Thursday, July 4, 2013

Twelve 7/7/13

On July 7th we will celebrate 12 years married.
Twelve years ago we said "I do." 
A wedding planned in less than a week (after over a year of being engaged),
 it's been a whirlwind from the very start!
15 months later, our lovely firstborn joined the family, followed 19 months after that when the second born came along. We really had an exciting and stressful newlywed period.

And, I can say, absolutely, without a doubt, there is no one else in this world that I would rather spend my married life with.

I've heard many verses read at weddings, 
yet this one comes to mind as I reminisce on our years spent together:

Proverbs 27:17
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another

In a really good marriage, I believe this is the most truth that can be said.  We, throughout the years, have sharpened one another.  In a way that makes us better people, better parents,
 and better spouses to one another.

I also need to share, that Corey, completely and utterly loves me.
I know so, because he lives out this scripture in our lives, daily, consistently, and reverently:

Ephesians 5:22-33
Stay with me, I am adding commentary

 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 
Corey impresses me all the time with how he has owned this role and taken up the burden for our family.

Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. I think it is the curse of women to struggle with this, I would hope that Corey would say (if he's being honest and not sarcastic!) that I have improved here too! The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak! ha!

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  
I'm going to take some liberty with this verse and how I feel it speaks to me right now. Corey has never once limited me, degraded me, or begrudged me in going to Bible studies, leading Bible studies, or participating in various opportunities to grow in the Lord. I view this as his way of allowing me to be "washed with water through the word" and encouraging me to be a better person. If you think about it, anyone who encourages others to do this is making the person better for themselves, as it says at the end "present her to himself without stain or blemish." I know I've got plenty of stains and blemishes, but I just thought of all the ways that Corey helps our family and himself by encouraging me to constantly seek out more knowledge and truth for myself.

 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. 
Corey loves me more than himself.  I know this because he shows it.  He doesn't just appease me with flattering words, because he long ago discovered that words mean very little to me.  He shows me this in his life.  His everyday care for my well-being.  His heartfelt concern for my health, both emotional and physical. He is a comforter to me in my times of grief and heartache, and a fantastic listener.  He shows sincere appreciation of the things I do for him, not just with words, again, but with actions and with a grateful and respectful attitude toward me. He shows me respect as a woman and as a mother.  He trusts in my areas of strength, such as decisions involving home/house matters, or in things concerning the children.  And by this respect I have grown to complete trust in him in the areas that are his own areas of expertise. He truly treats me as one would treat themselves, and I cannot stress enough how this is a true, active, and deliberate choice he makes through his behavior and actions toward me on a daily basis, not just through words and public deeds for others to observe.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

We make decisions together.  We go through life together.  We have a family together.  We have our own legacy to create and are working to correct the habits we have that we don't want to see continue in our family legacy.  We are making deliberate decisions to raise our children in a way that we believe that will empower them to live for Christ, though many of those decisions stray from the "norm."  We strive to cultivate a spirit of love, confidence in the Lord, and humility. We have certainly gone through some refinement over the last few years, but the growth we've seen cannot compare to the loss we've suffered.  We have truly weathered life as one, since the day we said, "I do."  And it's something that could not be done until that time we were both on the same page about following and trusting God with our lives together and as a family. 

 I am blessed that Corey and I call the same One "Father" and that we trust Him with all our days faced as one flesh. It is that love, given from Christ that enables us to speak respectfully when a harsh word would come more easily.  It is that spirit that helps us determine when we've overstepped and an apology is needed.  It's that gut spirit leading that helps us navigate the path we've walked lately, and leads us to make choices that maybe don't make sense at the moment, but will take us to where He wants us to go.  

It is truly the like-minded desire for the will of God in our lives that has made our marriage go to that deepest place and thrive in the midst of adversity.

Phillipians 2:1-4

 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

I love him. 12 years ago, had I been able to look into the future at all the ups and downs, good days and terrible ones, the joys and excitement, and every single hurt and sorrow filled night, I would quickly, and hastily make the exact same choice, so that I could feel the love and complete oneness that I feel at this very moment.


Gwen C. Stepp said...

This is beautiful, Carrie. I wish every engaged/married couple would read it. You both are blessed indeed....obviously a God-ordained union. I foresee many, many more memorable anniversaries/adventures in your future.
Love you....Aunt Gwen

Karen said...

Oh, my goodness...this brought tears to my eyes and reminded me of how very thankful I am that the Lord brought you and Corey together...yours is truly a "match made in heaven"!

Happy Anniversary...and wishes for many, many more!

Andy's Bethy said...

Can't believe I missed this. Beautifully said!