My husband told me the same four words after I endured multiple surgeries, including a double mastectomy. I responded to him and his words with this letter.
Dear my beloved Husband:
This coming February, we will be celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary. Ah, the red rose Valentine’s Day theme — classic, simple, beautiful. I remember every detail of that day like it was yesterday. I can’t believe it’s been 16 years.
To some, that’s nothing. To others, that’s something. To me?
Our honeymoon. We had no idea.
Everyone knows that marriage is hard work. You and I have witnessed many marriages crumble over time, and we’ve seen other marriages shatter into sharp shards of brokenness under the weight of circumstances that dissolve unity.
Marriage is not for the faint of heart, but rather it demands a relentless reach toward one another in the thick throes of a merciless world. And sometimes, arms get tired. Other times, one arm gives up, while the other desperately stretches over and over again to grasp what little it can. We’ve danced through many seasons with this delicate balance that sways back and forth, at times reaching relentlessly toward one another—raising our hands in the folds of hard decisions, and other times, grasping with what little we had to give. Marriage does that.
I’m just so grateful we’re still reaching.
As we celebrate 16 years of doing this daring dance together, I want you to know that through each and every turn, lift, carry and fall on the marital dance floor, there has always been one consistent and unfaltering way you have loved me. It has been the greatest, most enduring part of our history, but more importantly, it has nourished the woman in me and gifted me with a message I believe all women deserve to hear, but don’t.
You always tell me I’m beautiful.
This may sound like a simple and easy thing to do, but you will never truly understand what it means to me.
You see, I believe you.