This Beautiful Side of Forever

We said our vows in the church of my childhood. Standing in front of familiar faces, we made promises that will last until death parts us. We were so young. We each hadn’t walked life’s road for long, even shorter still had we walked it hand-in-hand. We couldn’t know the dark valleys that lie ahead, like going for that first ultrasound and hearing no heartbeat, or cold nights when my heart felt much harder than the empty mattress space between us. 
We also had no way of knowing just how breathtaking the mountaintop views would be! Like holding each of our four children, kissing their faces for the first time before you cut the cord. Or celebrating God’s goodness in ministry and having front row seats to seeing God move in people’s hearts.
But in between the peaks and the valleys lies the most beautiful part of the journey - the everyday moments sustained by God’s faithfulness. The path paved with countless tiny joys.

Last night when you pulled me into our signature spoons and said, “Every day. It’s still good every single day.” 
Today in the van when I caught you watching me out of the corner of your eye. 
Each night we sit for a bit after the kids are tucked in, in our respective spots on the couch, which just happen to let our legs intertwine. 
Tonight when you brewed the coffee for our friends and I grabbed the creamer just before you asked for it. 
When our eyes met across our living room, filled with people laughing and exchanging gifts, and we knew all the cleaning was worth it. 
Hearing you pray with our kids every night before bed.

All those years ago you pursued me, when I was too young and damaged to feel comforted by faithfulness instead of threatened by it. You have pursued me countless times since then, opening the doors I’ve slammed to remind me your love isn’t based on my behavior. And I have no doubt you’ll keep pursuing me, until that final line of our vows arrives and we are parted. But not forever.

Even death will be another beautiful part of this journey of ours. It’s carved into the very stone under our path and cannot be avoided. It will be unspeakably painful. And yet it will be beautiful, because the same God who has written every moment of our lives, who pursued us both first, has ultimately defeated it. One day we will both be with him, and the rest of our story will begin. Marriage won’t be the same there, because the Bridegroom will render all the forms and shadows obsolete. Our particular shadow is so good that I have to believe by faith it will be better when the Light makes it disappear. 

We cannot know what awaits us. The deepest valleys may yet lie ahead, perhaps the highest peaks. But no matter the terrain, the One who spoke it all into being will never leave our side. And I will rejoice in every day that I get to walk beside you. Sit on the couch beside you. Lie like spoons beside you. 

You are the most beautiful part of this side of forever.

Photo by Sebastian Pichler on Unsplash


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