Sometimes thoughts bounce around in my mind for months before they make it onto paper, and this is one of those cases. It's easy to write about motherhood, because all that takes is a few pictures of peanut butter & jelly crumbs or scribbled kid art with some thoughts on the day-to-day. And even writing about my faith comes pretty easily because I'm convinced that the Lord pours those words out for me. But marriage is an altogether different kind of topic because it's more than just my own perspective on one thing or another. I'm only one half of the whole that makes up my marriage, and weaving the right words together to express just how sacred of a relationship it is can be hard. But I want to take a stab at the subject of marriage for a couple of reasons; 1) I'm blessed too have a husband who is amazing as heck and 2) we're on a journey together that's worth reflecting on, learning from, and celebrating.

Where do I even start? Next to meeting Jesus, marrying Thane- my high school sweet heart- was the absolute best thing that ever happened to me. Let me start by being frank about a few things; there are so many stereotypical assumptions about marrying the guy or girl you dated in high school. Like 1) you missed out by not experiencing other relationships in college, 2) you were naive to think that a high school relationship could last, 3) you got pregnant and didn't have a choice, or 4) you're just silly and you didn't know better. I wish I could tell you how many comments I heard right before the wedding, like "what?! you're too young to get married {except what they really meant was 'you're too stupid'},"you're getting married before living together? you never really know someone till you live with them", etc.

I don't deny that there is truth to some of those things. Life can be unpredictable and messy and I'll be the first to admit that I was NOT very wise in high school. I made enough bad decisions to prove that I certainly had no edge on anybody else when it came to choosing a spouse. But I'm so thankful that of all of my youthful indiscretions, Thane wasn't one of them! It's been seven and a half years since we said our vows and I love that we defied the odds. And not just that, but proved that sometimes the one you meet when you're young and silly and know nothing about life is the one that you can and will- and joyfully- spend the rest of your life with.

So much has happened since we were 17 and just beginning our friendship. We started dating our senior year, went to prom together, graduated together, stuck out a four-year long distance relationship during college, got married, jumped into Army life, moved a lot, endured two deployments, and started having babies. And as much as we've stayed the same in a lot of ways, Thane's certainly no longer the teenager I met. He's a man who fears God, reveres the Bible, loves and cherishes me the way Christ instructs men to love their wives, and adores our boys. He leads our family in a way that points us to God, takes care of all of our needs, and makes sure we know that we are his treasure. Not his job or his hobbies or anything else. 

It hasn't all been easy; there have been seasons of stress, separations, and adjusting to big changes. We've had to continually work to love and respect each other, communicate well, and make each other a priority when other things- even good things- threaten to consume our focus. It's impossible to know what the future holds, and it would be naive to assume that our happily-ever-after won't include a few bumps along the way. But one thing I do know; God's grace abounds. It always has and it always will. And just as He's poured it out for us these past seven and a half years, I have every bit of confidence that He'll provide it for the road ahead. And I'm so glad this is a road that Thane and I are on together, because it only gets better as the years go by.

But all of this has so little to do with him, myself, the day we said our vows, or anything that's happened since. The hero of our story is Christ. We love because He first loved us {1 John 4:19}. Christ is the author of life and marriage and every good thing, and He pours into us a perfect, sacrificial love that's entirely unstained by sin or regret or failed intentions. I could go on and on about how many times we get in the way of His ways. About times we've robbed our marriage of joy simply because we look to ourselves to make life work instead of looking to our Creator. But He is so, so patient, and the fact that I find myself thanking Him over and over for bringing Thane into my life eleven years ago is a humble reminder that He's the One responsible for it all. Our marriage thrives simply because He empowers us to give bits and pieces of His perfect, sacrificial love to each other. In spite of our sin and our flaws.

And for that I am so incredibly grateful.


Cristina F said...

Just lovely! <3

I found myself a bit in your thoughts: I start my friendship with my husband at 17. When I finished my high-school in Romania, 3 years later, we get married. Yes, I totally agree with you: marriage has nothing to do with "living together for a while to better know each other". We had ups and downs in our marriage. I became a born-again Christian only 3 years ago, in 2012. We have 3 beautiful children (18, 9, 2 1/2) and we also moved a lot...

May Jesus richly bless you and your family, Sarah!
Very happy to read your story and to find your blog!

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