In two weeks Mark and I will have been married for six years! It has been an amazing six years of growth and LOTS and LOTS of changes. Did I mention LOTS of changes! Mark and I had been married for a little over a few months when we were at a benfit banquet for a friend with cancer. We were helping at a booth and we were standing in each others arms, nothing inapproriate we just had our arms around one another. Another older couple came up and asked us how long we had been married and their response was, “oh that explains it, wait until you have been married longer”. I looked at Mark and I said honey, I hope we never say that to another couple. I hope we can tell other couples, it only gets better.
Growth lessons in order:
1. We got married, it is absoultely hullarious that God often puts people who have absoultely nothing in common and are polar opposites and allows them to be married! What once were cute and things I admired became not so admirable and actual a bit annoying to be honest. Yet it is this everyday annoyances that helps me to become more holy and Christ like.
2. Six months after we got married we got pregnant with our daughter Maddie. She wasn’t planned but she wasn’t unwanted. She was loved from the moment we knew we were pregnant. But it wasn’t easy. Having a baby meant that I had to give up my independance that I loved very much. I had to give up sleeping at nights. Maddie’s first year of life was one of the hardest years I have every had in my life. It was this year that Mark and I grew to appreciate the fact that we had choosen to move to Albert Lea, MN and be near family. Minnesota is NOT were either of us would have choosen, it’s still not our dream destination, but we do have family, and that far outways the mountains…most days. 🙂
3. Oregon or bust. Mark had lost his job, he couldn’t find a job and we were desperate and Mark needed to get out of Minnesota. So pack our bags and moved to Medford, Oregon for seven months. Seven of the loneliest months I had ever experianced. Through this move God brought Mark and I to a place of contentment when we moved back to Minnesota seven months later. Mark got layed off and we choose to go back to MN were he started school not soon after we moved back.
4. Mark enters school, which would last for three years. Two of those years I worked full time while being wife and mommy. There were many mornings I would cry as I left Maddie at my moms, because I wanted to be her mommy and I wanted to be there for her, not working. Then in Mark’s second year of automachanics we got pregnant again. This time we found out we were having twins! In Mark’s last semester the twins were born 7 wks early! On top of the twins Mark was attempting to do finals and pass his classes! The twins were in intensive care for 7 weeks. Again we learned and experianced the value of living near family. Mark passed his classes with straight A’s AND showed me that no matter what he would be there for me and his family! I had never felt so loved.
5. Mark orginally went to school for automachincs, which then turned into one more year for web design. I became a single mom more often than not. Mark would work full time during the day and go to school full time in the evenings. I had three little kids, but I learned to put Mark first. I learned what it meant to be a supporting role. The little time Mark and I did find for each other meant so much more beacause there was so little of it.
6. Mark graduated and we moved into a house! God’s provision for our hard work for the last three years. Yet with a house we have had to sacrifice eatting out, doing special extra things with my family, we are limited in our traveling. Yet, we have more room, we have a fire pit in our backyard. We are able to enjoy being a family so much more and partly because we have a kitchen with a back door that leads to our backyard. Mark and I are learning to budget, we are learning to make groceries last as long as we can. We are learning to be content.
One of the things that has kept Mark and I from destruction is to forgive quickly and let things go. We have both been committed to take our relationship to Jesus, we have been committed to being submitted to the Holy Spirit. We have sought the counsel of wise friends and family when we got into sticky, hard to forgive moments in our marriage.
We do not have the star struck love of newly weds anymore, but we do have a much richer, deeper, committed love. We have a love that says, “I forgive you”. We have a love that says, “I will submit to the Holy Spirit”. We have a love that is willing to put our pride aside. Mark and I have the ability to hurt each other deeper than anyone else has power to do, we have the ability to be more angry at each other than we have ever experianced and we do have these moments. But I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit who comes and softens our hurts and brings us to a place were we are willing to forgive and talk about the hurt and anger.