Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Happy 9th Anniversay, Bryan!
Our freshman year of college, when Bryan and I were purely friends, I remember thinking, "Bryan Apinis is one of the most honorable, respectable guys at Wheaton." I was right. I think in marriage you get to know someone's character in ways others don't. My 9 years with Bryan have taught me that he is indeed a man of character, honor, integrity, fidelity, truth, grace, humility, kindness, wisdom, selflessness, enouragement, faith, and generosity. I have never met another man who inspires me like Bryan does, who leads me to Jesus like he does, and who can serve in such continuously unselfish ways.
Bryan loves me in ways that still amaze me. He is the most complimentary person I know, telling me many times a day how beautiful he thinks I am (though he gets exasperated with my inability to receive this compliment to his satisfaction), how much he loves me, how blessed he is, and how he loves coming home to me and our boys. And Bryan is so intentional about our marriage -- about spending time together, talking about the real stuff of life, asking me questions to get to know me better, praying for me, and showing me love in the ways I best receive it.
Just one anecdote that shows what a wonderful man I have married... 9 days before Samuel died, Bryan and I got a very poor report from the night nurse. We climbed in the car that morning, both wondering if it would be our last day with our 3rd son. We were quiet and heavy-laden on the drive down to the hospital, both thinking we might be headed to the worst day of our lives. About 15 minutes from Egleston, Bryan started waving down a homeless man on the other side of a very busy intersection. I was so absorbed in my own thoughts, I hadn't noticed anything outside of myself, but here was Bryan trying desperately to get the attention of a dirty, scrawny man. The man came to our car, and Bryan handed him some money. About 20 feet later, as we were driving away, I heard the man yell as loud as he could, "Hah! Thank you!" It turns out Bryan had given him $20. The homeless man was surprised and grateful, and I just kept thinking, "If he only knew! That man has no idea that Bryan is headed to the death of his son. What selflessness to be thinking of others at a time like this." Bryan then told me, "I've been praying for him for 2 weeks without knowing it. When I was fasting for Samuel, I asked God to help me love others and see others' needs in this time. I was praying for that man." I spent the rest of the drive to the hospital thanking God for Bryan, for a man who can see past himself even in the most dire of circumstances, who can be generous even when life seems to be sucking us dry. (Incidentally, we never went back home again until after Samuel's death. It was the beginning of the end.)
I am a ridiculously blessed woman. I have not deserved my husband. I am not generous like Bryan is; in fact, so many of his strengths are my exact weaknesses. Bryan challenges me to be a better woman just by being who he is. I am so very grateful for my love, Bryan Christopher Apinis, and for a lifetime together as husband and wife. Thank you, Jesus, for giving me the most admirable man I know! And, Bryan, Happy Anniversary! I LOVE YOU!