Happy 5 Year Anniversary
Saturday, Stephen and I celebrate 14 years of knowing each other, 4 years of dating & 5 years of marriage. We haven't gotten this marriage thing mastered, but we've definitely learned a lot. Bottom line... we need more Jesus with each day that passes & we need Him to mold us into the husband and wife He wants us to be to best reflect the gospel through our marriage. I thought it would be fitting to share a little bit about how I met this stud muffin & how he became my hubs!
It started back in 8th grade, when the cute, shy, home-school kid started attending Goddard Middle School. He was tall, athletic, had those irresistible bleached tips & baggy Anchor Blue shorts. DREAMBOAT.
That June, we got placed in the same summer school class. We became quick friends, chatted on AOL Instant Messenger & flirted as much as awkward 14 year olds can flirt.
Both of us weren't allowed to date til we were a bit older, and when Junior Year rolled around Stephen had lost the bleached tips & grown into a more confident chap (though he still had the awful Anchor Blue shorts) He started taking me out to lunch on Basketball game days and that began our 3.5 year, young-love affair.
At 19, we had just finished our first year of college & were figuring out what our futures looked like. We had a very unexpected conversation which ended in Stephen deciding he needed time to figure things out. I thought this meant a "break", but quickly realized it was a definite break up & was CRUSHED (this is a very watered down version of our breakup hahah I was a HOT MESS, sorry to my girlfriends who put up with my endless tears for what seemed like ages) We parted our separate ways for three years!
After a lot of tears (A LOT), heartache and seeing Stephen move on, I came to terms with the fact that we would never get back together. The Lord had allowed that heartbreak for a good reason & had done some HUGE work on me. God needed to break down some major idols in my life & replace them with love for Christ. I felt stronger than ever in my relationship with Jesus and even stronger that Stephen and I would never date again.
During those three years we were still going to the same college, same church, lived in the same town & managed to avoid each other extremely well.
Then it hit. I was sobbing in the back of church, the ugly, snot wiping kind of sob. God had laid Stephen back on my heart so heavily and I had no idea why. I was angry with Jesus because I thought I had been healed of this heartache & was moving forward with my life. I wrote a ridiculous letter to God with all the things that would need to happen in order for me to know that He was bringing Stephen back into my life. I shut the journal and moved forward.
Months later, Stephen was no longer a thought in my mind. He approached me and asked that we talk. We met up and he gave me a letter that he had written & boldly said, "I wanted to give this to you on our wedding day but I'm going to give it to you now." EXCUSE ME, ON OUR WEDDING DAY?! We've been broken up for three years, bro.
He held my hand and read me the letter. It was as if he had read that journal entry that I had written to Jesus, & said word for word all the things I needed to hear in order to know God was bringing Stephen back into my life. It was literally an engagement ring short of a proposal.
And I said, NOPE.
I went on with my life for a few weeks. I tried everything in my power to not think about him and keep moving forward. I had managed to avoid him pretty well for 3 years, but now I spotted him everywhere. I even showed up at church one Sunday, blindly sat in the first row open because I was late, and when I looked to my right, was sitting right next to Stephen. I could feel our Pastors eyes watching us that whole sermon because he had watched our brutal breakup and now we were sitting next to each other after three years.
I finally gave up, if the letter from Stephen that said everything I needed to hear wasn't enough, I had been given time to pray and process through what getting back together looked like. I knew that if we were going to do this, I wasn't going to leave with another broken heart. I called him up & he came over right away. We made sure we were on the same page, he was still 100% certain that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me...so we started fresh.
A month later I would paint my nails everyday waiting for a proposal. Then one rainy morning on FRIDAY APRIL THIRTEENTH (oh my word what was he thinking?) he almost lost my engagement ring in a gutter & proposed (video of that here, fast-forward to 2:50 to see Stephen panic as he looks in his pockets to find the ring to no avail...4:24 to hear him propose without the ring & us search for it! I also never said yes hahahah) we eventually found it a few inches short of the gutter in the pouring rain! 5 months later we were married.
Here we are, 5 years later, 2 crazy little boys & lots of hard work. Marriage has been the most sanctifying journey in ours lives that continually points us to Christ, to seek to serve one another as Christ served us by his death on the cross. We've had lots of ups and lots of downs, but I'm grateful for God answering my prayer that day when Stephen read me that letter. Marriage is HARD, INTENTIONAL work...& we are seeking the Lord daily to help us make our marriage one that reflects Christ to this world. I'm grateful for the hard worker he is in all he does, the amazing father & example he is to our boys & that he is always down for a board game. I'm thankful that he has grown in his intentionality to love me well & still takes me on weekly dates. I respect his ability to seek the Lord on decisions and is able to lead our family because of that.
So, happy 5 years, my love. It's been fun & I love the story God has written for us. I enjoy building a life with you even if a great night looks like the kids in bed by 7:30pm watching The Bachelor. I love you. Cheers.