I pondered the idea with joy but wondered what in the world we were getting ourselves into.
Truth was, I knew it too. We were going to be married. But I needed more time to acknowledge the incredible gift. Jeff's life paths most often went straight uphill and fast. Mine more comfortably meandered and plodded.
God must have known the impact of crossing those divergent paths. He did not give us any warning though. Just sealed us with the covenant of marriage and promised to never leave or forsake us.
I am remembering our first hike. We had been married three or four weeks. And we were hiking to Timberline. A few hours in and I was miserable and tired. You were energized and thrilled. You carried my backpack together with your own and left love notes for me on the trail to encourage me. I missed some of the messages because I was so frustrated with the hike. There were biting flies and it was SO VERY HOT. You seemed oblivious to those struggles and continuously pointed my eyes to the incredible views and vistas around us. I grumbled. And I quit. You would not give up. You persuaded and encouraged. You waited and you urged. I would eventually dry my tears and move forward. You would applaud. We had so much to learn about each other. In the end, we successfully completed the climb. We celebrated over the most fabulous food I had ever tasted.
We've hiked many "trails" since then. Despite the variety in our journey through the years, it is amazing to me how often we replay that same scenario. (sigh)
By no small miracle or Grace, we have learned a thing or two about each other haven't we?
I didn't miss your love note today. And I am very aware when you lift the load off my back so I can succeed. The view around us is still breathtaking despite the struggles of circumstance, and I am blessed when you remind me to lift up my eyes. My anxiety and fear often eek out despite my best intentions. But walking with you on these trails is the adventure of my life and I truly wouldn't choose to be anywhere else than on the path with you.
A grueling uphill climb. A peaceful plateau. A freezing cold coastline. A Louisiana swamp. A fabulous meal to refuel our strength.
You are a very good man. I'm so thankful to walk with you.
I love you--Cheryl
Eighteen years ago today, God gave Jeff Cash an idea. I was right about it. We didn't know what we were getting ourselves into. But God did. And He could see, it was very, very good.