It Hasn’t All Been Roses

An apartment fire.

 

Living in hotels for over a month.

 

Panic attacks.

 

Health issues.

 

Learning each other’s quirks.

 

Learning the balance of spending time together and time alone, as introverts.

 

An unexpected pregnancy.

 

The death of the ministry I led.

 

A job change.

 

2 different moves.

 

^ Year 1 of marriage.

 

Giving birth to our first child.

 

A honeymoon phase of becoming parents together for the first time.

 

Enthralled with our baby girl, loving the role of motherhood.

 

Moving into a new apartment.

 

^I actually don’t remember much else about year 2.  It was my first year of sleep deprivation in parenthood so…it’s all kind of a blur ;).

 

A new pregnancy!

 

A miscarriage.

 

A 911 call, ambulance ride, and hospital stay due to hemorrhaging from the miscarriage.

 

Depression and wrestling with faith.

 

Another positive pregnancy test, and a healthy growing baby.

 

Another move.

 

^ Year 3.

 

A cancer diagnosis for one of our dearest loved ones.

 

The redemptive birth of our baby boy.

 

Ministry burnout.

 

Hearing the gunshots as our upstairs neighbors were killed by one of our other neighbors in a hate crime.

 

Another move, this time we moved in with my parents.

 

^ Year 4.

 

The death of my grandmother.

 

Some really hard stuff going on in the lives of family members.

 

A 10 year job in campus ministry coming to an end.

 

The death of my other grandmother.

 

A family member’s divorce.

 

Another short-term move.

 

A new job.

 

A big move to a new state.

 

A beautiful apartment.

 

Missing some friends we left behind.

 

Reconnecting with old friends in our new city.

 

Realizing we weren’t connecting to each other much.

 

Residual burnout.

 

Fatigue.

 

Getting treated for depression.

 

^Year 5.

 

Started becoming active and pursuing a healthier lifestyle, we found our energy returning.

 

Decided to make taking care of ourselves a priority.

 

Bought our first house!

 

Picked our church home in Richmond.

 

Bonded deeply over our sorrow for our country and systemic racial injustice.

 

Started building community.

 

Joined an awesome small group and started developing close friendships.

 

Decided to try for another baby.

 

Rejoiced when the “yes” showed up on the stick!

 

Bought a minivan.

 

Started a Be the Bridge Group with a friend.

 

Attended a conference together on Race, Class and the Kingdom of God.

 

Decided that ages 5 and 2 are the best ages so far with our kiddos.

 

Watched our kids become sweet friends.

 

Tried to learn how to parent toddler tantrums and sibling fights.

 

^ Year 6.

 

I’ve heard of the “7 Year Itch” in marriage and was preparing myself for the likelihood of it.  But honestly, this has been the sweetest year of our marriage.  This past year it felt like we came out of survival mode, perhaps for the first time since we’ve been married.  We’ve hit a sweet spot in our marriage lately and I want to soak up every second.   I’ve never been as in love as I am right now.  This doesn’t mean that things are perfect, but I don’t feel bad saying things are pretty darn good and we are enjoying the gift of marriage.  It has not always been that way.  And it may not always feel that way. But for right now it is and we do!

 

Jordan and I have recently been studying the book of James together.  In chapter 4, verses 13-17 it talks about how we have no idea what tomorrow will bring and our life is like a vapor.  When Jordan and I said our vows on June 26th, 2010, we had no idea what trials would follow over the next several years.  And I’m so glad we didn’t!  It would have caused so much fear and anxiety if we had known some of the things that were ahead. As Jesus said, each day has trouble of its own and who, by worrying, can add a single hour to your life?  But I’m also glad we didn’t know ahead of time about some of the sweetness.  Of the honey dripping richness of having children and building a life and growing a deeper love for the real person you married, rather than the idea of them.  If we had known, we would have been robbed of some of the sweetness when such things jump up and surprise us.  Or when they grow slowly over time, from a tiny, unimpressive seed to something noticeable and beautiful.

 

So we praise God our Father for the sweet season this past year has been and the place our marriage is in, knowing full well that the future is unpredictable and we have no way of knowing what lies ahead.  And if I’m honest, sometimes that scares me.  It is so nice to feel stable and healthy for once, I don’t want to think about the brutal waves of life crashing down on us again. But as Charles Spurgeon said, “It is sufficient that our heavenly Father knows – and His knowledge may well content us.  Knowledge is not wisdom.  He is wisest who does not wish to know what God has not revealed.  Here, surely, ignorance is bliss – it would be folly to be wise… Since He is with us, we are content to leave the ordering of our lives to His unerring wisdom.  We ought for every reason to be thankful that we do not know the future, but at any rate, we can clearly see that to count on it is folly, and that ignorance of it is a matter of fact.”

 

Happy 7 year Anniversary to my handsome groom!  It hasn’t all been all roses.  Or maybe it has? Roses do have thorns, after all.  And yet though they may prick you and make you bleed, they are beautiful to experience and behold 🙂 .

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