Today, December 12, 2012, I am blessed to have been married to my wife, Crystal, for 14 years!

Last night, our daughter Natalie noted that this was an extra special anniversary, in that it is 12/12/12, which will not happen for another 1,000 years. Way cool.

Crystal and I met in high school. She was in the 10th grade. I was a senior.

We were in Coach Williams’ 4th period World History class. We were taking this class for the same reason. It was the easiest class at Los Angeles High School. Think about it. A class on world history. Taught by the football coach. Right before he has to prepare for practice. Golden!

But, anyway, I digress.

When I finished high school, I did not see Crystal again for several years. But I would regularly ask my sister, who was in the same grade, about her.

One day, I went to visit my mom. And there she was! My sister, Donetta, was doing her hair. When I saw her, I couldn’t talk. So my sister did the talking. “Why are so quiet now?” she taunted. “You ask about her all the time. Now, you’re not going to talk to her?”

Crystal and I have been in each other’s lives since then.

We started off as friends. (My buddies and I would randomly show up Crystal mother’s house and start water fights!) We dated casually. We enjoyed one another’s company.

Crystal was (is) the easiest person to be with that I have ever known. She had a gentle quietness about her. But she was a very strong. We talked about everything. We laughed a lot. She was kind and thoughtful. And absolutely beautiful!

Neither of us would have thought we would be married with children. But I think that is what drew me to her.

I could be on a first date and be asked, “So, where do you see us in the future?” (Answer-in-my-head: “I see us quickly ending this first-last date!).

But the weight of expectations did not weigh down the development of my relationship with Crystal. We just hung out a lot. And before I knew it, I was in love.

At some point, I had to be with Crystal everyday. I hated for our dates to end. There was only one solution. We had to get married.

Fourteen-years-later, the highlight of my day is seeing and being with Crystal. I travel to preach a lot, but I get through it by thinking about going home to Crystal. And when it is the other way around, and Crystal leaves town without me, I am a basket case. Just ask my staff.

Crystal is still the easiest person in the world for me to be with. Her gentle quietness continues to stabilize my crazy little world. We still talk about everything. And we still laugh a lot. (Now, we have a lot more inside jokes to laugh at together. Only a look will send us in.) She is kind and thoughtful. She is still as beautiful as the day I met her. Even more. And her strength is all the more evident as she cares for our three children and me.

By the way, as I was writing that last sentence, my 13-year-old son just entered my study and wished me happy anniversary. “Congratulations,” he said. “It’s not every day a guy gets to marry someone like my mom!”

Amen.

One of the difficult issues Crystal and I had when we courted was about my ministry. She was very supportive. But I was hesitant. My life course had been set at 17-years-old. She still had her future ahead of her and a choice about what it would look like.

I did not think she was ready for what I knew was ahead of me. She said she was. I said she was not. Thus, the disagreements.

I am man enough to say I was wrong.

Through all we have faced, Crystal has remained strong and has even helped me through, when I felt like giving in or giving up. She has proven it again during the heavy burdens we have carried the past several weeks.

I married way out of my league!

I am blessed to be married to my best friend.

I am blown away by the woman she has become (and is becoming).

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. – Proverbs 31:30

Happy Anniversary, Sunshine. I love you.