As much as I would LOVE to do a post about the husband of blessed Mary, Jesus' foster father, Joseph, this is not about him today. Today it's about MY Joseph, my husband, my friend. When I was younger, I used to pray that God would send me "someone" that would love me, complete me and make me want to be a better person. What I didn't realize was that God already had someone picked out, and that although he wasn't the "someone" I had envisioned in my head, he would be so much better.
Joseph Allen Mack was born on this day in 1975. (For all you slow-pokes without a calculator, this means he is 37 today! And yes, that means he was a healthy 7 year old before I ever came to be.)
Joseph has had somewhat of a tough life. When he fell into my life at the young age of 28, he was sort of lost and unsure of his life's path. He was fun-loving and seemingly care-free but deep down, I could tell he was a troubled soul. Some say that's what drew me to him. Maybe that's true. I have always had a thing for lost puppies. haha However, I myself, at the young age of 21, was sort of lost as well. It's like I had this map and a set of directions but I just couldn't understand them and I didn't really want to follow them anyway. I had recently been through "some things" and wasn't sure where I wanted to go at that point.
We were quite a match!
One thing I loved about Joe (and still do) is that he always seemed genuinely concerned about me and when he hugged me, I could sense the strength in his arms, and it made me feel safe. It was interesting to me back then that despite the strength relayed in his arms, he didn't really seem like a strong person. But even still, those arms and his eyes relayed a strength that went far deeper than I knew.
We were good friends right from the start. But had much to understand about life and each other, not to mention ourselves, and we had a lot of craziness between us. Fast-forward through that craziness, much heart-ache and pain, sinful behavior and the birth of a baby, to today. We have been married since 2004 and have 5 children (one still being knitted). We have lost 2 other babies. We live in PA and own a thriving landscape business. We have been through so much that it feels like perhaps it's been a lot longer than just over 7 years since we married.
And my husband, he doesn't seem so lost anymore. I have seen him grow and change and bring forth that strength I knew he had. I've seen the Lord break him down to pieces and build him back up again. I've seen him at his worst and at his best and I've loved him through it all. I've seen his beautiful brown eyes light up at a moment of realization or new understanding of what this life, our marriage, our family is about. I've seen him weep in desperation and frustration at his misunderstanding and confusion. I've listened to him pray, begging God to help him find his path. I've prayed with him in thanksgiving, confession, and behest.
And through it all, he has loved me, too. Not always in ways I understood or wanted, but in his effort and his own way. It hasn't always been easy but I look back on all the bumps in the road, all the highs and the lows, all the joys and the sorrows and I wouldn't trade any of it. Not one part. Not even the most painful times. Every second of our life together was already known to our heavenly Father and yet, He put us together. He knew every moment, every day, every year we'd travel together and every single detail of it all. He gave us everything we needed to make it through, grow together, grow in our love and our dependence on Him. He gave me Joseph to love me, complete me and make me want to be a better person. And it's been far more than I could have ever asked for.
He has become quite the someone.
Happy Birthday, my sweet dear love!! I love you with everything I am.