This is my birthday card to my beloved Kim, who turns the page on yet another year. She is more than I ever could have asked for or deserved as a wife, mother, and unquestionably my best friend in all the world.
Kim, I find it hard to put into words what joy you have brought into my life since we met in an exercise class I was teaching in 1990. As I recall, it was the first time I saw you in the class and I simply wanted to say “thank you” for attending. The way you tell it, I chased after you through the equipment, out of the fitness center, and all the way into the parking lot to introduce myself and invite you out. Whichever version is correct, I know it was love at first sight for me!
What began as a wonderful friendship has become a wonderful life together. I had heard the phrase, “I cannot remember life before you,” but I had no idea what it meant until I met you. The Bible says it is not good for man to be alone, so God made a helper for him. You, my beloved, have helped me every step of the way. Without you, there would have been very little forward movement in my life. Our closest friends would confirm that statement!
What a “magical” wedding we had on March 3, 1993! And how could it have been any other way? I asked you to marry me in Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World. I got down on one knee, but because I’d just had knee surgery, you thought I had fallen to the ground, so you helped me up onto a bench. Not exactly the way I’d pictured it! But on the second attempt, you left me down there long enough to ask you to marry me and present you with the ring. And you actually said “YES!” Never has a “yes” sounded so sweet to me, before that day or since.
Not long after that, in September of 1995, God gave us both the greatest gift possible, a gift that changed everything. We were saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ while I was passing a kidney stone in the hospital. God’s timing was perfect; He gave us new hearts just before we began the adventure parenthood. And by His grace, you have given us four beautiful, remarkable children: Brock in 1996, Jenna in 1998, Katie in 2002, and Tank in 2004.
You stayed right by my side through all the storms. When the wheels came off the wellness center in 2001, you never wavered. I remember standing next to you, holding your hand as they towed our car away, and you never wavered. I remember selling just about everything we had except our wedding rings, and you never wavered. I remember being dropped by our health insurance carrier, and you never wavered. I remember painting houses and working security for the church, and you going back to work to help make ends meet, and you never wavered. You were living out the Gospel in front of me before I even knew what it actually was!
Then came the call from Westminster Academy for a teaching position, followed by our service at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in men’s and sports ministries. What a ride that was, from 2002-2011. Along the way, I kept telling you about my vision for planting a church. And you kept firmly telling me your vision of “NO! Not now.” I understood . . . sort of. We finally had some security, and after all we had gone through, we would have to be crazy to risk that all over again, especially now with four children.
Then it happened.In the summer of 2011, I raised the subject of planting a church yet again, but this time you said “YES”—the second sweetest sounding “Yes” I have ever heard. Or so I thought initially. The more I got to thinking through it, the more I started to wonder if I was dragging you into another mess. And once again, you never wavered. You were convinced, after years of prayer and godly counsel, that God was calling the Bolands as a missionary family to plant a church.
On March 3, 2012, we launched Cross Community Church in Deerfield Beach. We have never looked back,mainly because we have been too busy looking up! After only 18 months, God has grown His church to the point of needing to add a 3rd service.
What an incredible life we’ve had together so far! As a boy, I had dreams of what it would be like to be married; Kim,you are more than I could have ever dreamed of as a friend and wife and ministry partner and the mother of our children. You are certainly far more than I deserve. I love you so very much, Kim, and I thank God for you every day.
Happy Birthday to the woman who is my best friend in all the world . . . the one who never wavered!
Thank you for living the Gospel; thank you for giving me grace for my race!