Judson's Legacy

Golden Anniversary


Today, January 13th, marks 13 years since Drake and I got married.  I’ve heard this is called the “Golden Anniversary” when the number of years we’ve been married corresponds to the day of the month we tied the knot.

So in honor of our “Golden Anniversary” I am posting my personal letter that I read to Drake at our wedding ceremony (we exchanged traditional vows but then read personal letters to each other):

Dear Drake,

“Wow!”  That’s the expression I wrote in my journal the day you caught my eye.  Three years ago you were running for president at Biola and during the AS debates you exuded integrity, sincerity, and leadership.  Not to mention, you were handsome.  My interest was definitely sparked.

“Wow!”  That’s the expression I exclaimed over and over again on our first date in May 1993 when we walked to the fountains at city hall and you had set up a blanket with candles, Martinelli’s, and little delicacies.  I was wooed by the romance.

“Wow!”  That summer after writing letters back and forth you came to visit me in Ventura.  Your passion for the Lord was clearly evident in our conversation and I was smitten by your sense of humor and intelligence.  I was thrilled when you said you wanted to date me exclusively.

When we broke up in January it was very difficult but I knew God was in control.  He had our best in mind.

“Wow!”  You asked me to Spring Banquet after we spent a few months without much interaction.  You gave me three roses which meant, “No Turning Back”.  We knew that decision would change our lives.

Wow!”  It was a year later on my birthday.  You treated me like a princess.  It was over a Scrabble board that you told me you loved me for the first time and then got down on one knee with a proposal.

“Wow!”  Here I stand today, nine months later, at the marriage altar.  I count it a privilege to be marrying you-a man who loves the Lord deeply, is committed to truth, and always gives his best.  You have a sensitivity I have seen in very few men, yet it is coupled with a competitive edge and strength which demands respect.  I believe God has incredible plans for your life, and I am humbled that he has allowed me to be a part.

I love you deeply Drake.  As I give myself wholly to the Lord I pray I will learn to love you even more.  I know there are challenges which lie ahead, yet by God’s grace we can grow stronger through those times.  May our Father guide and lead us as we venture forth.

Wholeheartedly Committed!


I remember when writing this letter while sprawled on my parents’ dated green couch, I was filled with all the awe, wonder, excitement, nervous energy, and optimism of a young bride.  However, I recall a sobering moment when I strongly felt the reality of hardship, knowing we were certain to face challenges.  But by no means could I have imagined the suffering, heartache, and brokenness that lay before us.

Amazingly, by God’s grace, I believe we have, in fact, grown stronger through the pain.

I have beautifully seen my husband’s fortitude, resilience, passion, fierceness, patience, persistence, tenderness, determination, humility, faithfulness and grace through unimaginable circumstances and am convinced I married one of the most honorable men to walk the face of this earth; I continue to be humbled that God has allowed me to be part of his life.  Of course, Drake is deeply wounded, but he allows me to engage his excruciating pain, meanwhile holding and caring for me in my own devastation.  He sacrifices daily, is committed appropriately, and gives of Himself generously to our family.  Drake is an even more amazing man than I ever imagined that warm January afternoon when he stood across from me as my groom.

I am now acutely aware that “for better or for worse” can mean “for better or dreadfully awful”.  But… the refining that occurs when you walk through the fire together can lead to a relationship valued like a precious alloy.  So some may call it our “Golden Anniversary” because we’re celebrating 13 years on the 13th, but I’d like to think it’s because we’ve been refined and purified by the fire, giving us a union of gold.

I believe in you and love you SO much Drakey!

15 Responses to "Golden Anniversary"

  1. Traci says:

    Congratulations. We love you both very much!

  2. Ksenia says:

    Happy Anniversary, Christina and Drake!
    And – I was quite surprized when seeing your post about "golden" anniversary. Here in Russia we call the golden anniversary 50 years of marriage 🙂 And, I decided to share some our traditions.
    We celebrate the anniversary of wedding every year till 15th anniversary, then 20 years, 25, 30, 40, 50 and 70 years together. 13th anniversary here is called "lace" or "woolen". 20th is "china", 25th is "silver", 30th is "pearly", 40th is "ruby", 50th is "golden", and – 70th anniversary is "diamond". as diamonds are forever 🙂
    So – I wish you to celebrate the diamond anniversary!

  3. Eric says:

    Congratulations to you both. "Refined by fire" is a fitting metaphor for you. To walk together through the crucible of grace and remain committed to one another and to your God is something that is beautiful to behold!



  4. Alyssa Low says:

    I am blessed by your marriage, Christina. I am blessed by your surrender to the vows and commitment to Drake. I am blessed by your ministry together-you may not see your blog as a ministry but an external processing of your internal world-but your vulnerable raw and openness to God ministers to me and gives me courage as you have so much courage. I am blessed by your commitment to Christ and your commitment to Drake. May you both feel some of the wonder, awe and expectation of things to come that you felt on the couch that week as your wrote your letter to Drake-I pray you feel all those things this week as you reflect on your marriage and love for one another. Happy Golden, Christina and Drake!!

  5. Mary Moraites says:

    Dearest Christina and Drake
    "HAPPY GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY"…and many more to come,,
    May God Bless you all, and give you patience, endurance, and Love, which is the greatest of all..
    Take care, my far- away friends,
    Love to your Jessie girl and you two..
    Athens, Greece.

  6. michele stump says:

    Happy Anniversary! So glad I was able to celebrate with you 13 years ago. You guys are an inspiration to me.

  7. Jean and Gary Butler says:

    Happy Anniversary to one beautiful couple. You were such a beautiful bride; and Drake was such a handsome groom.What a memory that day will ALWAYS hold for you.
    We love you two so much!!!!!!
    Jean and Gary

  8. Sarah Johnson says:

    Wow Christina, you wrote such a beautiful letter. Happy Anniversary to you both!!! 🙂

  9. Rebekah says:

    Congratulations and Happy Anniversary, Drake and Christina!! You are both irreplaceable gifts to each other and to us!

  10. sabrina gavriilidis says:

    Happy Anniversary!! 13 years, wow. What a lovely couple. Here is to 13 more….


  11. hh says:

    Congratulations, Drake and Christina, on reaching 13 years of marriage! I remember well that glorious day being challenged and inspired by your letters you read aloud to each other and your love and devotion to the Lord and to each other!
    We love you guys and praise God for your marriage and the HUGE blessing you are to us and all who know you!
    All our love and prayers,
    Heather and Mark

  12. Mary says:

    Wow! 13 years?! Congratulations Drake and Christina!

  13. Jeff Trammel says:

    What an honor it was to have been there and to have witnessed the beginning of a marvelous marriage. Happy Anniversary!

  14. Melanie MacPherson says:

    Happy aniversary! thanks for sharing the letter.

    Melanie xx

  15. sabrina gavriilidis says:

    Hi Christina,

    I just read the article you wrote about Jud. The way you write, reminded me of a book I recently read and I would really like to recommend it to you if you haven’t already heard of it. The title is "The Shack," written by WM. Paul Young.

    This book really brought me comfort. I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but it is basically about a man who suffers a great tragedy and then, spends a weekend with God who helps him work through his pain.

    I know it’s hard to find the time to read, but if you can, I think you will love it.


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