We went through fire and through water;
But You brought us out to rich fulfillment. Psalm 66:12 NKJV
I thought that in honor of my twenty-sixth anniversary with the HH, I would write a quick post sharing some marital wisdom that we have gleaned through the years, some discovered nuggets that might encourage others in their own relationship journeys.
Yeah. that’s what I thought.
He had a different idea.
He seemed to impress upon my spirit that there are plenty of great books and blogs and Bible studies and audio listenings available with practical ideas to encourage others in their marriage journeys. A plethora of resources from folks far wiser and more gifted than I am floods the internet and libraries. My two cents are not needed.
That instead of attempting Marie Wisdom and Ideas I should share this amazing and powerfully transforming conjunctional phrase: But God.
See, the truth is, the HH and I were just a couple of messed up kids who fell in lust, and on little more than that and a whim stood with hangovers before a Justice of the Peace who had remnants of powdered doughnut on her face. Heads pounding, we hurried through the quick version of our I Dos. Although the HH was a little older and a little wiser, we both carried tattered valises with enough junk to sink the best of marital intentions.
God began to loosen our hold on the things we thought we’d carry forever, eventually casting them as far as the east is from the west.
Truth is, we were quite familiar with lust, but we did not have a clue what love looked like.
God began to show us, through His Word, and through the cross, and through His people, what unconditional love looks like and how it behaves.
Truth is, back then we thought we’d just tie the knot and if it didn’t work out it was no big deal; we’d simply go through the equally rapid divorce process.
God began to speak of lifelong commitment and perseverance even during a season when quitting felt like the most viable option.
Truth is, we were – and still can be – two self-centered individuals seeking our own pleasures and wanting to have our own needs and desires met.
God continues to teach us that He alone is the one who can fulfill us and bring us the deepest pleasures; He alone is the one who meets all of our needs and longings. This knowledge frees us to love without expectation. He has taught us that “two becoming one” doesn’t mean we give up our unique identities, or God-given personalities with our own strengths and weaknesse, but rather that we are one in Christ, one team, complementing, supporting and encouraging one another.
Truth is, back then, I didn’t believe in a passion that becomes stronger rather than waning and dying; I didn’t believe that love is dynamic and grows when placed in the hands of its Creator,
(I didn’t believe that someone could know everything about me and still cherish and desire me.)
Oh, But God!
It has been twenty-six years.
Six kids and two decades of homeschooling, nearly a dozen moves within two countries and a couple of states, financial struggles, surgeries and oncologists, laughter and tears, job losses and job gains, we’ve certainly been through fires that nearly consumed us and waters that threatened to drown us, but oh baby, we’ve come to a place of rich, rich fulfillment.
Thank you, Jesus, for your abundant grace.
I’m gonna keep living my life with that beautiful conjunction: But God.
Happy anniversary to us!
It’s homecoming weekend for our kiddos, so we’ll likely do little more than go hiking, share a bottle of Cabernet. and lots of laughter and reminiscing. In this abundant land, that’s more than enough.
Here are some more fun photos from our friends at Fingerprint Portraits
One of the sweetest blessings in this abundant land is our GRANDBABY!!!
If there are two spouses willing to say “But God…” than any marriage can be made into something beautiful. We’re a walking testimony 🙂 Blessings!
Grateful for this wonderful life,
Marie with a 🙂