Ten years ago today, I got pulled over by the sheriff. I couldn’t imagine then how one “traffic stop” would change my life.
I’m visiting with family so I don’t have the time to wax poetic on this special anniversary of my fairytale proposal, but I can say, with all the challenges we have behind us and all the challenges we have before us, I would say YES again. The rest of this post is updated from a year and a half ago, but still really true.
April 6, 2006 felt like an ordinary Thursday, but it wasn’t. Today, as I reflect on where we’ve been, I can see how much God has grown our marriage. And we’re so blessed to have had it filmed to share forever, and have such a wonderful start to our lives together.
Learning to go #30DaysWithoutComplaint is even more challenging when I have been sick. I have felt really crummy, and I’ve tried really hard not to gripe. Saturday, I crashed hard, and my husband stepped up. Despite working early mornings and 24 hour shifts, and not getting a weekend, he has selflessly given to me when he has been home to do so.When the sheriff pulled me over, I couldn't imagine how this would become a fairy tale proposal. Click To Tweet
He has cooked and cleaned. He even shooed me away from doing dishes a couple of times. He said, “I’m trying to take care of you! Would you just let me?!” Sometimes, in order to be a blessing, we have to let others be our blessing. And what a blessing it is to have someone offer to care for you not out of obligation, but out of love.Sometimes in order to be a blessing, we have to let others bless us. Click To Tweet
I felt my husband’s ‘thank you’ for all the times I’ve served him quietly, and I felt God’s love through my husband. Even in the worst moments of the past few days, I’ve had reasons to be grateful instead of complain.
I live in a country which has wealth more abundant than 90% of the world can imagine. I have purified running water and plenty of food available, even on days I do not work to procure it. I have the luxury of being sidelined and sick because we have a stocked freezer and pantry.
Yesterday, I was taking a shower and all of a sudden, lost water pressure. I realized my husband must be using the hose outside. Standing under a pathetic little drizzle, I started getting upset. I could feel myself wanting to complain, so I prayed, ‘God give me your perspective.’
My husband was carefully hosing down the driveway after bringing home a deer to carve for a friend’s family. During these lean times for both of our families, we share resources. They watch our pets, bring us fresh eggs, and occasionally babysit Lil Bit.
He was working hard all day for someone else, what a wonderful husband! Even with low water pressure, I had a hot shower all to myself. I couldn’t get past the image of all the people in the world to whom pure water in which to bathe would seem an embarrassment of riches.
Why share all this on Veterans Day? My husband is a soldier. He has served overseas many times in various capacities during his time in the Marine Corps and US Army. He spent four years of his life in Iraq, trying to defend our values and nation from those who spread hatred. While not untouched by war, he has come home alive and unhurt. Not everyone can hug their veteran today.
Also, Veteran’s Day is my wedding anniversary. We’ve been married 8 years this afternoon. Six months prior, he came home from Iraq and surprised me with an outlandish proposal.
I thought I was getting arrested, but instead I was getting a fairytale proposal.
Military life isn’t easy. We can spend time complaining or be grateful. We live in a country so free people can scream from the top of their lungs ideas that are completely opposite of what our nation stands for, and a soldier will say, “but I fought for his right to say it.”
My marriage isn’t perfect, but it is growing stronger. We have enough. We have each other, a lovely home, and amazing kids. I get to choose my perspective. When I choose to focus on God, the complaints die away unsaid, my heart turns from bitter to blessed.
Every low moment in our lives is a chance for God to whisper His perspective into our hearts. Every small joy is a gift to us. Every challenge a chance to grow and overcome. Even in moments that destroy and devastate, God shows up. He is present, giving us rest, using people to love us.
I am supremely grateful that when my husband asked me what I wanted for this anniversary, I honestly couldn’t think of anything.The fairytale isn't having perfection, it's having perspective, God's perspective. Click To Tweet
James 1:2-4 ESV “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
I’m counting it ALL JOY, learning to be complete, realizing that in Christ, I am truly lacking in nothing. And that is how our fairytale proposal turns in our Happily Ever After.