Then & Now

14 February 2014

My husband and I don't have the conventional love story. We were two opposites that God placed into each other paths, in a grocery store. I told you all earlier this week that it wasn't love at first sight, but when I did feel love for him - I knew he was the one. My heart didn't flutter to confirm it but I felt peace with every decision we were making to move forward in life together. The biggest confirmation was when he proposed to me. I didn't give him an answer I immediately said I had to ask my mom. Little did I know he had asked my mom and she had already agreed. So once I knew that she was on board I knew that I could agree to his proposal. Nine months after he asked me to marry him, four months after I turned 18, and one month after my high school graduation we were married.

I know it sounds crazy, and from the outside looking in it looked crazy. But I am a firm believer that God always knows what he's doing and our love story is being authored by him everyday.

Our marriage has changed over the course of 8.7 years. We have changed, grown up, moved away and learned that happy marriages take work. For Valentine's Day I wanted to take some time to look at our marriage and consider all the elements that made it strong then and what makes it even stronger now.

What made us strong then:

Prayers. Our pastor and his wife covered us in prayer often. They encouraged us and reminded us that every marriage experienced hard times. They were an example of a godly couple and God sustained their marriage for 42 years.

Support. My mother threatened to sue us if we got a divorce, ha. Honestly she supported us however she could and encouraged us to do life together. Whenever things got bad between us she reminded me of why I told her I wanted to marry my husband in the first place. She would say Charity do you remember what you said when I asked why you wanted to get married? And I would answer yes I said because he is my best friend.

Commitment. More than anything my husband and I were committed to each other. We believe we were soul mates. We were also committed to proving all the naysayers wrong about our marriage. We were 18 and 24 when we said I do and so many people didn't wish us well and hoped our union would fail. They still haven't been able to say I told you so.

Love. Even through the ups and downs, financial strain and then infertility our love was alive. What the bible says about love is oh so true. My marriage proves that to me every day.

GOD. When we weren't close to him I know he watched over us every single day. His love guided us through the years until we found a deeper relationship with him.

What makes us strong now:

Order. Who's you might ask? Well God's of course. My husband and I try our best to live according to his standards for a husband and wife. I stepped down from my leadership role several years ago and have since learned how to be a wife who submits. I have to admit him leading and me following isn't as bad as I thought it would be, he's a great, generous, and loving leader.

Faith. In the earlier years of our marriage we believed in God but didn't follow his word closely. Now we keep his word close to our hearts and our bibles at our fingers tips. We prayer together and for each other. Our faith has brought on an intimacy would could have never imagined.

Forgiveness. A marriage cannot thrived when you harbor feelings of unforgiveness. There is so much freedom in forgiving the person you are spending the rest of your life with. Once I learned to forgive my husband and myself I began to see our marriage in a different light.

Honesty. We kept things from each other before - feelings, desires, and heart issues. It sucked the intimacy right out of our marriage. Now we talk about any and everything nothing is off limits.

Contentment. Over the years I have learned that I needed to accept my love story and marriage. They will never be the same as someone else's, my husband won't always do what someone else's husband does and thats okay. We are different and so is our marriage comparing just steals joy.

Differences. My husband and I are different in so many ways. Our differences however bring strength and balance to our marriage. We complement each other just the way God designed us to.

Trials. We have faced so much in the time that we have been together. While we were in the midst of each trial it seemed as though it had the power to tear us apart. With each trial passed we realized that they didn't destroy us they made us stronger.

Our marriage is far from perfect - but it's strong and it's ours. Happy Valentine's Day.

Your Turn: What makes your marriage or relationship strong? If you aren't in a relationship what do you think is essential to having a strong relationship?


  1. I just love this! Both my parents and Robs parents have been married for over 30 years each and that has been a huge help for Rob and I. This is perfect :)

  2. You guys! There is such a wrong attitude about "youth" and "growing up" today. Biblically, you were a child, then you became an adult. So this idea of adolescence and "taking time to find yourself" is kind of silly. You getting married at 18 shows your character, and even though you both had some growing to do, you made the commitment to do it together. The Hubs and I got married when we were 21 and we get some of the weird looks when we tell people that. I'm just excited we'll get to spend that many more years together when we get older!

  3. This is a really sweet and thoughtful post! Thank you!

  4. I love this!!! I love to see the then and now and hear your dedication to each other and to the Lord. So inspiring! Happy Valentines Day xoxo

  5. Love this!! Such great wisdom in this post. :) I love how your mom would remind you of why you said you wanted to marry him when things were rough. That's amazing! I would say praying and studying the word together is so great. We don't do it as often as we would like to, but every time we do there is such a feeling of closeness, a bond that can't be broken. :)

  6. Oh I love this post! It's awesome how you can reflect on all the things that have made your marriage strong. I hope that when I get married I can be able to grow and love my spouse as much as you all do. Thank you so much for linking up!!

  7. Love this post. It's amazing how we learn and grow in our marriage. I agree with what you said- I think it's so important to forgive and very important not to compare your relationship to others'. Thanks for sharing!!

  8. This is such a sweet post. I love seeing the growth even though I have only been following you for such a short time. Thanks for the Then and Now comparison. You two are a great example of Gods purpose for marriage. Thanks for sharing this, it's awesome!

  9. Love the pics of past and present. So cute to see you beautiful people together! I so admire all the attention you are constantly giving to your marriage. And that is how it's done!

  10. Thanks for sharing your story. My husband and I have been married for nearly 6 years through ups and downs like infertility. I think communication and prayer have made our marriage strong. We talk about nearly everything. On busy days, we try to get at least a few minutes of "face time" in (we called it that before FaceTime was a thing). Face time involves focused time looking at and talking with each other with no gadgets or distractions. Also, we pray together every night.

    I also think moving away from everyone bonded us together. We moved several states away only a month after our wedding. Because we didn't know anyone else, my husband was my only friend for a while and I was his. It was tough, but really a good thing in the long term.


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