I know this is not your typical love letter to your spouse for your anniversary, but this is real life for us. I want to be able to look back at year 6 and tangible see the work of the Lord in our lives.
When you’re ready to marry someone, be certain, with all of your heart, your eyes aren’t focused on self-fulfilling things- looks, talk, etc. Over the past 6 years, life has and is coming at us fast, there’s more sorrow than we could have ever imagined, but glory so graciously follows. The way you look at your spouse on your wedding day will be completely different from how you see them years, decades later. When I looked at Devin on our wedding day, I saw a happy man who loved the Lord, and so could love me well. I was sure of this. I pictured a happy life loving and serving the Lord together. Yes, there would be rough roads, but they couldn't be that bad. I would never have imaged 1 traumatic brain injury and a baby born with an abnormality- 6 years later to have experienced such pain, yet such glory. God has been so gracious to us for both pain and glory to work together in such harmony. He surely knows what He’s doing. We can tangibly see how He's giving to us a love that's deeper; a more meaningful, kingdom driven love. How did I know I was ready to marry Devin, that he was my one? When I knew that if he were to be paralyzed tomorrow, it wouldn’t matter. It wouldn’t change a thing. I would love him the same. Always. When I look at Devin now, I don’t always see happiness, but I do see strength, I see courage, I see a husband and a dad who loves us fiercely, and yes, I still see that gorgeous, dancing man on our wedding day, but because of the sorrow we’ve shared together, the Lord has allowed me to see Devin in another light, a tough, yet beautiful one. How will you encourage one another in times of grief and sorrow? Will your spouse pray for you, will he/she pray with you? In the darkest of moments, will he/she desire the Lord’s glory above all things? Marriage is difficult because life is difficult. The difficulties in life directly affect your marriage and the make-up of it all. Our only safeguard in times of need, sorrow, and pain is Jesus’ refuge and always will be. When walking through deep waters together, oftentimes you're so weak and have little to offer your spouse, but if we are both running to Him instead of trying to lean into one another, He will always reunite our spirits and produce glory work. I chose to do life with Devin because of his heart, and I still chose to do life with him because of his heart. I can only half-way love Devin like a wife is called to love her husband because of the love God has poured out on us. This anniversary, we rejoice. We rejoice that there is a God who loves us, who cares for us, and if for our marriage. Therefore, what He’s joined together, no one or nothing can separate. There is no pain too deep, no sorrow too harsh that can push or pull us away from the love of God and the unity He has given to us in our marriage.
Young adults, I encourage you not to seek out the popular guy/girl because of their good looks or ability to play a sport. Seek them out because they are running after God’s own heart. How fiercely they love the Lord will tell you how fiercely they will love you. I’m not claiming to be an expert on marriage because believe me, I’m far from it, but the Lord has been gracious enough to reveal things about marriage that have been revolutionary to us, both as individuals and as a unite. Life is made up of seasons. Some seasons are so joyful, other seasons are hard. Sometimes the hard seasons last longer than we’d ever image, yet God’s gracious Spirits has allowed us to shift our focus in those less joyful seasons. It’s teaching us how to love more deeply, ask for forgiveness more often, and set our mind on Kingdom things. Some struggle more than others. That, I don’t know why? But what I do know is that, for those of you going through struggles, know the Lord is for you and for your marriage. He always was and always will be. Do away with trying to please him or her with worldly standards. It will only continue to drag you down. Start praying for and with them. Seek God’s presence, as often as you can. Seek His wisdom, continually. Seek His desires, always. In doing this, you will love and honor your spouse well.
Happy 6 years, Devin! A prayer? That I would continue to love you well as your wife by the power and might of His Spirit. Thank you for loving me when I (oftentimes) fall short. You are a treasure. I love you! ❤️