4 Years & An Update

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Four years. Some days, it feels like so much longer. But most days, like today, I look back and wonder – where did the past four years go?

I look back on our wedding pictures as the memories get more distant and see two very young people. You can see the innocence in our eyes, and I love it. Because that’s how a wedding day should be. Full of light, joy, life, and innocence. We had no idea what was coming. Not even a clue how to do life together. Yet we were blissfully happy and in love, and in God’s graciousness we continue to feel that way four years later.

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Four years. Some days, it feels like we haven’t figured out a single thing. But most days, like today, I look back and see that God continues to teach us and mold us and we are in fact, learning a little bit about life and marriage.

What I love most about us right now is that since day one, one of our unspoken priorities has been to look out for each other. No matter the season I know without a doubt there is another person in this world who will always advocate for me, encourage me, and take care of me. There is another person who will make me coffee every morning. There is another person who cares deeply about my spiritual well-being.  And there is one other person who, since day one, has allowed me to care for him too.

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Four years.  Some days, it feels like the darkness is trying so hard to destroy how much we care for each other. But most days, like today, I know that darkness cannot win and that you will forever be my biggest fan and I will forever do all I can to care deeply for you.

I am overwhelmed by God’s grace. It gets more and more abundant each year. Marriage has been the hardest, most difficult fight I have ever wanted to win. We have experienced our deepest lows both as individuals and as a couple. And in that, God has truly made beauty of ashes for we have also seen the most incredible mountain tops. There is no one else I’d rather fight with. Yesterday, today, and forever my prayer is that God will continue to use us to shape each other. That we would be powerful for his kingdom. That our love for each other and our love for Him would give us incredible strength to do the big and small things. And that we would walk in obedience no matter the cost.

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Today, four years after we said “I do”, I have never been more sure of God’s truth, God’s love, God’s redemption, God’s mercy, or God’s unconditional love.

To the one who can always make me smile, I love you.

Find last years anniversary post here!

Four lessons for four years:

{ONE} Ask for Grace

Ask the Lord for grace, and ask him often. Daily. More than once! You need grace not only for your spouse, but for yourself as well. So often I have felt like a failure as a wife, and I have to remember two things – one, I need the Lord’s grace just as much as any other sinner, he offers it to me freely, and…

{TWO} Your Identity is Not in Your Spouse OR in Being a Wife

This is currently my biggest struggle. You know what happens when your identity gets wrapped up in your marriage? You forget who you are. You stop looking to God and asking who do you want me to be and you start looking to your spouse for approval, for admiration, and for affirmation. And although those things coming from your spouse are not bad things, that cannot be where you look to first. They are sinners, they are human, and they do not define you. Your role as a wife does not define who you are. It is a part of who you are, and one of many ways God is shaping and molding you. Your identity rests in Christ. I think I will forever be on a journey to discover what that means, but nonetheless I know it is true!

{THREE} Enjoy Life Together

This has been the hardest year from a time standpoint. We just didn’t have enough of it. Not for lack of trying, or for lack of wanting! Our days and nights and weekends just filled up with church and school and dates and seminary and running and “to-doing”, and before we knew it we had focused our lives around getting things done and surviving. And our marriage suffered greatly.  Although we took the advice of many and had “date nights” and made “quality time” for each other, enjoying life wasn’t on the to-do list. We stopped having fun. We stopped being fun. And when you stop having fun with your best friend, the relationship just starts loosing it’s luster. The life gets sucked right out of it! No matter how long you have been married – enjoy life together. Take time to have fun, put the tasks aside, and enjoy the blessing of having another human to hang out with!

{FOUR} Trace God’s Faithfulness

Trace God’s faithfulness. When it’s hard. When it’s easy. When your heart is hard. When you love so deeply it hurts. He is good, he is faithful, and he cares for you and your husband. He is our redeemer, our Abba Father, and he loves his children more deeply than we will ever understand.

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We are so far from having it all figured out. But that’s half the fun, because there isn’t anyone else I want to do life so deeply with.  I am so thankful God saw it fit to intertwine our lives together in this way.  Our God is such an incredible creator.

An Update

We are currently enjoying one of eight weeks off from seminary. This was by choice and we felt God led us here in a number of ways. Our marriage needed it, my husband needed it, our ministry needed it..we are breathing easier and recovering from a very long semester. Halfway there…two years is not that long (I repeat this to myself often). Quite honestly, the past two years have flown by! It is such a blessing to have the resources to pursue higher education. I am so very proud of my husband, but I am also so looking forward to the next few weeks!

I have officially resigned from my position at the high school – although I will miss these students and there are days when my heart feels broken over this decision, Eldon & I both have peace about this step and I am so excited about what is to come. God has been so gracious to provide not only what we need, but also what we have asked for in several ways. I continue to pray that my steps will be led by him.

Summer brings an exciting trip to New York City! With 178 students! And 35 adults! Pray for us!

And most exciting of all, I’m gaining a brother in June! My beautiful sister and her fiance tie the knot in just a few weeks, and we can’t wait to celebrate their marriage with our families!

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