, but really I just want to say THANK YOU. I’m writing this post, so I will remember all that you have done for me in this early time of our relationship as we prepare for a marriage.
Thank you for showing up week after week on Sundays. I know you began doing that to show your support for me, but I really hope you feel the love the church also has for you simply because of who you are.
Thank you for being patient with me as I finish writing sermons on Saturday nights… I know I’m always uptight and boring and sometimes freaking out on those nights, and you are a steady and calm presence reassuring me that I can do it.
Thank you for praying for us and our families and work at every meal we share together (I’m not exaggerating, friends…EVERY meal when it’s the two of us). It sustains me more than you might know.
And you know, I don’t know what it will be like being married to a minister. I’ve never done this before with a partner before. I know life tethered to a minister is very different from the life you led before you met me. A lot has changed for you. A lot has changed for me too. And I can only hope and pray that it’s for the better for you, because it without a doubt is better for me. It’s been an unexpected blessing.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. Just… thank you. I love you. I can’t wait to marry you!!!