Who knew? Who knew that Steve and I would last until year 14? Who knew that we would go from being lost souls to saved servants? Who knew that we would experience one of the hardest challenges a marriage can face and come out of it stronger than ever? Who knew that my Jewish husband would become a man who loves Jesus with his whole heart? Who knew we would be kick-starting a marriage ministry based on our messy story of God’s redemption seven years after the mess? Who knew?
GOD KNEW! God knew. God knew from the moment he created Steve and me that we were going to be helping others by sharing our story. And He knows who is going to be helped. He knows exactly who is going to show up on Saturday night to see Side By Side and who should be but won’t. He knows. He has plans. For all of us.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,”declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
When you are in the middle of a circumstance, a storm, it’s really hard to believe that there is a plan…but there is. That’s where faith comes in. And faith doesn’t come easily. I have learned through the years that my faith can waver so easily. I have also learned that I need to ask God to strengthen my faith. I used to think that was odd…like, oh, ok…let’s ask God to give us faith in God. Seriously? But that is pride speaking. My pride told me that I could somehow produce faith in God on my own. That I could muster up faith by doing another bible study or by memorizing another scripture. My faith does not come from anything I do…it only comes from God. So, why wouldn’t I ask God for that faith? As I would say to my three-year-old, “How silly.”
So, today we celebrate 14 years of marriage. 14 years of a lot of ups and downs. Almost seven years without God in our marriage and now a full seven years with God at the center. That’s a win right there! Every day, we make the choice to be married…to love…to love even when not feeling loved…to love the way God loves the church. (He loves us even though we are so lame sometimes-same goes with spouses)
I do not believe it is a coincidence that we are kicking off our Side By Side Ministry at the exact time we celebrate seven years of a God-centered, thriving marriage. Steve and I may not have known the timing of all of this…..but God knew.
Happy Anniversary, my love. May God bless us with many, many more…and may our marriage story-the good, the bad and the ugly-always remind us of God’s grace and mercy in our lives.