Cheers to the First Five Years
This week Hubs and I are celebrating our 5th Anniversary! It is hard to believe we have been married for five years. This was the second marriage for both of us, and we are grateful to God for second chances. I was thinking about all the things which have happened in our five years of marriage. If the first five years are any indication of how the next five years will be, I think we both need to fasten our seatbelts and get ready for a wild ride.
After we got married, I had to move from Indiana to Maryland because of Hubs’ job, and in doing so, I left a job I truly loved. Indiana had become my healing ground for many reasons. There were so many incredible people there who became my family and loved me like their own. It was a difficult season, and I still miss them every day, but time has proven that just because you live six hundred miles away doesn’t mean you can’t have relationships. They are still the first people I call when I need to talk or want someone to pray with.
We also went through a major kitchen renovation. It was a project which was supposed to be over in four to six weeks but ended up going almost twelve weeks. When I moved in, we had no kitchen, which meant no place to cook. Our home was in chaos, and I was stuck in one room of the house because of the construction. It was hard. I was in a new place where I didn’t know anyone and couldn’t even drive anywhere because I didn’t know my way around. The worst part was being homesick for the familiar. Here I am five years later and still homesick but thankful for the peacefulness found in our home and the knowledge of learning a new city.
Our next hurdle was Hubs’ car accident, where he fractured his sternum and had plenty of bumps and bruises. This was one the scariest moments in the past five years because it was an accident. An accident is something unexpected, and God could have taken him home that day, but He didn’t. I am thankful. The car was totaled, and when you looked at the car, you wondered how the person driving it survived. I can tell you. It was by the grace of God. The weeks which followed were filled with pain, healing and many nights awake trying to help Hubs get comfortable.
The most devastating moments in the last five years came when Hubs’ mom, my sweet Greta, and one of my best friends, Helga, passed away. The more I think about it, the more I realize how much they were alike. Greta and Helga were two people who constantly gave of themselves to help others despite their past circumstances. They were never bitter about their past but reached out and shared their love, compassion, and empathy toward others. Neither of them was ever judgmental to anyone. In fact, I can never remember either of them saying a bad word about anybody. They both had contagious laughs and would do anything within their power to help anyone. I miss them both. I miss their hugs, and I miss their sweet voices. I miss everything about them.
Hubs has always had problems with his legs since I met him. He always thought the issue was with his knees since that was where he had the most pain. After seeing an orthopedic surgeon here in Maryland, it turned out that the source of the problem wasn’t his knees but his hips, which I always suspected. Hubs had protrusio acetabuli in both hips, which is when the hip socket extends too far into the pelvis. Because of the severity of the issue, it was recommended Hubs have a double hip replacement. In the past year, Hubs has had two hip replacements. The second one has resulted in a complication where he has yet to get the feeling back in the lower half of his foot. He has done amazingly well and no longer has any hip pain. As a matter of fact, if he didn’t have the foot issue he would be making better progress than when he received his first hip. Every day is new, and we are praying believing the feeling will return. Meanwhile, Hubs is working hard to strengthen and heal.
Yes, there have been hardships in the last five years, but there have also been some incredible times along with triumphs.
Things which can often make a couple drift apart have pulled us even closer together. Both of us have learned more about ourselves and each other through these life changing moments. We both appreciate the gift of our love, how precious it is and the importance of protecting it. You can have each other one day and be gone the next. Life is too short to waste staying angry with each other.
Our first goal as a married couple five years ago was to find a church where we could serve, worship, learn and grow together in the knowledge of Christ. We have been blessed to find a church which not only allowed us to do these things but welcomed and challenged us to think outside the box. Both Germantown, MD, where we live, and Gaithersburg, MD, where we go to church, are consistently on a number of Top Ten lists of the most racially and culturally diverse cities in America. The church we are part of not only strongly reflects this rich diversity but celebrates it.
We pushed ourselves to become healthier and more fit, and we both completed multiple 5Ks. Now, I have my campaign called #GivingWhileLiving. This campaign consists of me doing a 5K once a month to give to charities and create awareness for those causes dear to my heart while sticking to my fitness goals.
Hubs received a promotion at his job, and his job has afforded me the luxury of working from home and pursuing God’s calling on my life. My sweet friend Marian and Hubs, with their incredible technical skills, helped me launch “Jesus Glitter” which now has over 10,000 followers, encouraging others to #BetheSparkle for those who need to see the light of Jesus in the everyday moments of life.
We have been blessed to go on vacation to Myrtle Beach, Virginia, New York, Indiana and Sanibel Island, the place where we were married five years ago. We’ve had many adventures and seen some amazing sights on our journey.
The one thing which has kept us steadfast is God’s unwavering love towards us. It is constant and an anchor for both of us. There have been times we have felt like we were on the stormy sea, but Jesus has always calmed the waters while building our faith, our trust and surrounding us with His presence in a way only He can.
What has been the most important lesson we have learned over the past five years? It isn’t about him or me. It is about God. It is about what we can do as a couple to demonstrate the love of Christ to those who are hurting, broken and weary from life. It is about being intentional and taking the time not just to say, “Hello,” but asking “How are you doing?” and waiting to hear the honest answer.
We aren’t perfect by any means. Do we still have disagreements about things? Of course, we do, but making up is the best part! We are a work in progress. Marriage is hard work, but when you both are working toward a common goal, life becomes easier. I can only wonder where God will lead us or what will happen in the next five years, but together with God, I know we are better than we were five years ago.