I met Josh 12 years ago at Mercy Vineyard Church when it was just starting public services, so there were about 30 people in a small rented community center room in South Minneapolis sitting on folding chairs and talking about Jesus.
Josh got to see me weeping while he lead worship for the first, mmm, 5 or 6 weeks that I attended, and sweet people prayed for me each week for nothing specific and everything in general. Great introduction to all my new friends, right? It was refreshingly the place I had been waiting for.
I fell in love with his loud, goofy, center of attention-grabbing self. We talked all the time, he cooked for me, we shopped at IKEA over and over and over, he sent me flowers, we did church ministry together, we dreamed, listened to music and partied with our friends.
He was no mystery, everything was out there for all to see and he brought people in. He made everyone feel like they were fun, intriguing, exciting, that they belonged. He was the life of the party and made people become friends. And I couldn’t believe he picked me, the guy who everyone was watching picked me (yeah, I picked him, too, but I still remember the feeling).
We had so much fun. I new just a few months into dating that I wanted to marry this guy. I remember telling my mom in the kitchen at my childhood home that I wanted to marry Josh. We dated for 8 months, were engaged for 6, and got married in the summer of 2007 in the middle of an apple orchard on the most beautiful day that has ever existed. I don't remember any of the ceremony (too nervous) and I don’t think I ate a single bite of food at the reception, but boy I do remember the wild dance party with our friends and family. Yow!
Josh and I are coming up on 10 years this July 14. Marriage is hard, friends. It’s so hard. But you know what? We were (are) doing it! We were loving and fighting, and getting better at things, growing up. I felt like we were doing just as we should. So much has happened.
The thing I think about most in reflecting on our marriage and this recent diagnosis is how well Josh has loved me. How he has been the single greatest encourager, friend, supporter, fellow dreamer, conversationalist, pushing me to think deeply, question my fixed ways, making me better. We’re matched well. He kept me alive (not an exaggeration) through some really rough experiences in birth, pregnancy, and child rearing. And best of all? He put up with secret Kim, the Kim who is mean, says the wrong thing, hates her body, lies, loves to be in control, judges people, avoids difficulty, is outright lazy. Josh loves that Kim. He forgives her, he trusts her, he’s nice to her.
How can I ever live without someone who loves me even though they know the worst me? It’s such a safety and a freedom to be with someone who loves you despite the worst.
But, I will. I will live and take care of my babies.
I hope with all my heart that Josh gets better. And still, our Neuro-Oncologist and the American Brain Cancer Association tell me that Josh doesn’t have a lot of time. I trust science and studies. I also trust Jesus. Happily and blindly floating through on a false hope doesn’t sound like me. I would rather be prepared.
So, I keep going. I hope and I prepare.