If I could name one blessing in my life that has exceeded my every hope and expectation, it would be my marriage to Russ. This morning he pulled me close and before I opened my eyes he whispered in my ear, “Thank you for 27 years – happy anniversary, babe.” He is so much more than I deserve and my life is so much more than I could have imagined – in every way, the blessings, the sorrows, the challenges, the joy.
The beauty of Christian marriage is that we trust Jesus who is leading and orchestrating our lives. We’re on a journey that has a final destination of Heaven, but in between, we only see a very short distance ahead.
When we met in high school, Russ planned to become a pastor. It seemed like a good idea to me, but I could not imagine myself as a pastor’s wife. Apparently God couldn’t either because once Russ finished his degree in Religion and Greek, he jumped whole heartedly into engineering and found his calling.
We thought we knew our future – but we didn’t.
We planned to have a few children and both pursue amazing careers. My plans for graduate school were put on hold 24 years ago when we had Sweet Pea. Two years later we had Mimi, then Noah, then Samuel, then Rusty – although some may think we were foolish, those were fruitful years. Nearly four years later, Rusty was followed by Ladybug and four years later again, Sunshine was born. My plans for graduate school are still on hold and may never come to fruition, but the fruit of our children far exceeds any degree I will ever earn.
We thought we had a plan – but His plan was better.
When Sunshine was three years old, good friends opened the mysterious world of international adoption to us. We set out to adopt two little boys, which soon became two little boys and one little girl. Ultimately, the Lord brought a second little girl to our family, four children in 16 months – our sons and daughters forever. We knew we would love them with our whole hearts.
We thought we knew what life as an adoptive family would be like, we thought we knew what this calling entailed – but we didn’t.
The adventure of our lives has taken us from Enumclaw, WA, to Seattle, to Ithaca, NY, to Boulder, CO, and finally to Idaho. Our world has grown larger as Africa has become a regular destination for us. Who would have dreamed?
God did – He dreamed, He knew, and even now, He has a plan that is bigger, wilder, and different than we can imagine. What will life be like on our 30th anniversary, or our 35th? I could guess, but looking at my planning history, I am pretty sure that it will be more, much more than I can imagine.
Best of all, I am blessed so richly to be on this adventure with Russ, my true love, my best friend, the one I trust with my whole heart. He knows my failures, faults, fears, and yet he loves me.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, the author of my life and giver of good gifts and most especially today, the gift of marriage.
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