The last three minutes.

You see it goes like this.

Your heart looks back on all those goodbyes that lead up to this.
Those first steps onto a school bus.
Overnights at 6th grade camp
Spending a week in a hotel cheering at state wrestling. Milestones on a journey that leads to this day of leaving your baby girl at college.

And you spend all day ignoring the last 3 minutes of a goodbye you have known was coming for 18 years.

It's that tug of love inside your heart that speaks loudest. The part of your heart where it knows its known. The why we were created in the first place spot. It's that exact part that is undetected by any human instrument that screams out, "Hey I am suffering here at the moment."

And you step back and realize maybe for the bazillionth time that it costs something to love and if you did love wrong it wouldn't hurt so much to let go even for a brief moment.

year 23 starts today.

Did you know the Lead is a writer? He wrote and framed this poem for our fifth anniversary. We were two kids in and trying to live dreams that seemed to have been squashed overnight by God.  We were just surviving daily on what we had been given when we had grown up in our own perspective houses.  Him, yelling. Me, avoidance. It was a perfect pair. Five years in I can remember thinking, man we have a long way to go till death do us part. We weren’t even 30 yet. Babies trying so hard to be a family on every account. Both of us stubborn as hell.

We struggled so much.

Yet, here we are. Year 22. Twenty Two years you have called me your bride. Twenty Two years and God has hacked off our rough edges and is honing us into more of what He desires us to be as people. So that He is more glorified in our relationship. Somewhere around year 17 he took our hearts and smashed them together again and said in His own loving and grace filled way. “Tony, you be you. Kelly, you be you. Your love will grow from this one thing. Don’t worry about the other person just stay close to Me and I’ll show you how your words and actions can radiate me back to them so they can be reminded to stay close to me.”  It was a game changer.

When we come to the end of our lives and we have to part, I’ll shout it from the roof tops that the only way we stayed married all these years is God. He is the reason I love the Lead so much. He is the reason I can put my own agenda aside and faithfully walk next to a man who loves Jesus just as much if not more. Sure there are things I still get annoyed with but honestly they are trivial compared to the state of his soul. If I can influence that on anyway I need to stick close to God so that I can do it honestly and with integrity.

Year five has come and gone. Year 23 starts today and I am so joy filled that we both didn’t stop loving each other at the same time over the years. Because your love Mr Lead carried me through some dark days and off the beaten path adventures. Tears fill my eyes over the Christ like love you have shown me.  I love you and will forever My Lead.