Thursday, June 12, 2014 will mark the ten year anniversary of my marriage.
For some of you, this may not seem like much. So many of our friends and family have 15, 25 or even 40 years of marriage – and they still like each other. Ten years in their world may feel more like a drop in the bucket.
To me, it’s huge.
This man I married ten years ago has cared for me, held me, encouraged me, challenged me, sustained me…loved me for all of these years. He is a man of compassion and conviction, intellect and integrity, generosity and Jesus. He is the man I love with my whole heart. The blessing I could not have imagined.
I know this may sound all gushy, like we never get frustrated, things are always perfect, and I never annoy him. These things happen too, but I would be a fruitcake if I did not acknowledge God’s grace and blessing on our lives and our marriage.
Our marriage is a story of redemption, a message of hope because we serve a God who loves us more than life itself. Ten years may not seem like much to the world. But to us, it is another reminder of who God is and what He has done in us.
1. I was married before, to a military guy no less. It was a challenging marriage, to say the least. After six and a half years of marriage, I came home one day to find he had taken what he wanted and left. He was gone to be with another woman. My marriage would be over within the next seven months. I was devastated, hurt, and lost. Not only did I have bills I didn’t know how to pay, but our house was on the market and I had no idea where to go next. Military wives experience this because their life has been managed by official orders – and now I had none. I had never been in a more challenging place in all of my life. What do I do now? How is God going to fix this? Can He still use me?
2. My husband was also married before. He met his sweet wife while they were in-processing to Germany. They were both active duty, and both loved the University of Kentucky (she was wearing UK attire the first time he saw her). After dating for a while, they found out she had Leukemia. The Army flew her to Walter Reed and began treatment. They also allowed him to follow, finding him a job in the area. They were married and spent the rest of their married life fighting the disease. She lost her battle after a couple of years, and he was lost. Spending many hours in the woods hunting and just being still, he too sought out what He was supposed to do now. Could God heal his heart? Would he ever have a family again? Did he want to? How was God going to use him now?
Both heartbroken and seeking, God brought us together. Kyle has helped heal my heart. I no longer question his devotion to me or fear that he is not coming home. I love the fact that he still likes me and am continuously amazed at his encouragement as I pursue the things I feel God has called me to do. Kyle too has changed and grown. He still loves his first wife, but loves me as well. She has become a part of our lives in crazy ways, but I have also seen how God has grown him and his faith through these years. He continues to draw closer to our Savior and, in turn, closer to me.
Ten years may not seem like much to many, but we are true testimony of how God can redeem. He has taken some sad and ugly parts of our lives and turned them into something more beautiful than we could have ever imagined. He has allowed us to pour hope into others as they have faced similar circumstances, being real-life testimony to what God has done. God is truly a God of redemption and hope – we know.
“Who am I, Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?” (2 Samuel 7:18)