Thursday, July 26, 2012
Today, Joel and I are celebrating our 9 year anniversary. Probably like most couples, we always think back on the years we've been together - those sweet first few months of marriage, the times of uncertainty and challenge, and the times that are just plain tough. The past nine years have been both blissful and painful.
All in all, we have grown together through it. We have learned our own strengths and weaknesses because of each other. And we've learned that in all things, we have to work together and not against each other.
Joel's deployments have created their own challenges for us. If you've been following this blog for a while, you've probably read about them. But if you're new here or are new friends of ours, please read Part 1 and Part 2 of our first homecoming story. Joel's first homecoming from Iraq was a major turning point in our marriage. And it's those months that I think back to often - remembering how much we struggled, how much we hurt and how much grace God poured on us during them. We never want to go back to that place, although we're grateful for the experience and the refining God did in our lives during that time.
Nine years ago I was starry-eyed about marriage. All I could see was rainbows, hearts and fairy dust in our future. But marriage is not those things. And I'm thankful for the man God gave me - to push me, grow me, love me, pick me up and help lead me through our lives together.
I love you more today than I did yesterday. Thank you for always loving me, always encouraging me, always seeing the best in me. Thank you for working so hard for our family and for standing up for what's right, even when it's hard. I can't imagine my life without you. I can't imagine life without our little family. Through all the obstacles of life, I'm honored to walk this road with you. Praying that God would grow us together this year and that He would show us how to love each other better and more purely.
All my love,