It's Sunday and we sit cozy in church. The 32-year-old pastor preaches Ephesians; a man should love his wife as Christ loved the Church.
He exhorts the ladies, joking: As you listen, don't make mental lists of all the things your husbands are doing wrong. Your turn is next week; remember that.
Before he begins I know I'm blessed. My husband loves well. I take his hand in mine, grateful.
At thirty-three and forty we fall in love on a mountain in southern California, hiking with the church singles' group. We waited long for our turn. Wrinkled and in slow decline, we parent little ones. God has us on a different road and we live brave.
The sermon? It's perfect and I marvel at the wisdom and humility of this young pastor, just given the reins. The senior pastor stepped down to focus on planting another church. God made him a planter, not a preacher.
I marvel at God's plans. Perfection.
I marvel at God for providing the perfect man for me. One who will hold my hand faithfully until God calls me home. Living brave with me, growing old with me...knowing me.
A man who knows love is a verb. Just the right father to delight my children. When he comes through that door at 7:00 pm, radiant, overjoyed children, four of them, open the door and they are glad in him. He loves them with his life and instinctively, they seem to know. My daddy is love.
All those years as a single woman? That was the picture in my head. A hand holder. A wonderful father. A wise man who leads humbly and loves much.
God's plans bring perfection. The only perfection that exists. There can be pain in the journey and it can look messy, but that makes our God-ordained path no less perfect.
This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.