16 years ago today, two became one. I agreed to love you and only you for the rest of my life. You committed to lead me, and I promised to follow. We didn’t really know what that meant.
Through the years since, I have followed you many places.
I followed you to your graduation and your ordination.
In amusement parks and on carousels.
To Wrigley Field (twice) and the Indy 500.
To the Mall of America and to America’s mall.
Through the Louisville skies in a hot air balloon.
Through the Vermont snow on a snowmobile.
Relaxing by the campfire and relaxing in the sand.
I’ve followed you formal. . .
. . . and maybe not so much.
I’ve followed to the top of volcanoes in Hawaii and in Ecuador.
Snorkeling off the Bahamas and cruising off Cozumel.
Special days and ordinary days.
From the Equator to the islands to the happiest place on earth.
On a mysterious journey from the conventional to the natural. . .
. . . and on a wonderful journey from the time of waiting to the time of answered prayer.
And the water. We always find our way to the water.
Lake Michigan in Chicago
St. Joseph River, Michigan
Laguna Cuicocha, Ecuador
The Everglades, Florida
Cumberland River, Nashville
And most recently, the Gulf of Mexico at Gulf Shores, Alabama
I followed you all these places and I’ll follow you to the end of my days. I hope many more adventures await.
But my favorite place to follow you, the place you’ve led me more than any other, is to the throne of Grace, where we worship, praise, thank, and plead before our God and Creator. The One who created me for you, and ordained every mile of our journey. There are no pictures of us here. We have knelt together, cried out together, rejoiced together, mourned together, begged for wisdom together, confessed our sins together. He has heard our prayers, caught our tears, received our praise. His goodness in our marriage is overwhelming.
I thank Him every day for giving me you, and that you lead me to Him. I have followed you for sixteen years. I will follow you to the end.
I love you, Clay Hall. Happy anniversary.