And with that foundation, we have built our family. And at the head of our family, is the one who gave me the most strength, Jared. I could not have gotten through this year somewhat intact without Jared being the physical hands and feet of Jesus to me. I've always said that I can feel God's love through the ways Jared shows his commitment and love to me. Do I rely only what and who Jared is? Absolutely not. He's a human, with faults. But most of the time, I SEE God in him. And that hasn't been more evident than this year.
When Jared's job fell apart in the spring, he was hurt deeply. He grieved in his own way. But in just a few short months, he forgave the ones who hurt him the most. He humbled himself and recognized that he did all that he could do. He has been an incredible example to the rest of our family. Then, instead of wallowing in despair, he immediately sought out any job he could so that he could provide for us, including swinging a hammer once again. He sat at the feet of Jesus and prayed for guidance. And as we start a new year, he has a full time job working with a new set of leaders, who will continue to invest in him, and where is known, valued and loved, just like others have done so in the past, here or on Prince Edward Island, and everywhere in between. Jared is humble and listens to correction and seeks out the Truth.
But to me, Jared has been my rock and strength. God is the source of that strength. And when/where Jared isn't strong, I'm usually in a good place and can lift him up. Jared tweeted earlier about how marriage makes us more holy, and it's true. As iron sharpens iron. If you know Jared, you know he doesn't pretend to know it all or want to make everyone happy. Same goes for our marriage. He wants God to bring joy to my life and for me not to rely on him to bring me happiness. But boy do I feel deeply loved by my husband this year. Whenever I've questioned God, Jared was there to bring the Truth. Whenever I've been too proud, Jared was also there. Through 4 pregnancies and 4 kids with different, sometimes very difficult, issues, Jared's been right there as I wept. And of course he was there in previous years when my parents passed and as we moved to Canada and moved back.
Whenever we are apart for a week or more, it is obvious how much deeper our love for each other is. It's not puppy love, it's a seasoned kind of love, one that has weathered storm after storm after storm of doing life together, as one, as God intended it should be. It's faithfulness and commitment to God and to each other to make marriage work no matter what. You can use all the typical Scriptures about love like 1 Corinthians 13, or a in Proverbs, "A cord of three strands is not easily broken," but don't forget about the one that says, "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." (Ephesians 5:21) Jared IS the leader of our home, someone must make the final decisions and lead us, right? But we also submit to one another in the day to day life happenings. We give and take. We encourage and challenge. We grow deeper in our walks with God and with each other.
Jared and I have been together since September 1998, when we started dating. I was 17, he was 19. We've been together more than half of our lives. And it shows. We are seasoned lovers and Christ followers, who have, by God's grace, many more years and seasons to go.
So, tonight, as we leave 2016 and walk into 2017, there is no one else that I would rather walk through life with than God and my husband, Jared. I love you!
Do You Dream of Me? by Michael W. Smith
I Don't Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith
|High School Graduation 1997|
|Wedding July 28th-29th, 2001|