Eight years ago today, Iain Lewis ask me to be his wife. People who have known me for a long time, know how LONG I waited to find (and be found by) my husband. I waited and waited – sometimes not so patiently – for God’s plan to unfold. And then along came my dream come true.
Those of you who attended our wedding can witness to the love we had and the remarkable celebration we experienced that day. As I stand here today being enveloped by this powerful choir of voices echoed with equal power and prayer by the voices of the assembly, I am overwhelmed by the beauty and by the remembrance of a similar experience at our wedding. The similarity of these two events are amazing and interestingly, they are the bookends of our marriage.
With the exception of his doctor, counselor and myself, almost no one knew of this struggle. Iain was very private and very proud (to a fault – by his own admission.) Even though I struggle with the fact that I (we) did not share this with others and feel a certain amount of responsibility in light of recent events, I viewed it as a sacred trust of our marriage. He was working his program: receiving counseling, taking medication, seeking spiritual direction, reading Scripture, and even programmed his phone to remind him to pray every hour. He even appeased me by keeping a journal and sharing it with me. The entries are beautiful, authentic, vulnerable and amazingly insightful. I feel his efforts in battling this disease were valiant. These things didn’t come naturally to him and weren’t easy for him, which made me even more proud of him. His spiritual journey was inspiring to me.
I will miss the laughter he brought to my world. He could make me laugh so hard. I remember on a trip to Hot Springs, we convinced ourselves that it would be fun to experience the bathhouses that the quaint city it famous for. We each went in separate doors of the bathhouse for our interesting experiences which might be considered traumatizing for people who are painfully modest. Several hours later we walked toward each other in front of the bath house with our eyes as wide as saucers. I was so horrified I couldn’t even speak. He obviously had a similar experience to mine and managed to squeak out the words, “I’ve been violated.” I doubled over in laughter. I still laugh remembering that moment.
I’m going to miss his love, his adoration for me and Gianna, his desire to provide for and take care of us, his encouragement and support and counsel. I’m going to miss praying with him and laughing with him and planning our lives together. Iain Lewis, I am proud to have had you as my husband and I am proud that Gianna that has the best Daddy on the planet. I will love you all the days of my life – and beyond.”
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Shepherd Me, O God (Psalm 23)
Shepherd me, O God beyond my wants,
beyond my fears, from death into life.
God is my shepherd, so nothing shall I want,
I rest in the meadows of faithfulness and love,
I walk by the quiet waters of peace.
Gently you raise me and heal my weary soul,
You lead me by pathways of righteousness and truth,
my spirit shall sing the music of your Name.
You have set me a banquet of love
in the face of hatred,
crowning me with love beyond my pow’r to hold.
Surely your kindness and mercy follow me
all the days of my life;
I will dwell in the house of my God forevermore.