We just celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary.
The number makes me breathe a deep contented sigh, then a long exhale of praise.
Thank you Jesus.
He is a gift to me. Derek Griz.
God knew him before he was born, and saw him every day as he grew from an adorable rosy-cheeked boy to a handsome dark-eyed man.
And God knew the gift that he would be to me. From the moment we met, to just this morning as he blew me a kiss before heading off to work, and every moment in between.
And there have been moments of pure joy. Laughing together, playing, serving students, adventuring together. Together we welcomed beautiful children to our lives, our home, our hearts.
And there have been moments that have been incredibly hard. Moments of weeping, praying that there could be another way. Saying goodbye, too soon, to one you already love so much…grief too hard to describe. But together we faced each day…days of doubt, worry, and darkness. Together.
Between every big milestone, there have been thousands of everyday moments. The just being there. Every morning, every night…just us…messed up hair, morning breath, comfy T-shirts and hot mugs of coffee. Reading together. Pizza and movie nights. Cookies with milk after the kids are tucked in. Chores around the house, trips to the store, fixing, cleaning, parenting, rinse and repeat…for ten years.
And we find ourselves at ten years a little older, a little wiser, not looking as young and fresh but more deeply woven together as one.
Yet, the discovering never stops.
Each day is another chance to understand each other more. To ask questions, to dream together, to download our daily happenings and talk about anything and everything. I wish I had every single text message over the past ten years…maybe they still exist out there somewhere…but what a steady and constant ping-pong of communication that has provided us! Texting back and forth I love you’s and I miss you’s and updates on each other’s day. Also the hours of phone calls, check in’s, and heart to hearts all keeping the communication open, current, real.
Marriage was so much more than we realized when we set out, young and full of hope and innocence. I wouldn’t want it any other way, but I think back on the kids we were…kids!!!…just 23 and 24, and I love us. So young and full of life. But when I see us now, I think YES! This is just getting better and better. Not because of us….but despite of us. As we both pursue relationships with our Savior, our marriage is blessed with more patience, more tenderness, more oneness with each other.
Constant grace. Always there. Always loving. Not based on what is deserved but on a promise to love no matter what. Yes, there are things you can learn and practice in marriage to make it great…important things, but a grace-full marriage is really just two broken people willing to let God heal them and make them whole and to be completely vulnerable with each other through that life-long process. It is about daily self-sacrifice. Putting our own needs aside and choosing love.
And all of that is impossible to do for one man and one woman. Only God can do that.
And as I close this post, I feel it is important to talk to you. Yes, you dear reader.
I want to let you know that I’ve enjoyed writing this as way to step back a little and take a sweeping view of the last ten years. It has been good to zoom out of the now of laundry, dishes, bills, and to-do lists and to set my view on how faithful and good God has been to me. So I would challenge you to do the same. What has God been up to in the last ten years of your life? For you it may not have to do with marriage at all! Wherever you are, consider the gifts of grace in your life. Maybe you are in a difficult season and facing what seems like an impossible mountain. Maybe you are just setting out on a journey, or perhaps you are persevering in the middle, or even seeing the journey coming to an end soon. Step back. Open your eyes to the bigger story of Grace in your life, you may find yourself jotting down a few things too. Feel free to use the comment space provided here. ;)
May God bring to you reminders of his goodness and fill your heart with deep gratitude.
Singing His Grace,