Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Fifteen

It's 6:20, and I just gave Kevin a very coffee kiss, whether he wanted it or not. Today, I am excited. Today, I get to remember the past fifteen years. This day, 15 years ago at about 2 p.m., I stood at the back of a church with my Dad. He kissed me on the cheek, and we were off down the aisle. I'm not sure if I was already crying before we started walking or not. But, I was boo-hooing all the way down that aisle. My already round face was getting round-er and puffier by the second. Poor Kevin was standing at the altar, looking happy, but a bit bewildered. 'Why are you crying?' his eyes asked. I suppose it was an apt introduction to being married to a very emotional person. :)

I was so young (19 1/2, to be exact), and so immature, and so naive, and in many ways, so was Kevin, though he was 26. We had no idea what we were doing, though we thought we were prepared. That makes me want to laugh! I wonder now what our parents were thinking. I'm sure they were spending a lot of time in fervent prayer. :) But, they were supportive and loving regardless of the doubts I'm sure they had. (Kevin's Dad once came by my apartment when we were engaged and brought me flowers and a card saying how glad he was that I was going to be his daughter-in-law. I see where Kevin got it.)

I have wished over the years that we had a different story; one that was more pure and godly and inspiring. But, sadly, neither of us was seeking God at this time. We partied. We smoked. We were all about our own glory and not at all about God's. That's embarrassing to admit, but it really makes this whole journey that much more amazing. That's who we were. But that's not where God left us.

Those first years were really roller-coaster. We had such fun together most of the time, but we had some fights that were doozies. I would sometimes 'run' home to my Mom, either physically or emotionally during those first months. I know: pretty much the biggest no-no. Kevin accepted an IT job in Lawrence, Kansas after the first year and a half of our marriage, and so we went, looking forward to an adventure in exciting Kansas. :) The job ended up being terrible in many ways, but God led us to a vibrant E-Free church there, full of young couples who were growing and passionate about knowing God and loving Him. Kevin and I dove in, and God used the teaching there to begin to grow us closer to Him. As a matter of fact, I experienced a real turning point in my spiritual life during that time. (Was it salvation? Was I already saved? That's stuff for another post. I don't exactly know the answer, but that's okay. I know I'm His now.) We made some precious friendships and learned so much about the Lord. It was good for us to be 600 miles away from our families. We had to cleave together, to make our own friends, our own way.

And Keely was born during that time. That most amazing event was another way the Lord was chipping away at me (us), showing me my need for Christ, showing me how selfish I was. Little did we know that we would have six more 'amazing events' in our future!

Oh, dear: I'm only about two years into our marriage at this point! I don't think I have the time today to write (nor do you, to read, I'm sure) this much detail about the following thirteen.

So, I'll just say that today, I stand in awe of what God has done. I am married to my best friend. We prefer to be together over being with anyone else. Is it perfect? Of course not. We have bad days, months, and have even had some rough years. But I love this amazing man I get the privilege to be married to. He loves me and is faithful to me.

Do I deserve any of this?

No way.

It's all God's grace. That's what makes me want to cry, to fall on my knees. I had no idea who I was, who Kevin was, really, beyond the superficial stuff that you float on when you're in the throes of 'in love' feelings.

But God knew, and He knew what He was going to do with us. And I can only say, 'Thank you' to Him.

[15] For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” [16] So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
(Romans 9:15-16 ESV)

Happy Anniversary, Kevin. I am so proud and grateful that *I* get to be your wife!

7 comments:

Jenia said...

Happy Anniversary Candice and Kevin! Congratulations on your 15 years :)

Anne said...

Congratulations on 15 years together, Kevin & Candice!!! What an encouragement and blessing it is to witness you 2 as a couple and as parents. May the Lord bless you with many, many more years of friendship and love, both for each other, for others around you, but most importantly, for the Lord. Happy Anniversary!!

Queen of the Natives said...

Congratulations :D 15 years Hoorah! and I wish you a multitude more... I really enjoyed reading your 'story' and how you describe yourself at the very beginning of your marriage I can absolutely identify with. Young, naive, definitely immature and absolutely no idea, even though I thought I nearly had it all sorted! I hope you had a lovely day with your wonderful Hubby and beautiful children.
JM:)

Dana said...

Happy Anniversary!!

Heather L. said...

Thank you so much for sharing some of the details of your life. i have been thinking about this all day and it has brought me much encouragement as I pray for others who are in that wandering time of life and who I pray someday seek Christ fully. How comforting to know Christ is faithful to complete His work in His children.

And congratulations on 15 years!!!

Candice said...

Thanks for the well-wishes!

Heather, I'm so thankful that this was an encouragement to you. I fail to remember that God is working in *others* sometimes as I struggle to give grace and be patient when people disappoint. Isn't that funny how we can be blind to/forget what God has done and is doing?

Ktribe said...

Aww So nice to read a part of your story!
So glad you are HIS!
He gives beauty for ashes! Amen? Amen!!
Kelly