This week my eldest daughter turns 7. I cannot believe that it has been over 7 years since I saw the 2 lines on 3 different tests which I didn't trust until the scan at 14 weeks when I saw my little wriggly baby doing summersaults on the ultrasound screen. Motherhood. Such an amazing event and yet so under valued in society today.
In a little more than 3 weeks time my husband and I will be married for 10 years. I was a month short of my 20th birthday when I got married and my husband was 23. Marriage this young is frowned upon because those who do are deemed immature and doomed to fail. To have found someone to love so early on in my life has been such a blessing. I married my best friend. We have grown into mature adulthood together and have shared in some really difficult times together and had some really great and wonderful adventures together.
Not everything we have done has been looked on with approval but we had firm belief that we were being obedient to God and the plan He had for and still has for us.
We dated for a short while as teenagers. I was 16 and he, 19, only just out of school. I broke it off as I didn't feel the timing was right. It was a hard decision one that was very hard on him and one that I was really confused about in my own heart. His comment to me was that if God wanted us together He would bring us back together.
We didn't speak much for 2 years but had mutual friends. In that time we dated other people. In 2002 he was hi-jacked by gunpoint, lost his job (not his fault) and his girlfriend at the time broke up with him. Hearing from others who knew him around this time, they all commented on how he was sure all this would be restored to him. I had finished school at the end of 2001 and was enjoying a gap year and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
Then one day in July 2002 I was sitting thinking to myself that his birthday was soon and I was wondering why we never kept a friendship over those 2 years. (I know I broke up with him so really silly question)I sent him a txt for his birthday on the Friday and by the Monday I had a reply. We chatted like old friends and got a lot of things out in the air and cleared things up. He invited me to the youth group he attended and was a youth leader at. It was at a friend's house so when I walked up the stairs and saw him there I could honestly say my heart skipped a beat and I kicked myself in the butt for having broken up with him. Reflecting back though I realise God's plan for us was there it was just not the right timing. We were different people. We had grown a fair bit and weren't looking for any relationships. As it is I had to wait a whole month for him to realise he felt the same hahaha. I prayed and prayed that if it was God's will for us to be together that he would come to me and initiate a relationship. I was also willing that if this was not God's plan for either of us that any feelings I would have would fade and I would just go on with my life.
It was so amazing the hand God had on us. We decided to become friends first as we had both dated before and been hurt and felt that the next time we dated it would be for the purpose of getting married. On my 19th Birthday he asked my Dad if he could court me and on the 12th December he asked my dad for my hand in marriage. On Friday 13th December 2002 he asked me to marry him. And I said yes!
We were married 9 months later on a beautiful September afternoon.
We had rented a cute little cottage and stayed in it for a year before buying a 3 bedroom house. New Years Eve 2005 I felt really ill and suspected I was pregnant. There is just something about your first child that is just so new and exciting. I did not know what to expect but I couldn't wait to fulfill the desire God had put on my heart to be both a wife and mother.
5 months into my pregnancy we made the decision to move to New Zealand. It was a very hard decision to make and yet when we thought about our baby and the life we wanted our children to have it was very simple. I kept coming back to how God told Abraham to gather up his stuff and go to a land that He would show him. That is what it felt like for us.
The week after our beautiful daughter was born our house went onto the market and just after her first Christmas when she was 3 months old the house was sold and we made preparations to stay with family until all the paperwork was organised for us to go to our new home in New Zealand. When she was 7 months old we said goodbye to the only place we had known as home and boarded a plane to a country we never thought we would ever go to.
We have lived in 3 other rentals since then and have just bought our own home again 7 years after selling our first home. We have 4 daughters and most of our family live within a few minutes from us. In our lives we have served in 5 churches and learned much through these experiences.
10 years seems like a long time for people as young as us but we have had so much happen and I thank God for every experience we have had, good and bad, that has helped us grow in Him and our relationship with each other becoming stronger. Between these lines are struggles and victories, sad times and happy times, new things and old things, life and death, despair and hope, joy, increased faith and abounding love.
What makes a good marriage? Devotion, foundation, and seeking God's best and not what we perceive to be best for us. Being humble enough to admit when we are wrong and not to hold a grudge but be the first to apologise and make up. Prayer, steadfast Love that goes beyond how you feel.
So here is to the next 10 to 50+years of marriage to my best friend. With God for us who can stand against us :)
Now before I end up writing a book I must go off to bed. More next week when I have more thoughts written down.