I had no earthly idea what I was getting myself into.
And, really, I think few of us do.
I had met him two years before at a party for ESL students in Costa Rica. I had flown in a few days before to spend a year there teaching the children of missionaries.
It was a dream come true–moving to Costa Rica, that is. My heart and life and passions intersected. I had breathed mission work and international service and the Latino culture and Spanish language since childhood.
Soon after we met, I sat on the stairway dividing the tiny room I rented from the home of my Costa Rican landlords. I looked around at the mountains and tin-roofed houses, listened to the birds singing, inhaled the gallo pinto cooking and prayed: “Lord, I love this. I love this place, and I love these people. Will you give me a man who loves this just as much? A man I can spend my life with, serving you together?”
And He did just that. He gave me that man I met at the party. The extroverted event planner who thrived (and still does) around people. The one who was found bringing international students home for holidays during his college years. The disciplined and orderly and practical teacher, whereas I often fly around in my own little dream world of imaginations. I’m the sky, and he’s my earth.
Not long after we married, I prayed: “God, please give us a long and happy marriage. Please, God, please…please give us a long and happy marriage.”
Fear has always plagued me, and I feared the worst and hoped for the best.
Sometimes the worst happens because it is the best for our souls.
It’s not always been happy. But it’s been good. We’ve had to fight. We’ve had to fight hard.
We mark 9 years today.
I don’t often write about marriage here because, well, my marriage has been the most humbling of all. But if God had left me in my pride, I’d never be the person I am today.
Ten summers ago I was finishing up my year in Costa Rica and had fallen in love with the man I would marry.
Nine summers ago I was walking down the aisle to “How Great Thou Art” and committing my love and life to the man who would travel with me to Latin America, Africa, China and Canada; become daddy to three little redheaded girls; work tirelessly at extra jobs when we could barely make ends meet and fight hard to save us when all felt lost.
Five summers ago my whole world fell apart in a tiny apartment 3,000 miles from home. Some stories are best told to bring God glory. And some stories are best left unwritten, when the Enemy would be more glorified.
And so, I write about how I have seen the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
I write about how our struggles God intended for good.
I write about He has restored and is restoring the years the locusts ate.
Today I celebrate the fact that we’ve made it longer since than before, and God continues to teach us humility, forgiveness, grace and redemption through our marriage.
Yes, how great HE is.
I love my husband, and even though these nine years have not been easy, I am thankful. I’m thankful that God saw fit to not leave me where I was but to work all things in my life for my good and His glory.
“I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.” ~Psalm 40: 1-3
Wherever you are today, dear friend. Whatever you are going through: God is not done with you yet. Your story is still unfolding. All hope is not lost. And he can restore and heal and breathe new life in you…and make things even better than they were before.
Go in grace,