Saturday, August 23, 2014

11 Years Ago We Made a Choice

August 23 marks our 11th wedding anniversary.
To the teens that we work with that sounds like a long time to be together. 
To my grandparents, who just celebrated their 66th (or was it 67th? I'm guessing they may lose track after that long as well) wedding anniversary this summer, we have hardly begun to fill the bucket.

To those who haven't crossed the marriage line yet:
Choose wisely.
Yes, it is a choice.

Know what is most important to you in a life partner. Yes, marriage should be for LIFE. That's how it was designed and intended - not by man, but by God. I actually made a list of items that were important to me when I was 18. Some were on the silly side and I knew were not essential. But I knew which ones were essential to what I should commit my life to.  He had to love Jesus more than he could ever love me. He had to pursue me. He had to have a heart to serve. He had to be an honest man. He couldn't be caught up in money and material things. He had to make me feel beautiful and make my heart race. Non-negotiables for me.  Some pursuing guys did not make the cut.

Adam did.

He wasn't shy about his relationship with Jesus. It was clearly important to him. It was a matter of easy conversation for us. He initiated praying with me before I went on my Spring Break missions trip when we were still just friends. He was eager to serve others and help them, often sacrificing his time to do so. And I loved that he drove a very rough-looking little Corsica and didn't seem to be bothered by it one bit.

And man, that guy pursued me and made me feel special. Notes. And lots of them! Good old-fashioned calling a girl up and asking her to hang out or go on a date. Sweet guestures. Flowers. Did I ever tell you about the time he sorted through a box of Lucky Charms and gave me a box of just marshmallows because he knew how much I liked them? That boy covered many miles to see me throughout our summer breaks. And he embraced my decision not to kiss until there was a ring on my finger (a decision I made after kissing a few, but before he came along) (Honestly, one of the best decisions I ever made.....probably material for another blog post).  And did I ever mention how he proposed? (definitely material for a blog post)

I chose Adam. And he chose me.
And every day, we need to be reminded of that choice.
And that commitment we made to one another 11 years ago.

Some days it is easy to love one another. Very easy.
And other days, it's hard. Very hard.

Many of our days we get along great and we are in sync with one another and laughter comes easily and he is still the most attractive person I have ever laid my eyes upon.  He is thoughtful and kind. I am considerate and pleasant. So easy to love one another on those days.  Blissful even.

And other days. Oy. Its like we are two hangry (hungry + angry) bears that have awoken from winter hibernation and we walk around cranky and taking swipes at each other. Our sinful human nature pokes through and is ready to be selfish and hurtful. Or life circumstances simply happens. And its hard and difficult and messy and we just keep getting knocked down.

That's when our choice is put to the test. That's when the opportunity to love really happens. That's when we have to stop and be reminded of what is required in the covenant of marriage that we vowed before God and 300 of our friends and family. We have to think about the sacrificial love of Jesus that we both have experienced and come to know.  He shows us how to love.

Some say that love is a choice. And yes, it is. We have to choose whether or not to express or extend love in many circumstances throughout our day.

But I have already made the commitment and choice to love Adam.
I need to see it through to completion.

11 wonderful years down.
Excited for the years to come.