I was challenged by Amber Haines to write a marriage letter to my husband on how we’ve co-labored together, so here goes!

Hey babe,

Do you remember that shy, skinny girl you met nearly 37 years ago? She ran the other direction in WalMart if she saw someone she knew, but didn’t know well. She had no idea what she was worth, but she had hopes in that direction.

Our co-laboring began the day we walked down the aisle as man and wife, and later as babies began to come.

But it began in earnest years later when I heard the word metastatic breast cancer.

You let this crazy faith girl make choices that made no sense in the natural. Those choices went against your better judgment, but you trusted me. You held my hand while chemo raged through my veins, and you held my toes while I rested anxiously in a metal tube for hours while radiologists snapped pictures of my insides.

Baby, you lost your hair while I kept mine because your whole world was shattered while you prayed for mine to be safe.

When the news got bad — really, really bad — you co-labored with me to believe. 

When I pulled you close and told you that I was ready for Heaven, if Jesus chose, but ready to fight with everything within me, you suited up for the fight.

Five years passed — five years that odds said we’d never beat — and I sensed God calling me to write.

My dream of writing only became a reality as we co-labored to let me come home full-time. You shouldered the burden of every bill, and they were large because chemo doesn’t come cheap, as I started this journey to writing.

When my first article was published and I placed $28 in my bank account, you celebrated.

When my first book was published and we discovered what beginning authors receive for an advance, you still celebrated.

When I sensed God asking this shy girl to share the Gospel, you were my biggest cheerleader. You listened to me whine as I followed God’s call, and you didn’t say “I told you so” when I discovered how much I loved it.

How cool was it 17 years later when you sensed God leading you in a new direction, and I got to trade places with you.

I grabbed my imaginary pom poms and we sold our home, moved, and you went back to school. No more factory work for you, but a pursuit of helping people, something you were born to do.

If I were to describe our co-labor, it would be this:

It’s you and me, babe. 

With God as our Source, we’ve somehow managed to make it through cancer, through financially hard times that took our breath away, through unexpected setbacks and even tragedies, but as a team.

And all with a lot of joy.

I love that you are my co-laborer, and I’m grateful for Amber for allowing me to publicly share you with others.