Status: We were all dreams and little substance.
Spiritual: Most of my prayers were about the future, the distant future.
Emotional: New experiences were not frightening to us. Everything was new, and we were willing adventurers.
20 years ago
Status: Now 4 years into marriage, we were a Christian couple who loved our church, our friends and our family and were expecting our first baby. We were on schedule.
Spiritual: My entire focus was on getting God to approve my plans.
Emotional: What do I need to be good at my assignments?
15 years ago
Status: Now married 8 years and expecting our second baby, we were enjoying a smaller and tighter circle of friends. We were very close to one other, and I was very content in my marriage.
Emotional: I had a lot excess energy and ideas. I had grown up some and learned how rewarding giving my whole heart to my family really could be. Somewhat less focused on my needs and more aware of the needs of other people.
Spiritual: I prayed and asked the Lord why He never called me to full time ministry when I was an eager child in my hometown church. He said: I am calling you now. Age 30- the same age that Jesus began his ministry.
10 years ago
Status: Now a mother of 3, mostly engaged in my family of 5 and their activities, always planning and coordinating and driving, all along with a super supportive husband. This wife was very content at home.
Spiritual: My perspective was that I was the most blessed person that I knew. I was often thanking God for my life.
Emotional: Strange feelings would wave over me. I could become overwhelmed, almost panicky, but I knew that feeling would come and then go. I was daily fighting the fear that other people could really steal my peace, because unfortunately the happiness of my husband and kids determined how happy that I was.
5 years ago
Status: Pressure mounting. Everyday was about ignoring stress. Joy was a temporary state of mind. I would cling to it, but it would still slip away. Firstborn child leaving for college soon. Grief and depression creeping into our marriage. We were showing the wear and tear that this season brought. We weren't ready.
Spiritual: Always asking for rescue and relief, on my knees often seeking guidance for my whole circle of people.
Emotional: My husband and I had a rule that only one parent could come unglued at a time. I needed my turn for a meltdown, but my husband was so unhappy. We weren't able to hold each other up as well as we had in other hard seasons. It was now time for me to go to work and invest in other people. I needed to earn some money and have my own life.
As parents of one college daughter, one high school daughter and one middle school son, we are discussing our options for celebrating our Silver Anniversary in Summer 2019. We are currently peaceful with and joyful with and thankful for one another. We are currently looking at our life as a big picture testimony, not as a daily battle.
Spiritual: We want to hear from God. We want to please God. We now know that we will always serve Him.
Emotional: There is a solid foundation here and an eternal perspective on things. We have replaced panic attacks with peaceful, hopeful conversations about real life options and solutions. We are two individuals who seek the Lord separately and then share that growth and strength with the other person.
We are in awe that our kids are almost grown, but we love seeing them become individuals. We do not need to live through the kids. We like our life as a couple and really want that love and freedom for each of them. We want to live near them and be present in their everyday lives, if possible. We both agree on that.
Each season flows into the next. I am so grateful that the success of our marriage is not based on one test or one perfect day or one terrible month. Stopping at these five stations on our journey has helped me stretch my legs, get some fresh air and also get my bearings. The marriage journey is God’s idea. He designed a construct for security and love. It starts with attraction and passion and smiling and laughing, but it is more complex than that. In all transparency, I know that God chose marriage for me, but he let me choose Dan. I was prayerful and careful; I wanted to choose wisely. But he let me choose. We chose each other really. Dan was careful and prayerful too. I was a big commitment, a long term choice.
So far, we have invested 2 years of dating + 1 year engaged + 25 years married. . .