It's hard to believe that this week marks ten years of marriage for Chris and me. I remember as a newlywed thinking forward to mile stone anniversaries and imagining what they would hold. I must confess I didn't anticipate Cody Wyoming and two children. As a young bride, moving to far off Pennsylvania a couple of months after we were married, I didn't expected to live in the South but I sure hadn't imagined living in the 'Wild West'. After a couple of years of marriage we hadn't planned on adding to our family either, content to enjoy each other and work together. However, God had other plans and surprised us with Max. What a happy change of plans that was. Then we decided he was not a good candidate for being an only child and I got my girl!
I suppose if the Greek Deli had been wildly successful or we hadn't been surprised with the blessing of children our tenth anniversary may have held more elaborate plans for celebration. I must confess I had envisioned a Caribbean cruise or diamonds. Or maybe something out of the ordinary like a performance of Circe de sole or a Broadway musical. But it was not to be. As I've thought about it though I can't help but imagine. The world says embrace glamor, gluttony, excess but that's against the Bible's standard of simplicity, servanthood and contentment. Our tenth anniversary may not hold a cruise or even an overnight trip to Yellowstone, but it does represent a celebration of ten years of faithfulness.
That faithfulness is rooted in a relationship built on Christ and morality and honor. Years ago a sixteen year old girl made her parents and God a promise to wait for God's best. Years ago a young man honored and held that girl to her promise. The road has had many bumps and twists but they've all been endured together. Our relationship isn't flashy or exciting. Sometimes it even feels a little faded and worn. But most importantly, especially in this generation, it has endured. In a world that assaults faithfulness I feel that is an accomplishment. And now that ten years have passed I know not to take that faithfulness for granted but to cherish and preserve it. I know the next ten and then twenty and however many more years can only be reached by careful prayer and dedication. I love Chris but there are days the 'feelings' are just not enough, it takes more than that. It takes commitment, investment, sacrifice; it takes faithfulness. And in that faithfulness is comfort, safety, belonging.
In this season of life God is teaching me about faithfulness. I'm learning that we as Americans don't have a propensity for faithfulness. We see very few things through to the end, we move and shift and rotate in and out at a dizzying speed. Yielding to the Spirit's transformation over a life time is daunting. Committing to a church for the long haul is inconvenient. Enduring hardship, persevering through tough relationships, seeing a project through to the end, it's all more than we're accustomed to. We want microwave Christianity. I want instant results. But God is teaching me the way to transformation, obedience, a strong marriage, healthy relationships, fulfilling prayer life, vibrant church, Godly children is through faithfulness. And He, thankfully, sets the example.