Thursday, June 16, 2011

10 Years - Better Together

Today, I celebrate 10 years with my lovely wife, Carrie. In 10 years, we’ve been in 3 houses, in 3 states, in 3 different jobs. We have seen at least half a dozen friends and family members leave this earth. Our family has increased in number. We have seen God move in the midst of all of the highs and lows, ups and downs, mountains and valleys. Regardless of how difficult the situations that we have walked through, we have seen the hand of God moving in our midst. That is a humbling realization.

A friend and colleague of mine just celebrated his 10 year anniversary a few weeks ago. He shared some of his own insights with me and one thing he mentioned struck a chord with me. He and his wife had dinner with some friends who asked them what defined their first 10 years together. I began to think of that myself. How would I describe those 10 years to someone? What is a clear and concise picture of that for others?

I spent the last 2 weeks putting together a video of our first 10 years. It was an exercise in love and nostalgia. As I spent hours scanning and editing pictures and then deciding which pictures would make the cut, I shed tears of joy. I realized how blessed that I am and felt even more blessed that I was able to watch 10 years pass right before my eyes. Since I had a hard time editing everything down, the video ended up being 17 minutes long. It took 5 songs to get through all of the pictures and video clips that I had. Three of the songs were from our wedding day, one was a song that I have always liked that said things well, and the last defined these 10 years best: Better Together.

Oftentimes in our marriage, Carrie or I have decided to attempt things on our own. Whether it was stubbornness, selfishness, or just plain “not thinking,” I am not sure. The end result always seemed to be the same though: frustration. Whenever we would find ourselves at that point, we would always look at each other and say, “Don’t forget, we’re better together.”

Carrie’s strength and persistence is a daily picture of grace to me and all who see her. She tirelessly supports me and our boys. She is a quiet servant who willingly serves without receiving accolades and rewards. She has a load of wisdom that she is willing to share whenever asked. Her compassion far exceeds mine. She compliments me nicely, filling in the glaring gaps of my own gifts and personality. We’re better together.

I also know that together, we are better when we rely on God’s strength. There is no way that we would have gotten this far had we not relied on the One who created us, sustains us, forgives us, and saves us. He alone is the means of grace that allows us to journey together through this life. He alone is the One who gives us all that we need to walk through and survive.

Carrie and I are not perfect. I always do my best to let people know that. I thank God for grace and do my best to extend it to others often, especially considering that I need it extended to me twice as often. I am blessed by who she is to me and our children. I am blessed at being a part of her family, who loves me as one of their own. I am blessed that she is one of the least selfish people that I know.

I thank God for these 10 years. I pray that God grants us many more together.

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