Wow, March 27, 1997 was the day the man I love (Berhan) and I exchanged our vows, before a judge, to be one till death do us part.
I was thinking of our anniversary throughout the week but for some reason I forgot about it this morning. I dropped off our kids to school and on my way back home, my favorite song came in the radio and I remembered that beautiful Thursday morning, March 27, 1997. I got home and I said to the man I always love, “Hey, happy anniversary” and I started crying. Berhan gave me my favorite squishy hug saying “happy anniversary, my Love”. I continued crying. I know I was crying out of joy but I had a reason too.
Berhan asked me, “My love, why are you crying?” And I struggled to speak but at last I said, “I’m glad that God spared you from hell too”. For some reason, I thought of the day I came to know the Lord but Berhan didn’t.
You see, we’ve known each other since I was a teenager. And when Berhan came to America, I went to India from Addis. And in India, I came to know the Shepherd of my soul. Within a week of becoming a born-again Christian, I wanted to give my whole life to God. So, I started asking what I needed to do to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. The people who were around me told me that I needed to say “goodbye” to my boyfriend because it was sin for me to be unequally yoked (may the LORD bless them; may the LORD multiply people like them who stand for the Truth no matter what).
So, I called Berhan and said: “Berhan, we can’t be boyfriend and girlfriend anymore. I met Jesus Christ and I invited Him into my life and I am a believer now. I’m different person. So we have to go to our separate ways.”
There was a pause and he said, “What is this you are talking about?”
I said, “I don’t think it is something you can understand. I just called you to say goodbye.” He said, “Okay” and I think I tried to explain but at last we hung up the phone.
Part of me wanted to fall down on the ground and cry but I pulled myself together. I wanted to prove to myself that I was strong.
Within an hour or two, he called back. I remember it was Wednesday. And he said, “I’m coming to New Delhi on Friday. And I want you to say, whatever you just said on the phone few minutes ago, looking at my eyes. Then we will go to our separate ways.”
I can’t tell you how happy I was but I pretended that I was tired of him pursuing me this far. Do you want me to continue with the story? I don’t think so.
Yeah, he came to New Delhi and I was not able to say “goodbye” to him. Some people rightly so didn’t forgive me for not sending him back on his way the same day he came to New Delhi. I cried and cried and started literally weeping. I tried to tell him about Christ but he kept on saying “I feel like you’re joking.”
Oh, Beloved, it is a long story. Berhan came to the LORD after a couple years or so and we tied the knot on Thursday, March 27, 1997.
I attached one photo of mine with this note because this picture has a beautiful story (at least for me, lol) (I was 16 years old when I took this picture, which seems like 100 years ago, lol.).
So, when Berhan and I started dating (while we were in Addis), I was busy with my school. Berhan used to call me at sharp 9pm and sometimes we used to talk over the phone for five or six hours straight. Then before I knew it, our phone conversation started affecting my school work.
I said to him one day, “don’t call me again because you are bothering my study time.” He said, “If that is what makes you happy, okay, I won’t call you.” (Yeah, this man knew me even back then, lol).
This was not the first time I said that to him. I said like that probably two or three times but every time I say something like that, he usually disappears for a week or so and calls me back and we will continue from where we left off.
But at that particular night, I was scared of getting low grades. And apparently I said that “don’t call me” statement very seriously (as he told me later).
Well, this time, after I said “don’t call me”, two weeks passed without him calling me. And three weeks have passed and he didn’t call me. After waiting for him for another week, I decided to call him but I was very scared. Imagine, what am I going to say to him? Am I going to say “I missed you, how come you didn’t call me”? No, I can’t say that because I told him not to call me. Am I going to say, “I’m dying of love”? You must be kidding! Nah, he is much smarter than that.
During our peaceful days, we were talking about taking pictures and I’ve showed him one of my pictures I took for school. He loved one of them (the one I attached to his note) and he said “Can I take it? I will bring it back.” I said, “Okay”. But he never got a chance to return it back.
Well, this time, after I said “don’t call me”, two and three weeks have passed without him calling me. After waiting for him for another week, I decided to call him but I was very scared. Imagine! What am I going to say to him? Am I going to say “I missed you, how come you didn’t call me”? No, I can’t say that because I told him not to call me. Am I going to say, “I’m just checking on you”? You must be kidding! Nah, he is much smarter than that. He knew that I couldn’t last long without hearing his voice.
He still denies that he didn’t understand my “silky move”. Do you want me to continue? I don’t think so. Of course, I didn’t care about the picture. And he later confessed that he copied the picture and made 100 copies of it before he brought it back, lol.
So, this picture is one of my souvenirs I treasure the most. It is because of this picture that I brought my man back to me. Yes, he pursued me but I pursued him too; with determination and conviction. I said conviction because I knew all along that he was my man.
Do you guys mind if I address the rest of the note directly to him? I hope you don’t. Though he is not a Facebook person, he receives every A4P FB posts via email. So, here we go:
My Love, happy anniversary! Time flies, doesn’t it? Yep, seventeen years!
I remember falling in love and being crazy about you. The thing is I love you more than I loved you back then. Now I come to know your kind heart very well. Oh, Berhan, even if I know that you love me, I sometimes wonder if you know how much I love you!
Thank you for loving me! Your kind heart never stops loving me even when I was in the most unlovable situation. Thank you for teaching me about compassionate love; a love that is beyond emotion and feeling. My Love, I am looking forward to many more years with you.
I sometimes remember our childhood days. All those funny things we used to do. I treasure each one of them.
But at the same time, we were lost beyond any hope but Jesus saw us both through. Now, I can’t tell you how grateful I’m to see you leading me and our kids to the LORD. I don’t get tired of seeing and hearing you pray for me and our kids. Your spirituality and kindness already attracted our daughter and she said last time, “Mom, I want to marry a kind and loving man like my Dad.” What a testimony, a mark and a footprint you are leaving in our kids’ heart! May the LORD bless you! I can’t stop loving you, my Love! You are my Berhan.
You know, whenever you pull me aside from our busy life and say, “If something happens to me, do this and that”, I quietly offer up my prayers to God, saying: “LORD, You know who can make it alone from both us. I don’t choose to see Berhan’s deep sleep, let alone his departure. So, God, I know You won’t make a mistake in this.”
Oh, how happy I’m to submit to you, my Love! May the LORD continue helping me to respect and honor you in the way God wants me to! I know I’m not a perfect wife but I desire to be the best “suitable wife” ever.
Oh, my Love and my Best Friend, may the LORD keep and cover you in His Blood wherever you go. May His favor rest on you forever! May the LORD give you honor and grace before me, before our kids and before everybody!
As you can imagine, my tears are covering my eyes. I enjoy them because they are helping me enjoy this beautiful day. My Berhan, do you know which day I long to see? I’m sure you know it. It is the day we stand before the throne of God, holding hands and bowing down before Him! I long to hear Him say, “Well done, my faithful servants.”
Till then, I make sure that I enjoy every day of my life with you! Thank you for teaching me how to keep on falling in love with you. You thought me many things but above all you thought me how to love! Oh, Berhan, thank you! I can’t wait until you come home today.
Of course there will be a surprise waiting for you; and our kids’ hands are involved in the surprise. So, just get ready, lol! ///