I can’t wait to see what the Lord brings in the next years

Once upon a time a girl spied a handsome boy full of quiet confidence in her first class on her first day at WSU, nonchalantly sat next to him, then did mental fist pumps when the professor said those were their assigned seats for the semester.

She proceeded to “happen” upon him every few days after class at the water fountain so that she could casually say hi; she laughed too loud at his jokes before class; she felt guilty when she started dating someone else but found herself often thinking of the boy in class; she tripped over herself when she rushed out of her car to giddily say hi to him as he happened to come out of the store she was about to enter; she danced a happy jig after their first date; she sat across from her sister at La Gallette and, over a lunch of roasted red pepper chicken sandwich, told her skeptical sister that she was going to marry that boy, then semi-patiently waited another 16 months for him to propose; she covenanted a lifetime with him in front of family and friends five months later.

Now that girl and that boy have been married twelve years.

Once in those twelve years we stood together in shock among the bookshelves in the store where he worked while the sun streamed over our heads, trying to wrap our minds around the first pregnancy. Two years later we sat in the car in front of the bookstore where he worked, teasingly blaming the other for the second pregnancy. Four years after that we stood in the kitchen of our second home as I waved the peed-on stick as proof of the third pregnancy.

We co-slept with each of their babies, even though we’d thought the idea ludicrous before the first teeny precious baby arrived and suddenly we couldn’t imagine sleeping apart, even though “apart” meant the bassinet beside the bed. We took turns singing “Jesus Loves Me” before bed and brushing teeth and getting up in the middle of the night with a little one.

We sit at the dining table together every day for dinner, we sit next to each other in vehicles and at church and at kids’ ball games and at parent/teacher conferences.

Our cache of inside jokes grows bigger, our tiny looks at each other carry more meaning, our love for each other is deeper and yet easier than ever before.

After twelve years our stories come out of our pores, intertwine with each other’s, and wrap together so fervently they can never be fully understood without the other.

As I look at the past twelve years, the good and the difficult, and the easy, passionate joy we have for each other now, I can’t wait to see what the Lord brings in the next years. I can’t wait to see the stories we will weave together.

I love you, Shannon Fox. Happy anniversary.


Erin Fox is a busy wife and mother of three. She is a weekly columnist for the Times- Gazette.