You are 30 years old today.
I remember when you were 20 years old. That’s when I met you. Back then you were really just a kid. I was too. I was only 18. You caught my eye then, but I never imagined who you would become.
I never imagined the way you would pursue me.
The way you would chase after God’s will for your life with a relentless drive.
I never imagined you would save every penny from your first real job to buy me a ring.
That you would buy that dang ring as soon as you could and propose almost two years before you knew we’d be married.
I never imagined you’d get down on one knee, in front of the entire ministry that we held so dear to our hearts and ask me to marry you.
I said yes.
I never knew that we would travel Europe, backpack through national parks, road trip across the country, and spend summers at Young Life camp.
I never knew that we would build a life in Lawrence.
That we would a buy a home and start to make it our own.
That we would adopt the world’s weirdest and most timid dog.
I never knew how many softball games you’d sit through.
That you would make me coffee every morning and hold me every night.
That we would say yes to a life of ministry, challenging each other daily to give our lives away.
You never lose sight of Jesus.
I never knew how many tears you’d see my cry,
but also, how many times you’d make me laugh.
I never knew the way you would fight for me to pursue my dreams.
You are my constant encourager and my biggest fan.
I wouldn’t be half the woman I am today without you.
I never knew the way you would be at my side, calming me through childbirth.
I didn’t let you leave my side the whole time—not that you wanted to.
That experience taught me that your voice is the loudest in my life.
Your voice is louder than the pain I feel on the hard days.
What you say, I believe.
I trust you.
I never knew the way you would weep when you saw our daughter, Lydia, for the first time.
The way you would dance with her
and play with her
and care for her.
I never knew the way our daughter would look at you.
You are such a good Daddy.
She thinks the world of you.
So do I.
But all those things have come to be, and
You are 30 years old today, and I am so proud of who you are.
You are a man of integrity.
You are a man who fights your sin.
You are a man who sees the brokenness in the world and fights for justice.
You are wise, you seek knowledge, you seek truth.
You’ve gained the respect of many around you,
but no one respects you more than I do.
I see what no one else sees.
I see the way you hide away early in the morning and late at night to spend time with Jesus.
I admire that and often wish I had a faith like yours.
I see the way you prioritize Lydia and I, even when outside voices are the loudest.
You choose to drown them out to be still with us.
So here’s to the next 10, the next 30, or Lord willing the next 60 years.
Let’s lock arms and grow old together.
There’s no other man I’d choose to spend the rest of my life with.
Thanks for being my partner, my lover, and my best friend.
Let’s continue on this crazy ride as parents.
Let’s take on more house projects we regret.
Let’s keep chasing the next generation of college students, sharing Jesus with them, and caring for them regardless of their response.
Let’s keep serving in our church every Sunday we can.
Let’s keep fighting for our marriage to be first.
Let’s keep chasing Jesus and selling out for His kingdom.
Let’s keep giving away all that we receive,
and never forget that the best is yet to come.
Happy birthday, Kevin. I love you.