Last Sunday, on Father's Day I had the honor and privilege of honoring my husband, Mike, publicly at church. This is what I had said:
Today, I want to honor my husband Mike as a wonderful father, husband, son, student and friend. In the Bible it talks about giving honor to whom it is due... and this is long due.
Mike, when I take time to think about what we have been through and experienced in the last 7 years I am undone. I know you are not comfortable with being publicly honored but this isn’t entirely about you. It’s about God’s faithfulness to us. It’s about Him working in you and in me and in our family. It’s a testimony of God and His goodness. About hope instead of despair. About joy in spite of pain. About beauty for ashes.
You have stood by my side through so many trials and sorrows, hopes and joys. Where would I be without you?
Your continual reminder for me to put God first and to let go of everything else… to rest in God, to trust Him and put my Hope in Him… has brought great and deep joy in the midst of great and deep sorrow.
We never knew what we were getting into when we got married in September 2003. We had bought our first home and didn’t know that you would lose your job 3 months later. Your grandmother, Mom-Mom, would pass that first Christmas. You went back to school full time in January to finish your Bachelor’s. We would find out I was pregnant in February…. And that my sister, Libby, and nephew, Sam, would die in a car accident that March. We didn’t know 9 months after our first child, Libby, was born that I would get pregnant with Samuel. A complicated and difficult pregnancy…. Pre-term labor. Bed-rest. Multiple hospitalizations. Samuel, in the hospital for 5 weeks after his birth. Home on oxygen and an apnea monitor. We moved up to PA so you could pursue Graduate School at Westminster Theological Seminary. we had no idea that we would experience such extreme issues with Samuel. Watch him nearly die. See him hospitalized 10 times by the age of 2. You stayed with me while I was in and out of the hospital. You were there for each of the births of our children. Even driving from Philadelphia to be with me for the emergency c-section with the twins. We have shared the pleasure and stress of having four children in 3 and a half years and moving 6 times in 5 years.
You have always been willing to work at whatever job was necessary to provide for our family. Paper routes. Waiting tables. Working at a book-store or serving coffee at Starbucks… you always have and continue to work with excellence and purpose. You bless those around you with your kindness and gentleness and hard work.
You have prayed with me and walked with me through many dark valleys.
You comforted me in the midst of heart-break. You walked with me in the loss of my sister Libby, and nephew, Sam. You have spent countless nights holding me while I cried myself to sleep.
You helped me when I was on bed-rest during my pregnancies.
You are the most intelligent person I have ever met and yet you continue to remain humble. Willing to learn. Open to input and suggestions. Looking to the wisdom and counsel of others. You have made us, your family, a priority in the midst of going to Graduate School. You made it specifically a point not just to learn theology but to put into practice what you were learning. You sacrificed yourself for us but also for others who were in need… friends and fellow students. You showed me what it was to have an attitude of gratitude and to give thanks for all we have been given. You are dependable. Trustworthy. Loyal and honest. You are also so generous. Willing to give of your time, money, energy, and abilities.
You have changed diapers, done laundry, washed dishes, made breakfast. Bathed children. Cleaned up throw-up. Wiped noses. Dispensed medication. And yet you still have made time to make me laugh. Tickle and wrestle our children. Take the kids on dates.
We have experienced the trauma of seeing our children almost die on multiple occasions. We have spent countless times by the sides of our sons while they were in the ICU, when they were hospitalized after surgeries or for breathing issues… we have seen them intubated, with machines breathing for them, strapped down with wires, put on morphine. We have taken them to specialists and doctors and surgeons. We have ridden in ambulances. We have walked through Samuel being on oxygen for six months and are walking through Michael’s cleft palate, feeding tube, cranial shaping helmet. We know all about apnea monitors going off in the middle of the night. We have had three pre-mature babies. You have stayed in the hospital dozens of times for me, during my pregnancies, and with our 3 boys Samuel, Ian and Michael.
The thing I am most grateful for is your love and passion for our Savior, Jesus Christ. You continue to point me back to God and His faithfulness. Even in the midst of heartache and much suffering you would pray for me and display God’s love in such practical ways.
You are a faithful man. A wonderful husband, father, friend, son, brother, student, and employee.
I am proud and blessed to call you my husband and my best friend. Thank you for loving me and caring for us so well. Happy Father’s Day!