Tomorrow Shawn and I will celebrate our anniversary. In the morning, in those brief quiet moments we share at dawn, we will drink coffee and exchange cards. In the evening we will show our children wedding photos and answer their million questions.
Tomorrow will be simple and wonderful.
Today, though, I am remembering our first anniversary. The one we spent in Malaysia on a beautiful beach lined with palm trees. The one when Shawn worked until almost midnight and I had a horrible sinus infection.
That first anniversary was exotic and frustrating.
But that is not the part of our anniversary that I'm recalling today. Today I'm remembering two wonderful people we met that week eight years ago--two people who also met each other that week: a brilliant writer from California, and a beautiful translator from France. It was a whirlwind trip, and there is much I don't remember; but I will never forget our last hours in Malaysia, finding the writer despondent in the airport. All of us were heading our separate ways, and he looked ill.
Turns out he was worried he might never see the beautiful translator again.
We shared with him our story (perhaps I'll share it here another time), and apparently it inspired him. Because before we knew it, the writer had moved to France and wooed the translator, and on this day (Happy Anniversary!) they began to weave their own story.
First they lived in France, then China, and now America. But even here in America, and even now while in the throws of parenting two young children, they have chosen to live multiculturally: He converses with the children in English, she in French; they live in a predominantly hispanic neighborhood and attend a Chinese church. They spend Saturday breakfasts conversing over Skype with family abroad.
As wonderfully exotic as all this sounds, living a multicultural life in a largely monocultural setting is not easy. They've chosen to swim against the current. Most people just don't get it.
Yet for them every uphill step is worth it, because their hearts are world-shaped.
The world's diversity reflects God's creativity, after all, and they love Him deeply. His love for the world is worth every stroke against the current and every step uphill. And it's worth waiting unknown lengths of time to go to unknown places in the world, because the waiting times are important too.
Today I don't want to simply remember this couple's first encounter or celebrate their anniversary or applaud them in their parenting. Today I want to encourage them on their journey:
You two are doing an amazing job. You share honestly, parent courageously, and love intentionally. You haven't chosen an easy path, but you have chosen a deeply meaningful one. It is worth it!
Just keep saying yes. Just keep trusting.
And by they way, this mama writes an incredible blog about raising children who are lovers of the world. It is one of my favorites! http://www.thirdculturemama.com/