I am obliged to warn you that this post contains an unhealthy amount of syrup.
Read on at your own risk.
Sometime early last year I met a very fine woman on a typically cold and gloomy London day.
For someone who likes to write, I really struggle to summon courage to walk up to a woman more often than not.
Dont ask why, It’s the way I have been wired.
That day we talked and I remember getting pretty excited [as is the norm with me]. It was one of the most controlled performances I had ever seen in a woman.
You could have attached one of those hospital graph machines [obviously I dont know what they are called] to her and it would have given you a straight line.
She never raised her voice or her arms or betray any kind of emotion.
She just talked very smoothly and was pretty good conversation…..the English language also rolled off her tongue very nicely.
I am marrying her a week from today.
Between then and now there has been plenty to love, to talk about, to argue about and to disagree about.
She’s certainly changed, thankfully, from the woman I met that day [who could live with a woman who never betrayed any emotion???]
What I have come to know is that she’s got a mighty big heart and there’s plenty of life inside of her…far much more than what I saw that fine day.
A few months ago I asked her to marry me and she said yes.
Thinking about it now, it makes me realise how imperfect I am as a man.
I am alternately moody, aloof, cold, unsympathetic and even downright mean on any given day.
To all intents and purposes, I am a major work in progress….God’s still working on me.
But, if I can say so myself, there is some good in me.
I cannot honestly tell you what percent ‘good’ I am or how much of my person is right.
But she’s chosen to zero in on that part of me that is good and pitch her tent with me….for life.
She thinks I will grow into a great guy, a more succesful man, a good father, an excellent husband, a relevant guy…..and she’s decided to put everything she has on the line as a bet that everything she hopes and believes will come to pass.
Why isnt that word used as often to describe women as it is with men?
I know that the woman I am about to marry is full of courage.
And it kind of humbles me.
I am under no illusions that I am some sort of great guy…the heir apparent to Don Juan DeMarco…the world’s greatest lover.
I see my imperfections everyday when I look in the mirror.
Confronted with these weaknesses I see in me, I elect not to bullsh*t myself.
I am getting married to a beautiful woman, in all the variations of that word you can think of.
She’s also very smart and isnt in any way scared of hard work.
She has an understanding of God which she knows can only be meaningful as a one-to-one relationship and not some religious going-through-the-motions.
She also knows how to feel…..how to basically be a girl when she needs to be.
But most of all it’s that courage of hers that strikes me.
She looks life in the eye and basically tells it to do as it’s told.
But this courage doesnt make her rash…not in the slightest.
If anything she’s my perfect foil…the voice of caution when I decide to wear my heart of on my sleeve and rush in like a fool.
But she also makes me bold.
She makes me think that if she can trust me with everything, maybe there’s something about me she sees that I havent quite seen yet.
Like she’s telling me everyday without so much as using words…I think you have got plenty of good in you and I have no fears you will do very well.
But unlike any other friend who will say ‘ Oh you are a great guy….you will do very well….I believe in you…etc’, she’s actually taken her own belief in me one step further by putting her money where her mouth is…..by basically deciding to chill out with me for the rest of her life…forsaking all else.
I have thus decided to draw from her courage [weird and convoluted as it sounds] in me.
Segolene, I imagine you are reading this.
I love you and admire you for more reasons than you can imagine.
As sure as night follows day, I will work as hard as my strength will let me, to bring to reality all those dreams you, and we, have about us….the kind of home we want to build…how we want to deepen our relationship with God…the kind of kids we want to bring up….the places we want to go…the success we want to have.
We are starting a long journey that’s going to excite and surprise us in various ways, but what’s to fear when we serve an Awesome God?
I have tapped into your courage and I am sufficiently emboldened.
We’ll do very well together that much I know.
Thank you for agreeing to come along on this ride with me.
I promise to hold your hand……and never let it go.
So help me God.