Thirteen years ago today, I made the following proclamation to my wife in front of a large crowd:
Today, God has answered my prayers. I recognize that he has blessed me and entrusted to me your life as a free gift that I have not earned. As we stand here before both God and men, I, Matthew Michels, take you Ann to be my lawfully wedded wife and covenant to live with you in the holy estate of marriage. I promise to lead you, to comfort you, to forsake all others in order to keep myself only unto you, and to love you faithfully in sickness and in health, in plenty and in want, and in joys and in sorrows, for as long as we both shall live. Ann, I give you all that I have, myself and my love. With this ring I thee wed.
Since then, we’ve traveled the world, lived in India, Mexico, California and back to Colorado – and yet no matter where we went, she made our house into a home. We’ve gone through many of the situations that we vowed to stick through – sickness, want, sorrows, but also have experienced health, plenty and joys. From the time we met, she’s encouraged me when I was down, and taught me how to better encourage others. She’s strengthened my confidence in approaching the world. Her faith inspires our family as she diligently seeks God and a relationship with Jesus. Her laughter spreads throughout the house and she brings joy with her where ever she goes. She takes care of our family and has never failed to make wonderfully tasty meals for us (the yummy touch as I call it). Though we occasionally wrestle through differences, we find ways to come back together each of us learning and adapting ourselves to be more unified. I’m not perfect, yet she forgives me when I make mistakes. She truly is a free gift that I have not earned.
I couldn’t be happier with the decision we made back then – an investment that has paid off a thousand fold and continues to do so every day that I get to wake up next to her. Happy Anniversary Ann!