Four years ago today, I walked, barefoot, down the aisle of a little church and pledged to spend the rest of my life alongside my best friend, Josiah Van Der Decker. There was a winter storm that day, and I can still remember how cold it was to stand outside in the freezing December air, getting a few wedding pictures taken next to a tree whose bare branches had been encased completely in ice.
Now, on the other side of the globe, sweat trickles down my cheek as I sit at the computer, writing under the breeze of a ceiling fan that tries in vain to alleviate the oppression of the humid tropical air. Ice-covered trees and freezing temperatures seem like a vague memory from a totally different world, almost a totally different life.
So much has happened in these short four years. From surgery to linguistics, to a crazy 8-month tour of the US, to Pidgin studies, to housebuilding in Mouk, to months of sickness and completing our study of the Mouk language. We’ve been through all this and more — together.
God has been faithful each step of the way, and I can’t put into words how incredibly grateful I am to have spent the last four years by Josiah’s side. Being a team in life and ministry is an experience like none other, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. For better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and health, we’ve been together. We are together. We’ll be together.
I don’t thank God near often enough for the privilege of being Josiah’s wife. There’s no one else I’d rather run the race with. No one else I’d rather live the daily-ness of life with. No one else I’d rather laugh with, cry with, or make amends with. Yes, I know it’s not proper grammar to end a sentence with a preposition, but I want you to catch the operative word here: with. We’re together. And we’re in this together. Because God has put us together.
Thank you, God, for the last four years you’ve given us. Your grace is what’s brought us this far. And it’s what will carry us each step of the way into the future.
Thank you, Josiah, for making the last four years the most incredible and unforgettable of my life. Here’s to the next four years. And four more after that. And four more after that. And on and on, as long as we both shall live.