It was five years (and thirteen days) ago since we got married – looking back I feel like it was still all like a crazy good dream <3. Even before entering marriage, we both were aware that the journey ahead of us was not going to be easy but that it will be worth it (“narrow road, higher purpose”, as we would tell each other) as long as obeying and loving God was our goal. And each year, it seemed like God planned for each year of our marriage thus far to be significant in its own way. From dealing with family dynamics, moving three times within two cities, and leaving a church to be a part of another, to now planting our own church, both of us quitting our 9-5 jobs, and raising our first child (and so much more that’s happened in between!) — it’s definitely been an adventure with you so far.
I really feel like we’re at the phase of our life where I’m being challenged the most and where I’m having the most fun so far. With my being a stay-at-home mom and your being a church planter and both of us now being parents, the daily rhythms of our life have drastically changed. Shared Google calendars has much more become our tool to stay organized and keep track of important events, etc.; doing a simple errand is dependent on when Joshua’s napping & feeding times are; our 1:1 time is at night when we watch our DVRed shows and/or play Monopoly (the app version) while sharing about how each other’s day was and any other thoughts that may be running through our heads; Sleep/rest has become a distant friend (although fortunately things on that front are becoming better, slowly but surely!); how we spend our time everyday – especially free time – is considered much more thoughtfully.
Five years in and we still fight over silly, trivial stuff (truthfully it’s almost always my fault when this happens) and we also still also find ourselves butting heads over the big, important stuff. But through it all, I can honestly say that we manage to find our way because through His grace, we find our way back to God. I look back at all that’s happened so far in our marriage; and a characteristic of God that stands out to me is His intimacy with you and me, individually and as a couple. He is so intimate with me that when there was a point that when I was having a hard time about your having to quit your full-time IT job as part of church planting, He knew exactly how to speak to me so that I ended up having no ounce of doubt – but rather complete peace – that all will be well; and He does this with me time and time again. He is so intimate with you that when you were going through a low point with church planting, He knew that I as your wife would not have all the right words and counsel to fully help and encourage you through it; so He gave you the right people at that season of your life to affirm you about who you are in Christ and what He’s called you to do; and He does this with you time and time again. He is so intimate with us as a couple that even back when we were still dating, He would speak to each of us – separately but saying the same thing – about a common matter that we both are facing in our relationship so He can draw us closer to Him and so that our relationship with each other is strengthened; He does this with us time and time again. I’m glad we can look back and see the goodness and grace of the Lord in our relationship and that He’s reminded both of us countless times that we can’t do this life without Him.
It’s been far from perfect and there have definitely been some rocky and scary times. And the road ahead is no different. Especially now that we have a child, the stakes are much higher this time. But it’s more worth it and precious than ever.
I appreciate you so much. I respect you deeply. I’m so so proud of you. And I love you now more than ever before. Thank you for wanting me even back when I thought I was supposed to be single for life (haha). Thank you for pursuing me back then and even now that you ‘got’ me =P. Joshua and I are blessed to have you in our lives.
– H (Hazel =P)
Since it’s hard to tell from the latest picture we have, below are each of the pictures from the previous years <3. I keep telling myself that I’ll remember to actually frame our photos but as you can tell, it has yet to happen. There’s always next year,right? =P
What do you think of this DIY project? Is there an event that comes to mind where you can put this DIY project to use? I’d love to see what you come up with!