I was looking through the photo album on my phone today and came across this picture of Sarah and Bowen. I remembered the first time I saw her smile. I was standing in a field, in a sea of people, and there she was. I knew that I wanted to see that smile, that face…forever.

When it comes to the course of our personal lives we’re all curious to see the future, and we get to, on the other side of it, looking back. I’m standing on the other side of ten years of marriage to Sarah, and when I look back I see way more pain than I anticipated. I also feel a far deeper love than I ever imagined. We’re continually learning to embrace our story, realizing that without struggle it isn’t a good one.

I’ve been away from my family for almost two weeks now, and it will be another nine days before I get home. I haven’t been away for this many consecutive days in over a year. I’m homesick, the girls are getting weepy, and Sarah is starting to feel lonely. When I saw this picture I felt the need write a post that honors her for all of the sacrifices she makes to support the work I’m doing on the road with Sanctus Real.

It would be easy for Sarah to be angry and treat me with contempt when I’m away, while she’s at home taking care of responsibilities that are rightfully mine. Instead, she shows me love and support. When I don’t know how to be a good husband from a distance she doesn’t silently and bitterly hold on to her expectations. Instead, she teaches me how to give her what she needs. She is a dear and genuine friend to me and so many others. I’m filled with gratitude when I think of how she has sacrificed what little consistency we had left in our home after Bowen was born, so that I can be out here on the road. Sure, there are times that she wants to shake somebody or breathe a little fire down someone’s neck; and I don’t blame her. I’m just glad it’s the kids and not me…you know I’m joking. Her grace and patience in the midst of difficult circumstances is a true example to me.

Sarah, your smile still steals my heart. On our way through a little hell on earth, I’ve been so thankful for that little piece of heaven to hold on to.