This Sunday, Jimmy and I celebrate 12 years of marriage. We were married on 2-22. I honestly can’t believe 12 years have gone by. If you include the years of dating, we’ve been together almost 20 years. Can you believe it? Let’s take a trip down memory lane eh?
When I was 16, Jimmy and I met at a retreat called Living Water in the summer of 96. When I first met Jimmy, I thought he was incredibly goofy, sweet and just an all around good guy. We became instant friends and all of a sudden after the retreat, this guy started calling me after getting my number from a mutual friend. Do you remember what else happened in Atlanta during that same summer? The Olympics! Jimmy volunteered for a bunch of different sports events and he would call me every day to talk about his awesome experiences. We hung out quite a bit with friends that summer and when it was time for school to start, we were both devastated to say good bye. He was going off to college at UMICH and I was starting my junior in high school. This was when email just started to get popular and so I would email him after school at my friend’s house. #ifeeloldnow He basically had a work study job to pay for his phone bills. Honestly, when we look back, we are really thankful that we had our own lives and there was distance between us. When you’re young and dating, it’s easy to be wrapped up in each other but those are some crucial years of forming your own identity. Jimmy came home for Thanksgiving, Christmas and summer break every year so we looked forward to those times.
Jimmy took me to both of my proms and this was from my junior year. I laughed when I found this picture because there are a bunch of awesome things going on. 1. Look how awkward we’re standing! We don’t know where to place our hands. 2. That ugly, green pattern blanket is just plain hideous sitting on the fireplace. (my mom put it there so my baby brother wouldn’t fall and hurt himself on the stone) 3. My brother John is straight up photobombing us with his leg. 4. Jesus is rolling his eyes at us from the mantle 5. Why is my head so gigantic? 6. Jimmy’s wondrous butt cut. 7. He’s also skinnier than me.
When you’ve been together this long, you have tons of great pictures! Ahhh the memories.
Last month during one of my worship team breakfasts, someone asked me what the best part of marriage was. I immediately answered, “Jimmy.” It’s true because to me, he is the best part. I’m grateful that Jimmy takes the call to love me like Christ loves the church so seriously. He has a heart of sacrifice and makes it a priority to make sure my needs are met. Look, there are joyous times in marriage but there are hardships too. Throw some kids into the mix and see what happens! We’ve been together long enough to know that there are different seasons in marriage. Some of the harder times were dealing with a lack of sleep caring for an infant and not having much left to give to each other. It’s been tested when circumstances changed and the stress of life and relationships overwhelmed us. There have been times we’ve disappointed each other because of miscommunication, good intentions going awry or just being plain selfish. These seasons remind us of how much we fall short when we fail to put Christ in the center. We’ve made mistakes but we are grateful for the ways in which God’s grace has carried us and continues to show us what it means to love and honor one another. It has also shown us how we are all broken and we need community around us to keep us accountable and to grow in our commitment and love for each other.
Over the years one of my favorite things has been seeing God really mold and grow Jimmy’s gifts. If you know him, you love him. He has the gift of putting others at ease and lights up the room with his contagious laughter and cheesy jokes. His kindness, gentleness and servant’s heart is something I want to emulate. He lives out the gospel in words and action and doesn’t need the world telling him who he is. He knows his identity in Christ.
Love is being the biggest cheerleader for your spouse. It’s waking up early in the morning and taking on child duties so the other can rest. It’s listening to each other’s hearts and praying for each other every night in bed. It’s encouraging you to use the gifts that God has given you so that you can be all that HE has created you to be. It’s dancing like fools with each other because life is too short to be so serious all the time. It’s laughing till your stomach hurts because you just get each other’s crazy and weird sense of humor. Love is a choice and it’s something you have to be intentional about every single day.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” Psalm 126:2
All I can say is thank you, Lord!
Happy 12 years, babe. Thanks for being the best part.
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:14