Friday, March 10, 2017
Five years ago today, I woke up earlier than everyone else in the hotel room. I hardly slept the whole night because I was so giddy. I told anyone who would lend an ear, "I'm getting married today!" The weeks leading up to the wedding were hectic. I was in the middle of prepping my students for state testing (I was teaching tenth grade English Language Arts in Los Angeles at the time). My thesis for my master's was due that week. Last minute details for the wedding kept arising as expected. But all of that was forgotten the day of March 10, 2012. The wedding day was a blur - a joyful whirlwind. It was a beautiful day of God's kindness towards me in gifting me Alex as my husband. To be able to stand before our dearest family and friends to make our covenant vows before our gracious Lord and Savior was the most treasured part of the day.
Four years ago today, I woke up in Santa Barbara with Alex, where we celebrated the first year of our marriage. We were total newlyweds. I was working at a non-profit organization after leaving public school teaching months before. Alex was the intern pastor at the church where we both came to know the Lord Jesus Christ. We were living in our first apartment, less than ten minutes away from the church building. We loved practicing hospitality and had people over often for simple dinners and frenetic games of Monopoly Deal. Most life changing of all, we found out we were newly pregnant. I was dreaming about what life would be like with a sweet baby as a family of three.
Three years ago today, I woke up in Laguna Beach, where we celebrated two years of marriage with five-month-old Serene Joy. Becoming parents was the hardest and most rewarding titles we'd ever been given. I had returned to work after maternity leave, but was pining to be home to care for our daughter. We had moved to a new apartment community four months beforehand, where we lived as missionaries to build community with the residents for the sake of relational evangelism. It was a challenging year, with the steep learning curve of balancing parenting, full-time work, part-time responsibilities at our apartment community, coupled with Alex's growing ministry duties and his upcoming graduation with his second master's degree from seminary in May.
Two years ago today, I woke up in Lake Arrowhead, where we celebrated three years of God's faithfulness in our marriage. We had prayed earnestly for the direction of our family; I resigned from my full-time job and received my dream promotion over the summer: stay-at-home motherhood with Serene when she was nine months old. We were all much happier and at peace. I was seven months pregnant with Valor at the time. We were ecstatic Serene would have a little brother due in two months. Ministry-wise, Alex officially got installed as our church's assistant pastor the previous fall. Life was busy but full. We were in awe of God's leading upon our family, and were praying for God to use our little family to make Him known in multiple areas of our lives.
One year ago today, I woke up in San Diego, where we celebrated four years of marriage. Serene was two years five months old, and Valor was 10 months old. Life with two kids ages two and under was busy, but so sweet. Alex joked with anyone who asked that our fourth year of marriage was full of sin. Seasoned spouses/parents often told us that the more kids a couple has, the more the couple fights. This has totally been true in our case. We had more conflict during the fourth year of our marriage than the previous years, which made us so grateful God is in the center of our covenant. Because of Christ's example, we learned to communicate better, forgive more quickly, and love each other more deeply. So thankful that even in the midst of my sin, Alex loves me as Christ loved the church - sacrificially, humbly, and completely.
Today, I woke up in our little home, where we have lived for the past three and a half years, building community with the residents who also live here. We took an early anniversary and babymoon trip to Las Vegas a few weeks beforehand because I'm currently about 37 weeks pregnant with our third child who is due at the end of this month. We celebrated our fifth anniversary last night at our favorite prime rib restaurant, where we laughed and marveled at God's kindness towards us these past five years. Over the past five years, God has displayed to me His faithfulness, Jesus' loving kindness, and the Spirit's leading. Alex is my greatest earthly treasure. His steadfastness in loving the Lord has never wavered, but only deepened over the years. He continues to show our family grace and lead us by grace. We are the most blessed to call him the leader of our family. I am honored to be his wife. God has provided for us, and blessed us beyond comprehension. Our church is undergoing exciting changes and we are so thankful for our growing family. Serene is 3 years 5 months old; Valor is 1 year 10 months old; and we are anticipating the birth of our newest daughter. So much has occurred in the past five years, and yet, they've also gone by like a blink of an eye. We're learning that covenant love is made up of all the many little moments we choose to love one another, to look out for one another's interests, to seek each other's joy before our own, which are only possible because of God's abundant grace. As Alex remarked last night, we are still rookies. We have so much to learn as husband and wife, and I'm thankful we have Christ the solid rock upon which we stand. Here's to many decades more in sweet covenant if the Lord wills, my love. I love you so!!!