One year ago (June 4, 2011), I married my husband in Loveland, Colorado. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, and other than me dealing with the effects of taking some medicine on an empty stomach, the day was more than I could have hoped for. Our wedding was simple and beautiful, just the way we wanted. Everyone who was there were great friends and family of ours, and they were all extremely happy and excited for us. The ceremony was short, and the reception food was great. Our photographer was absolutely awesome! The weather was perfect.
But most of all, my husband and I were the two happiest people on earth that day. We had spent just shy of 3 years together in a long distance relationship, and I had finally moved to Colorado the weekend before our wedding, and we were about to start a wonderful life together. We had plans for the future, but we knew that our marriage was going to be spectacular.
So, to briefly recount what transpired over the past year:
- June 4, 2011 – We got married
- July 1, 2011 – We moved to Fort Collins, CO to a really bad apartment…..really bad…lol
- early July – I started my new job as an Asst. Residence Director at Colorado State University
- mid July – We found out that I was pregnant, and boy did our plans change dramatically! I decided to take only half of my required classes a semester so I wouldn’t be stressed out. My husband decided to push up his graduation process and write his dissertation to graduate.
- end of August – We moved to the main campus of CSU for my job
- November 2011 – My husband started applying to jobs with the intention of supporting our growing family
- January 2012 – We started having pregnancy complications….extra labs, blood tests, random hospitalizations….random bills
- February 2012 – More pregnancy complications
- mid-March – My husband finished writing his dissertation
- March 24, 2012 – Our beautiful daughter, Alexandria Christine Williams, was born at 11:08 am, after an emergency c-section because she was too weak to make it through natural delivery
- March 29, 2012 – We spent the first night at home with our daughter and realized that we wouldn’t be sleeping for a very long period of time
- April 9, 2012 – I returned back to work to finish the semester
- May 7, 2012 – My husband officially accepted the position of Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Science at University of Louisiana at Monroe….that meant that we were moving to Louisiana!
- mid-May – My job finally ended
- May 25, 2012 – My husband successfully presented and defended his dissertation, and I was able to be there, along with our daughter and friends, to support him
- May 31, 2012 – We moved back to Loveland, CO to an extended stay hotel for the summer
- Today – our 1 year anniversary
Let me tell you, the last 366 days of my life (not forgetting that this year was a leap year…lol) have been more random, but more blessed than I could have ever imagined. Yes, you can see that we had a jam-packed year of marriage, but this is what happened to us during that time:
- We had a fresh revelation and understanding of the sovereignty of God and what that actually means for our lives
- We received more grace than we could ever imagine to walk through all of these challenges
- We grew in our understanding of what it is to be a father and a mother before God
- As much as we were already personally challenged to pattern our marriage after Christ and the church, we were further challenged to make sure that our home was a godly place, not just for ourselves, but to raise our daughter
- We were both tempted to take the “easier” way out of hard situations on a number of occasions, but we heeded the word of God, and He proved His faithfulness to us countless times
- We learned that as much as love is an intentional decision, so is joy….because you have to be intentional about joy when you’ve been sleep deprived for weeks
- We learned that God has used our daughter to show us our own selfishness, and we are seeking Him and walking in constant humility as it is removed from our lives
- We learned that a lot of people out here do not, nor do some of them want to, put their marriage and family first ahead of education, careers, and other pursuits in life. And for us to do this, a lot of people did not understand and were confused about our decisions, but God continued to give us grace to walk it out.
- Finally, we learned that God is more than just a Sunday thing. He is God every single day, every hour, every moment. He has made countless decisions about every facet of our life before we ever showed up, and He desires to receive glory out of our lives in all circumstances and in every way. Thus, we have learned to actually desire to honor God daily in how we live, how we love, and how we relate to one another.
I thank God for my husband….I never stop thanking God for that man. But I thank Him even more for every way He has taken control of our lives and forced us to stop making plans and then praying that He would cosign on our own personal desires. I thank Him for causing us to walk even more fully in grace this year. And I really want to thank Him for letting us learn even more about Him throughout this year from all of these things that have happened. He’s an awesome God. And He has blessed me with an absolutely irreplaceable husband and a life I would never want to give up.
So, for all of you who have also been a friend, an encouragement, and sometimes even a challenge over the past year, I want to thank you too. And to our church family, thank you again for being such awesome examples of great, godly marriages to us over the past year and for loving our little girl so wonderfully.
And for those of you who are still waiting to enter into the bliss of marriage, I encourage you to walk into it with your eyes wide open. If you belong to God, I exhort you to stop making plans for how your marriage is going to go now…..it keeps you from being in shock later on. If you want to enter into the God-given bliss of marriage, you must enter into the God-given life of Christ first and accept everything, that means EVERYTHING, it offers. Study the Scriptures for yourself. Read what it means to be a godly wife, and even what it means to be a bad wife (take it beyond Proverbs 31). Read what it means to be a godly mother too, and don’t think that the Word of God was given to be culturally-specific or time-specific…..like it doesn’t apply, even now, because IT DOES! And if you are having a hard time accepting what the Word of God says, appeal to the Spirit of God to work that Word out in your life, because He will. I tell you ladies, a marriage in God is absolutely incredible and something worth persevering to have.