They say the first 7 years are the hardest in a marriage as it is the time when a couple learns to adjust to one another.  In missions school we learned it takes 9-14 years on average to fully change the mindset from “me” to “we”.  I believe we are outliers in that statistic in that we have already accomplished that.

7 years is a period of completion.  We began our marriage with hopes and dreams to be working with the underprivileged and mistreated in and around York County but God had other plans.  7 months after our wedding day we embarked on a journey that we didn’t even know was starting.  God was guiding us to Guatemala.  What a ride it has been!  There have been many ups and downs and plenty of challenges to our commitment not only to each other but to what God has called us to.  He has certainly blessed us with desolations and consolations, all growing us closer to Him and closer to each other through it.  As difficult as it has been, I am blessed by it because I always have had Missy by my side.  One way that God continues to show me that she was meant for me is that I cannot imagine my life any other way.

There is no way I would have survived the challenges in ministry, the difficulties in my relationship with God, nor the struggles in life without my sweetheart close to me.  I’ve said it before and I will say it again and again until I die:  God said, “it is not good for this man to be alone.  I will make and prepare for him a helper…”  He gave me a great one because I definitely need all the help I can get!

My constant prayer is that God will grow and strengthen our relationship to be a representation of His love so that others may get to experience Him by interacting with us.  We want our marriage to be a beacon of light, a breath of fresh air, a sign of hope for marriages.  I thank God that He continues to do that as we have couples from different cultures and walks of life come to us asking for help.  It certainly is nothing of our accord, but God’s grace alone that we are able to minister to others in this special way.  We are unworthy of such an honor, but blessed to be a part of it.  My wife, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason for this.  As God uses her obedience to Him to make me a better man, we become a stronger couple and a more powerful team for the Kingdom.

On this day we celebrate our marriage of 7 years, looking forward to the next 7 and furthermore another 7.  Today I thank God for my wonderful and amazing wife who loves me more than I could hope for, cares for me more than I ever deserve, and brings me more joy than I could ever imagine.  Husbands: appreciate your wives, because they are God’s gift to us.  Wives: be patient with your husbands because they need you more than you probably know.  Couples: celebrate the gift of marriage together.

Thanks to all of you who have poured into our lives individually and as a couple.  We have learned a lot over the years and thank God for His grace upon us to surround us with such a great number of excellent examples of what a godly marriage looks like.

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