The last 17 out of my 31 years of life have been spent either dating or married to my wife Sherry. That’s a long time to get to know someone. Today is Sherry’s birthday, and while birthdays don’t have the same level of excitement for adults as they do for children, for me it is a reminder that I get to spend yet another year with her.
Sherry and I met in our youth group, dated throughout high school and college, and married at the age of 20. It was 11 months later that we would become parents to a son, and 13 months after that, a daughter. I feel like our marriage started off like many others. We had our eyes fixed on the American dream, had a house in the suburbs, two kids, steady job, money in a 401k, and served in a our home church. We had our ups and downs, and while we were far from the perfect marriage, we were happy together. Little did we know what the next 10+ years would prove to be.
Over the last several years of our marriage, I have watched Sherry selflessly give herself to others as we have served in ministry. She has faithfully stood by my side when we sold our home and moved to Peru for our missions internship. She labored with me throughout our time of deputation when we were on our way to the United Kingdom, all while homeschooling on the road and taking care of our families needs. Now, as we have served as overseas missionaries for the last few years, she has proven to be the hardest working, most kind and loving person that I know, even in the face of obstacles.
Soon, she will give birth to our fourth child, and I am grateful that this child will, like our other three, have the chance to grow up with such a wonderful mother. She puts the Lord first in her life, and out of that flows a love and tenderness for everyone that she is close to. She has a hilarious sense of humor and is so much fun to be around. Full of wisdom, she is willing to help anyone and anywhere she can, and she just jumps right into opportunities to serve. There is no one on this earth that I would rather have by my side than Sherry, and I am so thankful to God for bringing her into my life.
She is not perfect, and would never claim to be. She deals with the same struggles that anyone in marriage, ministry, or even just life will go through. We certainly have days we wish we could erase or do over. But what I love about Sherry is not that she doesn’t go through struggles, but what she does when faced with them.
Sherry, happy birthday! I love you, and I want the world to know what you mean to me. So much of what you do goes unnoticed, even by me oftentimes. But know this, you are making a difference in the lives of the people in this home, and everywhere you go.