Thursday, March 13, 2014

9 Years Later... {What I did not imagine as an engaged girl}

I'm linking up for Thrive at Home Thursday hosted by Jenni and Amy, two awesome Christian bloggers.
thrive at home thursday 1

Ben and I got engaged nine years ago* today! We were married three months later!!! Yup- three months!

Life was so different then... Time has FLOWN by! My heart has changed so much since then. I thought I'd share a few things that I never thought about back then:

I never knew it would be so much intentional work. I always heard people say that marriage was hard work, but of course you can't understand something fully until you experience it. Fighting my human nature/flesh of putting myself first takes God's help and intention on my part. I don't have to be "right"every time.   

I never knew we would change so much- together. God has rocked our world, but our world is just that: ours. It's not Ben's world and April's world.  So when life smacks us in the face, we go to God together; we struggle together; we learn together... so we have changed together. You could call it marital sanctification, I suppose. 

I never knew marriage would make me closer to God. As most people in their early twenties believe, I had it all figured out nine years ago. I thought that life could not be any sweeter. I thought that our love as a couple was what it would be like forever. I seriously believed that we would have fun all the time, smile all the time, be romantic all the time, make good decisions all the time. But that hasn't been so. Life has not been all rainbows and roses. Our love has changed. We don't have fun and smile all the time. Romance is not all day every day, though there has been plenty. And we have had disagreements and made some not so good decisions. But one thing has stayed the same: God's love for us. For every moment that I have felt disappointed or ashamed or sad, God has been there to remind me where my true sense of identity and satisfaction should be. Thankfully, Ben reminds me of this too. (And it takes the pressure off of him.)  My life is not defined by or even valued based on my level of happiness, success of relationships, quality of decisions, behavior of my children, etc. The root of my life and existence should be my heart connected to the heart of God. So when not-so-happy marriage moments happen, I don't have to worry (read Romans 8:28).

Our love has grown exponentially as a result of the "hard" stuff; not because we've done anything right, but because our eyes are on Jesus. Our marriage will continue to grow and change. But I would not want it any other way! God has done so much in these nine years, and I cannot wait to see where we are in another nine. 

Thank you, Ben, for directing our marriage and family to a life in pursuit not of this world, but of righteousness. 

Part of our engagement page from our wedding scrapbook

Note: This post was written originally on March 12, 2014. 

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