Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Nine Years Together

I always love to hear how two people fell in love. A good love story, one that lasts and endures, is timeless. I thought I'd share our story with you on this special day. I know this is a long blog post, but what can I say...there's a lot of love between the two of us to share.

It was on June 10, 2000, that Jason and I were married in front of over 400 guests at an absolutely beautiful ceremony. Our wedding came after about five years of dating.

I moved to our small Iowa town from an even smaller Iowa town when I was a freshman in high school. I have to say, I hated it here! I missed my old friends, my old school, my old life. I couldn't see myself ever finding happiness in this new place, and I just wanted to move back 'home.' Thus is the trials of moving to a new school when you're fourteen years old and a girl. Yet when I look back on that move, I thank God I moved to this new place, for if I hadn't I never would have met Jason.

It was during my junior year of high school that we met. We were positioned in assigned seats directly across from each other in our American Literature class. And let's just say, for me anyway, it wasn't love at first sight. I actually thought he was a bit obnoxious, which I later discovered was just his way of trying to get my attention. Regardless, he was apparently trying a little too hard because I was not in any way interested in this cocky teenage boy.

I actually started dating one of Jason's close friends instead, and found myself spending a lot of time at Jason's house where we'd all go to hang out after Friday night football games. It was then that I got to know the real him, not the teenage boy who was trying to 'show off.' We became good friends, and our relationship progressed from there. {Don't worry, there was no scandalous cheating or two-timing involved. My relationship with the current boyfriend ended before Jason and I started dating. And Jason even asked this friend's permission to date me...what a gentleman!}

It's actually kind of ironic that our relationship began while we were still in high school because as a youth pastor, Jason preaches to his youth to wait and date when you have the purpose of finding a spouse in mind. So often it's very difficult to date as God would intend when you're just so very young and immature, as most teens are. But regardless, God managed to use our relationship for His purposes from early on.

Looking back, there are many reasons I think we met so young. I became a Christian the summer before I met Jason at a Bible camp a friend had invited me to, and I was full of new wonder of God and questions about Him. Jason had thought he was a Christian, but had never really understood what it meant to truly surrender to Christ, nor had he made the decision to follow Him with all of his heart. That is, until the following summer when I 'drug' him to camp with me, the same camp where I'd professed my faith the summer before. It was there where Jason saw the realness of God, just as I had at that same place, and His heart really began to yearn for all things God could offer, growing further as He attended Iowa State and got involved in a campus ministry there the next fall. We've both been growing in our faith as individuals, and together, ever since.

And now, over nearly fifteen years after we first met, we have so many memories together. We've experienced good times, and not so good times, as all couples do. But we have always surfaced together, thanks to the bond that binds us in our faith in Christ. He truly is the third person in our marriage, sitting at the throne of our lives. Without Him, I hate to think of where we might be. Because anyplace except at the center of the Lord's will is nowhere I want to be!

What can I say about my husband. It's hard to know where to begin, because in Jason I see so many attributes that any Christian should long for. Jason is strong, yet compassionate, seeing the best in others when all that is seen by the sinful, naked eye is just that, sin. He is able to reach out to those others might not give a second thought and love on them, just as Christ would.

Jason is a forever child at heart. I don't know how many times I've heard parents of the youth Jason ministers to say how perfect it is that Jason is a youth pastor. No one could be better suited for the job. He gets right down on their level and relates to those kids like no one else can. And they respond, seeing in him a man of God who is someone 'cool' they strive to be like, yet someone who also possesses the wisdom that only comes from a maturity in Christ. Jason has allowed God to work through him as a pastor to youth and so many have benefited from his God given gift of relating to teens. It's a beautiful sight to see him interacting with his youth, it really is.

And for me specifically, Jason is a better friend than I could ever ask for. I know I can always count on him to be there for me. He comforts me when I'm hurting, makes me laugh everyday, and loves me unconditionally, even on those days {dare I say it} when I may tend to be a bit less lovable than others. He makes me feel beautiful, inside and out, just as God made each one of us in His own image. That's how Jason sees me, and in turn, helps me to see myself. He encourages me in all I do and has helped me to humbly use any skills God has given me to glorify our Maker, even when I feel inadequate to do so. He truly believes in me.

I really could go on and on, but for your sake won't. In conclusion, I'll just add that I thank God for giving me the perfect husband who meets my every need. No, I'm not saying Jason is perfect, as he would be the first to admit. Nor am I perfect, not by a long shot. But together, we are perfect for each other, matched by God. In many ways we're opposite, but in the most important way, our faith, we're truly one in Him. And I know the best is yet to be!

I love you Jason, and look forward to what our life together has in store. As long as I'm with you, I'm where I belong.

And thank you all for allowing me to boast about my husband for awhile. He really does deserve some praise!

1 comment:

Valerie said...

Such wonderful comments on Jason! He is really a great guy--and the two of you make a great couple. God truly does bless richly.
Congratulations on nine years and may there be many, many more! Love you guys.