Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Now and Forever

Eight years ago, I walked down the aisle and married this incredible guy. 

My sister-in-law asked me a couple months ago, "Are you still happy you married my brother?"  I told her it was the second best decision I have ever made in my life next to accepting Jesus Christ as my personal savior.  And you know the really amazing thing?  One might not have happened without the other.  You see, I am fully convinced that July 3, 2004 changed my life not only in that I was now a married woman, but that God was laying the ground work from something far more remarkable.  At the time, I was a young woman who was brought up "religious," but I didn't really know Jesus.  Little did I know that God would use my marriage to change all that.

Our first year was, in a word......DIFFICULT.  We struggled, fought, screamed, and hit rock bottom.  I don't know about my darling husband, but the dreaded "d-word" had floated around in my brain more than once.  Evan and I were both convinced we had made the worst mistake of our lives. In a move of desperation to save what might be left of our young marriage, we sought the counsel of those wiser than us and we were led somewhere that seems so obvious now.  We prayed.  We found a church and got involved.  God put his arms around us and rescued us. 

That's not to say that our marriage was magically healed and I woke up as a Christ-follower.  Far from it!  Marriages certainly take a Herculean effort to be successful.  But we learned early on in our marriage that if we didn't include God in our relationship, we would surely fail

God gave me this man not just as my partner for life, but as the one who would ultimately lead me to Him.  I will forever be grateful for that first year of disaster that ultimately brought us so much closer to one another and kindled a faith that has eternal consequences.

Nobody gave me this advice back when I was 17 years old and "so in love," but if I could, I would drop this little pearl of wisdom in the ear of every young person I know: 

Love for each other is NOT enough.  Marry someone who loves God more than he loves you.

Because a man who loves God, who seeks His will and craves to live a life that honors his Father, will treat you like a treasure.  He will strive to lead your family with honor.  He will raise your children with integrity.  He will take responsibility for his actions and put your needs before his own.  He will love you and cherish you, now and forever.

Happy Anniversary, Evan. 

I am so thankful that God gave me you

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