There was a lone chair waiting on the beach. He asked our daughter to sit in it. Then he pulled the bar of soap from his back pocket, got down on his knees, and lovingly washed her feet, like Jesus. He told her he wanted to spend the rest of his life serving her, like Jesus. And he had a pretty good idea of what serving might look like:
Over the previous two years, Sam hadn’t just dated our daughter, Laurel; he had served her. He’d prayed for her and with her, helped her at every opportunity, made her laugh, encouraged her, comforted her, and cared for her. When she got really sick one night after taking her last final exam? Sam drove Laurel to the emergency room, rushed in and got a wheelchair for her, pushed her in it, and prayed for her all the while. (From her hospital bed, Laurel said to Sam, “I think I came really close to burning myself out this semester.” Sam quickly responded, “You ‘came close’? Does ‘burn out’ equal ‘death’? Because . . . look around.” They both had a good, long laugh—in the hospital!) When Laurel was released from the hospital, Sam packed a bag for her and moved her into his grandparents’ house, where they watched over her and tenderly cared for her around the clock—like she was theirs. A couple of days later, Sam and his grandmother packed all of Laurel’s things and moved her out of her dorm room. Then, when she was finally strong enough, Laurel made the drive home, with Sam following behind her.
From the first moment I met Sam, I could see the love, grace, and goodness of Jesus shining brightly in him and through him. As I’ve gotten to know him better, that light has only grown bigger, brighter and more beautiful. (Plus, he has a great sense of humor, even under fire; the importance of this cannot be overstated!)
I used to think that God had been so unbelievably generous to entrust Laurel to us that I couldn’t dare hope for more. But then I met Sam—and saw him in his Batman pajamas! And I silently, secretly hoped for a son. More than that, I hoped for a Sam.
Thankfully, after he washed her feet on the beach, Laurel agreed to be Sam’s wife. So, soon, he will be our son! I can hardly believe it! “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine . . . to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus . . . forever and ever!” (Ephesians 3:20-21)
My heart overflows with gratitude to God, to Sam’s family, and to Sam. This week, we celebrate his birth with all our hearts! And so it is with great joy that I say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our Sam!
P.S. I’m posting this early because I’m hoping to be the first to wish Sam a happy birthday!
P.P.S. This totally counts as a birthday card!