cleansing her by the washing with water through the word

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

9 years

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:4

Today, Jason and I are celebrating 9 years of marriage.
And all I can do is look back and sort of get that chest-tightening, suck in your breath, stomach in your throat sense of "I can't believe we made it."

Similar to the feeling I had after experiencing the Sponge Bob Square Pants Rock Bottom Plunge ride at the Mall of America Nickelodeon Universe ride.
Only, I wanted to do that again (only once more, though-after the second time I was feeling very 30).

I hear folks all the time say things to their spouses on their anniversary, "If I had to do it all over, I would" or "I'd love to have 9 more years just like the last."

Well, not me.
I wouldn't and I don't.

Because the first year was awkward. The 2nd year was heartbreaking. The 3rd-6th years were lonely and fearful. MAYBE I'd do the 7th-9th years again, but they involved two uncomfortable pregnancies and very painful deliveries, so I'd be okay just moving on.

I told Jason (on facebook, because it's sort of like today's city gates, right?) that what I will do, though, is stand on top of the mountain we climbed and enjoy the view. The exhilarating, terrifying, glorious, take-my-breath-away, GOD-CREATED view.

Of suffering. Of perseverance. Of character.
Of so, so much hope.
And of love.

Because now, and I say this with a bit of fear...
I understand that God has made all of those trials "worth it."

In so many ways we are still damaged people from what we have gone through, which-as the years stretch by-seems like less and less. (Yet another benefit from the view at the top of the mountain verses right next to the jagged rocks and inside the deep crevices.) Things that we should have been sorting out for the first three years of our marriage we are just now getting to. But what we have been through has caused us to be extremely, incredibly, beautifully and tightly braided together with God. Who plans the dates and who balances the checkbook is so secondary when my hand has been held at my daddy's viewing. Or when he had to tell me that, again, he lost his job, only this time we have a newborn. And on and on...

But they must be figured out, and that is what we are doing now. And I could almost laugh at how blessedly about small-stuff our arguments are. Because it is bliss in comparison.

I do not expect the future to be perfect. Almost daily I whisper to my Father, "Please, please be gentle with us." I know that this particular prayer is not quite the right prayer, but I also know that God wants me to give Him my heart, so I must say it for now.

But I can rejoice that the past is over. I thank Him that we can trust Him with our future. And I praise God that the fruit is being harvested, a little at a time. In ways that I can see, and in ways that are hidden to us.

God always means it for good.

So, because my man speaks in song lyrics, here is the one I picked out 6 months ago for this day.
better than our promises
is the day we got to keep themI wish those two could see us now
they never would believe how
there are different kinds of happy
(Sara Groves, Different Kinds of Happy)

And, if I knew how to work my scanner (it's been 9 years-we weren't digital back then!), I would put a wedding photo right here. But I need him for that, too. So here's one that makes me smile more.