Fourteen years ago today…August 3, 2002…we said our I-do’s in a small Iowa church. It was a beautiful day for being the dead middle of a Midwest summer, and though it wasn’t a huge turnout, we both took the entire day as a blessing.
And anyway, I was so head-over-heels, I’d have married him anytime, anywhere…no matter who was or wasn’t there.
After pie and gummy bears in the church basement, because we’re totally classy like that, we jetted off to Jamaica for a week where we soaked up the sun and played an inordinate amount of beach volleyball, especially for a couple on their honeymoon.
Coming home, we settled into routine. I’d landed a position as a nanny for a family near us, and he returned to his regular, salaried, perfect-at-the-time, job that was leading toward a career.
We’d bought a starter house, and life was good, even if the bathroom wasn’t quite finished yet. (Come to think of it, I’m not positive we ever DID completely finish that bathroom…) 😉
But it was home, and we couldn’t wait to see what the future held for us…two starry-eyed, practically-still-kids, who had such big dreams.
And then he called me at work one afternoon…less than a month into our marriage.
Honey, they laid me off.
And so began the first of many tests that would come up in our first years of marriage. Some people might call them broken dreams…and I might be one of those some.
Because, as newlyweds, our life together was shaken up so quickly that it felt like things crashed hard and fast.
And there were some long months of job searching before he landed something to help pay the bills, and that lasted for a few years, but we knew it wasn’t for good.
There was more…God wanted more from us…and we were sure of it.
So we prayed and followed what God was telling us to do, and we ended up moving to the opposite side of the globe. Indonesia became our home for five years, where we lived and worked and tried to make a difference. And while those years were wonderful, He spoke again, clearly, during that last year, and we knew it was time to go.
And that was hard, too. It sort of felt like another crashed dream as we watched life change and start to spin in a direction we hadn’t anticipated.
But, really, that was just leading to another dream, too…the kind that brought us to a new city in a new state. And in this place, we have learned the beauty of following in faith, of putting down roots, and of finding home. We’ve had two sweet kiddos and even set a record for the longest we’ve lived in one place.
We’ve found ways to dream brand new dreams…and God has found ways to turn the broken ones into better ones.
As I look back today and reflect on a really great fourteen years, with some really hard years thrown in there, too…I find myself so thankful that my Father sees dreams far beyond what I can. He knows, even when the days don’t turn out like I want them to, that He’s writing a story so much better than I could.
That lesson has meant a lot to me lately as I’ve thought about other dreams…the ones that don’t necessarily involve marriage but are still an important part of the journey.
The truth? Is that sometimes dreams end up broken.
And sometimes the journey takes a twist or a loop we aren’t expecting.
But He can still make it into something beautiful…it’s just up to us to follow Him and trust His plan for that beauty.
Tonight we’ll sneak out for dinner to celebrate our 14 years…and no doubt, we’ll probably end up talking about those first, especially-up-and-down, years. But we’ll also come back to the wonderful places He’s taken us because of those hard times.
And then we’ll end up looking forward, even more, to what He still has for us.
Happy Anniversary to my favorite person…and thanks for walking this journey with me. 🙂
Shared by: Mel Schroeder