Happily Ever After... So FarToday we’re celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary. Wow! On one hand, it feels like we were just married yesterday but on the other hand, it feels like we’ve been together forever. With the rate of successful marriages slipping downward, I feel so blessed for each anniversary that we celebrate and hope that I never take Jon or our marriage for granted.
Jon and I met in the fall of 1995 at the young ages of 14 and 16 years old. Our church youth groups were going on a mission trip to Guatemala and had decided to prepare and train both youth teams at the same time. Very little happened during those months, we became better friends on our plane ride down to Guatemala and actually spent the last night on our mission trip talking to each other. I remember looking into his smiling eyes and thinking, "This is a great guy. He could definitely be someone special in my life." But as fickle as young minds and hearts are, I ended up dating someone else from his youth group and he started ‘going out’ with the youth pastor’s daughter.
Fast-forward two years and suddenly we found ourselves going to the same church and youth group. I was an adult 18 years old, in my senior year of high school, and he was in his junior year of high school; we reconnected and started dating. From my end, this wasn’t going to be anything serious, just something fun to pass the time until graduation. As far as Jon was concerned, I was hot (his words, not mine) and he was also looking for a fun way to pass the time. Needless to say, we fell in love, or what we considered love at that time, and it continued to grow from there. Our "fun" turned into discussions and hopes of the future and I even stayed in town to go to the community college.
Upon Jon’s graduation, we saw a few of our friends who married right out of high school end in divorce or extremely unhappy marriages. We both agreed to wait a few years and see where this relationship went. If we were still happy and felt that God was leading us to marriage, we would cross that bridge when we came to it. Obviously, we took that step. I’m often in awe as I look where God has led us to the present.
Our relationship has never been worry- or problem-free; we have had our moments and Lord knows, I’ve given Jon many opportunities to pause and "re-think" our relationship. There are things in my past that I would rather forget altogether, just because of the shame I brought on myself and the pain I caused Jon. But God is sovereign and has placed one of the most forgiving men in my life. Jon has continually shown me grace and unconditional love during times that a weaker man would have run. There are times that I wonder what I did to deserve such an incredible man but know that it was only by God’s divine plan that Jon is in my life.
So, handsome, here’s to you in celebration of four beautiful years, and the hope of sixty more!