An Open Letter to My Husband After a Difficult 2015

Dear Sweet Husband,

IMG_1193As 2015 comes to a close, I stand with you holding your hand and breathing a sigh of relief. We made it. This year sucked, but we are here and we are together. We are stronger than we ever thought possible, although it is the kind of strength that comes from brokenness, weakness, failure, loss, and tears. The storms raged and I was terrified. Thank you for staying in the boat with me. I’m so thankful to be your wife. I thank God for you.

The first hit was surviving job loss and trying to figure out what was next for our family.  It angered me how some people treated you. I always say you are the nice one and that I have to talk people into liking me. I wanted to give a few people a piece of my (crazy, angry, bitter) mind. However, you chose integrity and humility and you left with quiet honor. You amaze me.

The second hit was a complete life upheaval- a quick start job offer, fixing up a house to sell, selling a house, relocating, living with family, finding a house, and settling in after a basement renovation. The second hit was more like a series of eye jabs, but we made it. Your enthusiasm for your new job kept me working hard to join you. I can’t believe I turned peoples’ offer to babysit or bring a meal into electrical work and baseboard replacement. You worked hard all week in Madison, and then came home on the weekends to pack, do home repairs, and relieve your weary wife. I know I was not a fun person to be around during that season of life upheaval. I’m sure you wanted to tell me where I could stick my to-do lists. Thank you for loving me even when I was a crazy, wild-eyed overly caffeinated version of myself.  Your love and leadership of our family during that turmoil was steady and wise.

The third hit hurt the deepest. Experiencing loss was something we never saw coming. The tears seem endless. Grief sucks- it sucks the breath, light, and laughter out of living and enjoying the present. You walked with me through unimaginable pain. Many times my heart and faith were so weak. When I shared my most vulnerable thoughts you listened and held me. You arranged your work schedule so I could go to grief counseling. You rolled up your sleeves and pitched in even more around the house to ease my burden and love our family. You carried the laughter, affection, and joy to our children when I had none to give. Thank you.

As I look back on 2015, my favorite image comes from the times when we stopped in the middle of the chaos and slow danced in the kitchen. It was typically after dinner clean up and before bedtime routines began. You cued up “our song,” took me into your arms, and we danced. “Our song” was not the one we danced to 15 years ago at our wedding. The song we dance to now is forged from the fire of trials and strengthened by love that unites us in the hard places.

“I Won’t Give Up”

by Jason Mraz

When I look into your eyes
It’s like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
Well, there’s so much they hold
And just like them old stars
I see that you’ve come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?

Well, I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up

And when you’re needing your space
To do some navigating
I’ll be here patiently waiting
To see what you find

‘Cause even the stars they burn
Some even fall to the earth
We’ve got a lot to learn
God knows we’re worth it
No, I won’t give up

I don’t wanna be someone who walks away so easily
I’m here to stay and make the difference that I can make
Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use
The tools and gifts we got, yeah, we got a lot at stake
And in the end, you’re still my friend at least we did intend
For us to work we didn’t break, we didn’t burn
We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I’ve got, and what I’m not, and who I am

I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up, I’m still looking up.

Well, I won’t give up on us (no I’m not giving up)
God knows I’m tough enough (I am tough, I am loved)
We’ve got a lot to learn (we’re alive, we are loved)
God knows we’re worth it (and we’re worth it)

I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up


Your Adoring (and smokin’ hot) Wife 😉

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  1. Barbara, love love this!! We too had an awful 2015 for different reasons but none the less. Your writing is exactly us too! We may not like our journey but boy does God have a plan! Friends, family, faith and strength we didn’t think we had got us through. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for publishing this!! It was beautiful and touched inot only my heart but others! Thank you for your courage to share!! Merry Christmas to a wonderful family!

  2. This is beautifully written Barbara. I’m thankful to have walked alongside your family in 2015 and witnessed Dan’s integrity in the trials. I also saw your deep love and support of your husband. I’ve always said you two make an amazing team!! May God continue to bless your family. I love you guys!!

  3. Love this article! Seeing you weather all that 2015 brought your way with grace, bravery, openness and your eyes fixed on Jesus gave me a glimpse of God at work. Iowa sorely misses you.


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