on love | have I always trusted you?


Since I first read Amber and Seth (and several others) writing letters to one another about their marriage, I’ve wanted to do the same. It seems normal to pay attention to, write about,  and photo the kids since they are the most present, demanding, and often funny things of my day. Yet, even in the midst of these tumultuous years littered with dirty diapers, food-stained clothes, and sleepless nights stringing together and evolving to energetic days, smelly boys, sleep-overs, sport-filled weekends, and laundry — dear Lord, the laundry! — in the midst of all of that, there’s us. The beginning, the center, sometimes fumbling through the dark looking for pacifiers or the missing remedy for tantrums. But today, it’s about us. And the topic is trust.

sinking into my “old leather couch” 11 years ago.



I still remember that warm September road trip, the Texas wind whipping our hair (that’s right, your hair whipping) and words and souls around your old Trooper into one jumbled mess.  I barely knew you then. Sure, I had been around you from afar, knowing you through our mutual friendships, but we had never spent any significant time learning one another, until this day, rolling through the Texas countryside to a friend’s birthday party in another town, our souls unknowingly entangling. Even then, somehow our relationship already felt broken in, like an old leather couch or my favorite denim cut-offs, as though you had somehow been through life with me all along, softened and made better in spite of the used and unraveled threads of my heart.  At least this is how I felt with you, understood and known, opposed to what we actually were, almost strangers. Is this trust?

When weeks later, after our only date, you told my father you loved me and wanted to marry me, he asked you only one question, “Will you lay your life down for my daughter?” “Yes.” You told him plainly (admitting to me now that you didn’t quite know what that would mean). But you have. Every. Day. And through this, I am learning to be trusting. Not the word yes in that moment, but the yes you say everyday when you put aside the writing and creating that you love to earn money for our family to live. The yes you say when you choose to listen attentively instead of waiting to be heard. The yes you say when you snuggle and sing to our children and relieve me for some alone time. The yes in leading our family through hard places and sometimes unpopular decisions (what? you mean we don’t always agree? No way.). And in the moments when trust comes undone by hurtful words or deeds, you say yes in your humility and repenting. In all of these yeses, Mark, God is healing me, mending the torn holes of my heart and teaching me how to trust him.

I love you.

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  1. bethany! thank you for this beautiful letter. your beautiful love letter. i am encouraged by this. i have been encouraged by your blog. love, betsy berre (val smiths sister in law)

    1. I know who you are, Betsy, and I’m so encouraged to hear this! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you! And I completely receive that blessing.

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