I Most Certainly Do!

Saturday, Mr. Gore and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary.

Or I suppose you can say we celebrated…

In all actuality, most of the day was dedicated to our darling daughter’s birthday party extravaganza. And even more of the day was dedicated to our newborn’s 3-hours-on-the-dot feeding schedule. And then there was Gideon to see to…

Which means that, at 5:00 p.m. (the time of day we made our vows), I ran outside to where Chris was working and gave him a quick hug and kiss, and then at bedtime we wrote in our anniversary journals. (That’s right, I said “anniversary journals” – we write in them once a year. Chris always says “Yay…” when I pull them out of hiding. You may not know this, but men really secretly love to journal…)

As far as anniversaries go, it probably was not our most romantic.

Still yet, even though our lives have drastically changed since June 11, 2005, and our anniversary celebrations even more so, I was mindful all day long of what a true blessing it is to be married to a man like Christopher Michael Gore.

And I had to smile as I read what I wrote in the REAL Mrs. Gore’s Diary on May 26, 2005, two weeks before he made me his Mrs…

Just over two weeks and I will be a married woman! I can scarcely believe it. Although we live in an extremely modern, technologically advanced world, marriage and all that goes along with it strike up nostalgia in my mind, and stirs everything womanly in me. I still think and feel like a young girl, but the thought of being a wife calls to the woman in me, the nurturer. It is as if all my life has been leading up to this wedding day, where I will take possession of God’s preserved calling for me. On days like this, I care very little for what I will become, what I will do for a living, or what mark I as an individual will leave on the world. Today, I care only to step into the role that God Himself so beautifully wrote for me…to be Chris Gore’s wife, to grace his home, mother his children and be his helpmeet. What a glorious calling, and so natural to step into. I am very much looking forward to relaxing in the knowledge that I am exactly where God has always intended for me to be. June 11…godspeed! (But give me time to finish all my preparations!)

I mostly smiled at the part where I said my role in Chris’s life would be to “grace his home.” That shows you what a confident and delusional young woman I was. I really thought I was doing Chris a favor by marrying him! But I also had to smile because – hot dog! – married life has  actually been as dreamy and fulfilling as that blushing bride-to-be thought it might be.

These past six years, although tumultuous at times as I have had a lot of dying to do, have been my best yet. Traveling through life (and the ministry) in the shadow of a man of God is an adventure that I did not see coming. Under Chris’s authority and guidance I have been drawn so much closer to my Maker and I am slowly learning where the real riches are…not in my closet, not in a beautiful home, not in a successful career, but in the life of a pilgrim. It is the greatest truth my husband has taught me, from the pulpit, in devotion, and most of all, in his daily decision-making and in his most personal and unseen habits. He gives and he gives and he gives…and I watch and I follow him (usually tentatively or with lots of annoying questions).

I didn’t realize what a timid little sheep I was until this strong man took me by the hand and began dragging me down that road less traveled, the narrow one, the one that leads to life….

I had been on that road for the better part of my life, but I wouldn’t say I was really “running the race.” I was more like…crawling. With my head down, afraid of being pummeled by boulders or asked to do something difficult. But then Chris Gore came along with all his boldness and fervor, and I couldn’t help but look up and admire him for it. And then I realized that he was running so fast and so straight ahead, I had better grab onto his coattails or miss the boat.

And I can truly say that’s the best part of my marriage. The accountability, and the challenge. I had no idea to look for such a trait in a suitor, but my husband’s best characteristic is that he never indulges my anxieties or my selfishness or my sinfulness or my discontentment. But neither does he nag me or berate me or whine at me; rather, he unfailingly and lovingly uses the Word of God to slice through all the nonsense and, pointing me to the truth, calls me to walk in it. I shiver to think what kind of woman I could become without this faithful and gentle shepherding and I thank God with all my heart for His provision for me.

My prayers are usually of the begging variety, and at the top of the list is that I might share a lifetime…a long one…with my red-haired preacherman.

Not just because I love him. Not just because my heart still melts a little when he smiles at me. Not just because I can’t bear to imagine a day without him…

But because he has been God’s greatest tool for drawing me to Himself. Ever. And so when I say “Happy Anniversary!” to my husband, I am not just celebrating our love, or our marriage, or 6 wonderful and memorable years together. I am celebrating the fact that when I look at Chris Gore, I know without a doubt that God loves me and will continue to care for me no matter what.

And so to marriage, to true and lasting love, to “gracing his home” and most importantly, to sanctification, I’ll say it again and again and again…

I do!

I most certainly do.

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