Twenty years ago today we met in our best friends living room.
Little did I know that first night I met you that you were the one I had been praying for since I was a little girl. So many nights I spent on my knees, praying. Over the years the prayer changed from asking for prince charming to asking for a man that would simply love me and treat me well. All those years God knew you were the man for me, my future husband, and was busy preparing your heart for mine.
I can still remember the first moment that I saw your face. You were looking at me, and I thought to myself what in the world is this guy staring at. Year after year we repeatedly kept resurfacing in each others lives. Until finally, I realized you seemed very familiar to my heart. You stole my heart and our life journey began.
At that point in my life I needed to feel worthy, loved and protected. You rescued me from all the past pain, struggles and hurt. You showed me I didn't need to be weary, always questioning, afraid and on alert. In your arms I felt safe and protected. You showed me that God did answer that little girl’s prayer for a prince charming.
You knew you were getting a broken girl, yet you grabbed my hand, looked me in the eye and stepped forward with me. With you by my side, everything else seemed to melt away. You put up with so much in those early days; tears that came from nowhere, fear that wasn't understood and anger that was unfounded. Yet by my side you stood. You continually held my hand and wiped away the tears.
And your voice, oh that voice, I’m not sure you ever truly understood how much it meant to me. When you sang to me, I believed every single word. Your voice mended my broken heart. The melody sewed the broken pieces back together. Your voice lifted me up, making me feel as if I was the only beautiful girl in the entire world. You didn't just sing to me with your voice, you sang to me with your heart. In that single moment the world stood still. I finally not only knew, but felt what love was.
Being married to you has allowed me to be myself. You've supported all of my crazy, spur-of-the-moment decisions...from getting my nose pierced to starting a photography business. You just want me to be the best I can be and to be happy. You like me the way I am even though I am outspoken, sometimes sassy and I roll my eyes more often than I should. You are so patient with me (which is no easy task, sir). You allow me to just be Amy.
It’s never been about how pretty I make myself, my size or how well I did. Although you notice those things, I know that none of that makes a difference on your measure of love for me, and that is the most beautiful thing of all.
It takes a real man to love me like you do. To love me on my good days when I’m all dolled up, kissing you and laughing AND also on the bad days when I’m a sobbing mess on the couch in my leggings and messy bun.
The reality of our marriage has been so much more complex. We've been through too many ups and downs to count. At every crossroad we had a choice to make...keep committing to our love or give up. Every time, we choose love.
Over the years, you have gone above and beyond so many times. I'll never be able to fully tell you how much that meant to me. Throughout my 15 surgeries, you took amazing care of me. After my first big surgery, I remember a specific conversation we had. I was standing in front of the mirror looking at my scars for the first time. I stood there, looking in the mirror silently, for what felt like an eternity. I was horrified at how my body had changed. I'll never forget your words "All I see is you, here with me right now, alive". And even now, on days I'm still self-conscious of the remnants from my stroke, you remind me that I'm beautiful just how I am.
Being married to you is the most interesting, challenging, amazing, mind-opening, loving, growth-inspiring decision I ever made. Such an amazing man I've been blessed with. I look forward to 50 more years of crazy love.
I love you so very much, Mr. Cutler. You are my sweetest downfall.