We are about to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. This is a big deal for me! My family has a lot of divorce in it...i mean a lot of divorce! I am very proud of us for making it 10 years. It's been quite a journey so far.
1999-2004: The first 5 years
During this time we lived in two apartments. Tim is an only child and had only lived at home with his mom. I went into marriage thinking it would be a life long slumber party with my best friend. Tim hadn't yet learned to share because he never really had to. This made for and interesting first couple years! There was a lot of arguing! I went for a lot of walks and Tim went for a lot of drives in the car. A lot of learning. I can now look back on it and laugh, but at the time I sometimes wondered what I had gotten myself into! It was not what I had expected.
We also enjoyed watching and being a part of friends getting married and telling them what it was like. We were some of the first of our friends to get married and have our own place, so there were many gatherings at our little one bedroom apartment. I remember one party at our house after church (church was on Saturday nights) around Christmas time when we had about 25 people crammed into our little apartment with a Christmas tree! It was fabulous!
We learned a lot about being married and making decisions as a couple. We had to make decisions about jobs, church, money, ministry and even health issues. It was during this time that I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. This was SUCH a difficult time, but we had to get through it together. Tim was laid off from his job and was out of work for 14 months while I only worked part time. Quite a test of faith, trust, perseverance.
There's so much more that could be shared, but I think I may bore you and it would be much more for my benefit.
2004-2009: Then until now
February 2004 brought Tim his first paid ministry job. We moved from Michigan to Milwaukee to work at Harvest Community Church. This was a LONG job hunting process. It was so hard to leave Michigan. It was the only place Tim had ever lived and we both had such amazing relationships and experiences there. I still miss the friends that I had shared such significant life with! I also had to leave my job as the Arts Director at a church.
But we were able to move near my family who I had lived away from for 8 years. We actually moved in with my mom and Pete until I could find a job and we could find somewhere to live.
God blessed us with a generous giver who gave us a down payment for our first house! The first thing we did when we got in the house was jump on the floor and run around yelling! I had live in apartments most of my life so the freedom to make noise was so fun!
Our time of working at Harvest as Youth Pastors was life transforming for us. God stretched us, tested us, comforted us, challenged us and taught us so much. The lessons learned there are invaluable. Some lessons were joyfully learned, some learned through great pain.
During these years, we almost lost it all. We almost didn't make it. We almost threw in the towel. God kept us together - along with a lot of hard work. If it weren't for our commitment to God and to keeping our vows we would have called it quits.
I'm glad we didn't.
Now we have the most precious, special, amazing son. He teaches us so much! Parenting is a challenge, but so very rewarding! We are leading the best church ever!
Life is still hard, but God has blessed us. We are doing the best we can to figure out life, marriage, parenthood, ministry. We make lots of mistakes. We have lots of fun. We learn and we love.
10 years down, 100 more to go!