February 12, 2019

The Wife Life: 25th Anniversary Edition

As we approach our 25th Wedding Anniversary this summer,
I am reflecting on my marriage journey,
spiritually and emotionally.

25 years ago
Status: We were all dreams and little substance.
Spiritual: Most of my prayers were about the future, the
distant future.
Emotional: New experiences were not frightening to us.
Everything was new, and we were willing adventurers.

20 years ago
Status: Now 4 years into marriage, we were a Christian couple who
loved our church, our friends and our family and were expecting our
first baby. We were on schedule.
Spiritual: My entire focus was on getting God to approve my plans.
Emotional: What do I need to be good at my assignments?

15 years ago
Status: Now married 8 years and expecting our second baby,
we were enjoying a smaller and tighter circle of friends. We were
very close to one other, and I was very content in my marriage.
Emotional: I had a lot excess energy and ideas. I had grown up
some and learned how rewarding giving my whole heart to my family
really could be. Somewhat less focused on my needs and more aware
of the needs of other people.
Spiritual: I prayed and asked the Lord why He never called me to
full time ministry when I was an eager child in my hometown
church. He said: I am calling you now.
I was age 30, the same age that Jesus began his ministry.

10 years ago
Status: Now a mother of 3, mostly engaged in my family
of 5 and their activities, always planning and coordinating
and driving, all along with a super supportive husband.
This wife was very content at home.
Spiritual: My perspective was that I was the most blessed
person that I knew. I was often thanking God for my life.
Emotional: Strange feelings would wave over me. I could
become overwhelmed, almost panicky, but I knew that feeling
would come and then go. I was daily fighting
the fear that other people could really steal my peace,
because unfortunately the happiness
of my husband and kids determined how happy that I was.

5 years ago
Status: Pressure mounting. Everyday was about ignoring stress.
Joy was a temporary state of mind. I would cling to it, but
it would still slip away. Firstborn child leaving
for college soon. Grief and depression creeping into our marriage.
We were showing the wear and tear that this season brought.
We weren't ready.
Spiritual: Always asking for rescue and relief, on my knees
often seeking guidance for my whole circle of people.
Emotional: My husband and I had a rule that only one parent
could come unglued at a time. I needed my turn for a meltdown,
but my husband was so unhappy. We weren't able to hold each other
up as well as we had in other hard seasons. It was now time for
me to go to work and invest in other people.
I needed to earn some money and have my own life.

Current Status
As parents of one college daughter, one high school daughter
and one middle school son, we are discussing our options for
celebrating our Silver Anniversary in Summer 2019. We are
currently peaceful with and joyful with and thankful
for one another. We are currently looking
at our life as a big picture testimony, not as a daily battle.
Spiritual: We want to hear from God. We want to please God.
We now know that we will always serve Him.
Emotional: There is a solid foundation here and an
eternal perspective on things.
We have replaced panic attacks with peaceful,
hopeful conversations about
real life options and solutions. We are two individuals
who seek the Lord separately
and then share that growth and strength with the other person.

We are in awe that our kids are almost grown, but we love
seeing them become individuals. We do not need to
live through the kids. We like our life as a couple and really
want that love and freedom for each of them. We want to live near
them and be present in their everyday lives, if possible.
We both agree on that.

Each season flows into the next. I am so grateful that the
success of our marriage is not based on one test
or one perfect day or one terrible month.
Stopping at these five stations on our journey has helped me
stretch my legs, get some fresh air and also get my bearings.
The marriage journey is God’s idea.
He designed a construct for
security and love. It starts with attraction and passion and smiling
and laughing, but it quickly becomes more complex than that.
In all transparency,
I know that God chose marriage for me, but he let me choose Dan.
I was prayerful and careful; I wanted to choose wisely.
But he let me choose.
We chose each other really. Dan was careful and prayerful too.
I was a big commitment, a long term choice.

So far, we have invested 2 years of dating + 1 year engaged
+ 25 years married. . .a blessed partnership.

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