Thursday, September 4, 2014

9 Years Ago Today.

Dear Graycen, Dune, and Lars,

                  Nine years ago today, your parents woke up and it was our wedding day. Here's what we didn't know then.

                   We didn't know that marriage wasn't *disposable. This was a bill of goods I had been served my whole life, that marriage can be reproduced. I saw this message in the news, in the movies,   and in my family. What we didn't know walking down the aisle is that it is NOT disposable. God uses a common theme throughout the Bible to bring His will into fruition and that is -following through. Noah could have thrown in the towel a few years into building the ark, Moses could have doubted and quit on God's people when he got to the sea, Jesus could have run away from the cross, Paul could have stopped spreading the news of Christ over and over again, but here's what Paul has to say about that. 2 Timothy 4:7, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." What we know about marriage now is that we must finish it. We must keep the faith.

                   We didn't know that marriage has to get hard before it gets good. We spent the good first part of our marriage broke, sick, pregnant, and scared. And frankly, confused!!! We had no idea that the feelings we had for each other in the beginning wouldn't be enough to sustain the depths of darkness that came with sickness, heartache, pain, and separation. What we know now is that a seed must be pushed down into darkness before it can burst forth, that Jesus was in a tomb of darkness before the dawn of new life, and that it is always darkest before the dawn. Lamentations tells us, "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness." Oh praise God for new mercies and the dawn of each new day. It is medicine to the soul of marriage. Know this.

                   What we didn't know then and we know now, is that love comes in the form that pushes against everything the world tells us. Love looks like sweat and hard work, it looks like blistered hands and unkept hair, love bends down, love feels shaky and broken, love looks like a fixer upper and a worn out car, love looks like hospital visits and chemo, love looks like twins and big sisters, love looks like a long hard walk to the cross, love looks like praying all night and pacing the floors, love looks like extra weight and stretch marks, love looks like back aches, and hair loss, and aging faces. Love looks like your mom and dad.

                  Love does not look like fancy dinners or vacations. Those can help cultivate love, but beware that they are just a play on the senses, and there must be something more substantial at work. Love does not look like the movies, like pornography, or a chat room. It does not look airbrushed or resized. Love is not an edited version of life, please don't ever fall for such a lie.

                 Love and marriage. It hurts to hang on. And it should if you are following the path of a dusty road that's been well worn down from a cross being dragged on the back of a Savior who promises much by finishing. This path we as followers of Jesus are walking down, there is evidence of blood and tears. There is evidence of love.

              Precious children, we didn't know much at all the day we got married. But today your parents celebrate 9 years of marriage, but more importantly a messy love worth living for, and worth dyng for. May you never forget that the love worth walking down the aisle for should reflect the same kind of love worth walking to the cross for.

           And that, that is what we know now.

*(please understand that I also believe there are marriages that one must get out of and seek counsel on when safety and danger are compromised.)
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