♥ READER’S WARNING: Sappy Love Post ahead. Read at your own risk.
Rob has been My Valentine now for 27 years! Our first date was on Valentines Day in 1983. I mentioned that to a few friends I work with who sweetly said, “That was before I was born!” Whatever!
Rob and I had met when I returned with my folks from the mission field, in May of 1982. I was just shy 0f turning 16. Rumor has it that he leaned over and said to his best friend, Torrey House, “That’s the girl I’m gonna marry some day!” when he saw me walk in to youth group. (It took him 2 1/2 years to convince me. LOL) We were good friends for several months before he officially asked me out on a date – we went bowling – on Valentines Day 1983. And so it began….
It’s funny when I talk to people about how young we were when we met and later married – when I was 18 (turned 19 three weeks after our wedding) and he was 19 (he turned 20 a month and a half after our wedding). People always say, “You were so young! How did you know for sure?” I think it’s the same no matter what age you are. When you know, you KNOW. And even when you KNOW there’s still the rush of being extremely vulnerable, committing THE REST OF YOUR LIFE to someone.
Next to choosing to make God the ruler of my life and accepting His free gift of salvation, marrying Rob is hands down the top of the list of the best decisions I have ever made! We’re coming up on 25 years of marriage this year, in June. Wow, how did that happen? Milestones are to be celebrated, they also often give us the opportunity to look back and review life. I don’t know exactly how to describe 25 years together – it’s been a HUGE adventure. We’ve “grown up” while raising three amazing daughters – sometimes being at a complete loss as we’ve parented together. We’ve expanded to include a wonderful son-in-love – a wonderful new adventure! (We love you, Jakob!!) We’ve traveled together all over the world – vacations, mission trips, business – to Thailand, Mexico, Brazil, Hawaii, and soon to Bolivia! We’ve slowly become more organized. Most of the time you can walk into our house and not be astonished or think a hurricane just hit – the early years of marriage, that wasn’t the case! (I have pictures to prove it – we were complete slobs!) We’ve had the tremendous blessing of serving for nearly 24 years in the same ministry, growing and learning with the wonderful people who call Northern Hills Church their home. We’ve watched hundreds of movies together. We’ve laughed so hard together that we ended up with the “cry-laughs” where tears come but we’re really just laughing that hard! We’ve been blessed with absolutely amazing friendships that have enriched our lives so much. We’ve endured unexpected and devastating tragedies together, experiencing gut wrenching loss. We’ve learned what it means to sacrifice for each other. We’ve driven each other (and I’m sure our daughters) crazy a time or two. We’ve had a few seasons that were scary and dark, but learned how amazing God is to give the tools and courage to keep on, keeping on, even when you don’t feel like it. We’ve had a ton of “healthy-discussions” (aka – fights) – but we’ve learned that healthy relationships grow stronger with conflict and that knowing how to “fight well” really helps a marriage. We’ve LOVED the opportunities to invest in other young couples, pre-marriage counseling or just conversations where we can deposit hope and encouragement.
I am blessed beyond measure with the blessing of our marriage. To my Valentine – Rob Kelly – I say:
♥♥”I love you! You have enriched my life in ways you do know and ways you have no idea. Being with you brings me joy. Laughing with you gives me wind in my sails. Reflecting with you brings me great memories. Loving you is my favorite thing to do. Dreaming with you brings me great excitement. May God grant us the dream of growing old together, and may we always be able to laugh at ourselves. Rob, thanks for the adventure of life with you.”♥♥