9 years ago I woke up a bit groggy and slow moving until I remembered what day it was.  As the shower water poured over my head and eyes, my heart and mind became alert – today was the day!  I would put on my white dress and white shoes (the buckle of which would break as I was getting dressed) in the midst of friends and family and walk down the aisle to my future.  We would have a very simple (wedding party wearing jeans and a nice sweater) wedding that followed a very short dating and engagement period.

I had NOT – repeat NOT – gone to college with the intent on marriage.  When people threw the term MRS degree around I went straight to the handbook to find out which course of study that was – I had never heard of anything like that before!  I had come to major in Christian Counseling with thoughts on becoming a missionary; you see, my hero was Mother Teresa.  Short of becoming a nun, I though that was my path in life.  I met Nathan, along with the entire Freshman class, during the orientation days at school.  (Our Bible college had maybe 50 or so more people than my entire high school graduating class!)  We saw each other here and there.  He was a part of the college band, I was part of the college “working force” (aka, I cleaned bathrooms until I went to work in the offices).  He stayed up into all hours of the night; I was in bed by 10 pm.  He never studied; studying was my life.  He never went to the library; it was my second home.

A semester passed, and onto the next.  Some how, apparently by his pursuit that I was oblivious to, we started seeing more of each other.  Around March of our Freshman year he asked me if I wanted to go to Texas to meet his family.  I thought, “sure, why not.”  From there it has been a whirlwind!  We began dating in March, were engaged by June, and married by December 28, 2002.  Deep breath… 10 months later – Christopher, 18 months later – Timothy, 15 months later – Aaron, 2 months later we moved to Colorado Springs to be a part of a church plant (something that I had never thought of doing), 3 years later – Hannah.  Selah!

There have been many refining moments in these short 9 years, and there have been fine times as well!  I wish I could tell a sweet, fairy-talish story…but it is more like a story of…grace.  All along the way, He has been at work in and around us.  More than once (or 7×70 times) He has made beauty from our ashes.  Here on the day of 9 years, I can say that each today has been better than the last.  Each year has brought us closer to Him and to each other.  Every year He has drawn our gaze nearer to His face.  We are learning to live for all eternity on this earth together, and the journey is sweeter and easier with his fingers entwined in mine.

So, today is sweet and full of grace as I sit close to Nathan, kiss his lips, whisper in his ear, and receive the same from him.  I don’t know if we were made for each other from the beginning of time; I do know that we are being made for each other each day we step out in faith in God together.  We could have chosen our ideas of singleness, but we didn’t.  We chose the idea of “togetherness”; so, together God is drawing us into Him.  Three is not a crowd in this place!

9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4 NLT

Today is 9 years, and at the end of the day I will look forward to 10!