Tuesday, June 17, 2008

25 Years is a Long Stretch! So...What Has Changed?

Twenty-five years have passed since Gary and I got married on June 18, 1983. Things have changed...differently than the casual observer might think. I'm a bit (never mind how much a bit is) heavier...my hands and face are more wrinkled and I have some gray hair...our wedding presents are now antiques. (That's scary!) There are two more people in the house. Where did they come from? Oh, yes, I remember now. They grew on us! Ha! And my ankle hurts, and it didn't do that back a bunch of years.
Other than that, what's the difference? Oh, yes, new life! I'm alive! I was dead then and didn't know it. I remember that feeling of inadequacy, that huge hole in my middle. I remember that so well, and never thought it would subside. For a while it got worse! And now it's gone.
I know how to fix up things around the house. And I don't think I'd be as afraid to try a new job if I had one; I don't worry about what people think of me; I don't feel alone; my life is no longer meaningless; now, though, work is not my life; my life revolves around important things, things that matter eternally, like family life, and faith.
Still, aside from all that? I still feel like that 23-year-old, basically. There are a lot of things, I think, that haven't changed. Well, maybe. Well, maybe not. It's better! It's really good. Life is really good. God is really great! Other than aches and weight, I'm not just like when I was 23, I'm happier, more confident, more joyful, at peace, and I didn't even have a clue what joy and peace were back then.
How has Gary changed? In many ways, he too is still the same person he was; yet, he's changed of course too. Well, he has a work history in sales,and he will tell you all about it if you ask! He loves his work. He's a dad who takes pride in his kids. He values family life big-time. The church where his dad pastored back then, he called a "social club." And he didn't attend church back then. I don't think he'd call the one we attend now anything like just a social club!
Back then we lived in Portland, and hadn't really become part of a community. Now, having lived in the Puget Sound area most of these years, we have a huge community of friends, of sisters and brothers in Christ, who we love and cherish. I can't imagine having been without them all these years--and with every year it's only gotten better!
We've gone through some tough times, but God has brought us through them, and through those times, we have learned things about God and ourselves, and about what other people go through, that we never would have learned otherwise. God is truly great. What more can I say? I can only praise God for His goodness in our lives, for what He has done, for all that He has done to help us through these 25 years!

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