Wednesday, August 13, 2008

8 Years yesterday

Charlton and I have been married eight years.  It seems like a long time especially when we think back to our early years of living in College Station still in college.  We were so young!  I turned 20 years old just over a month before we were married.  Since you are all intelligent people I know that you can figured out then I was 19 while we were engaged; I probably looked younger than that.  It, I assure you, was tons of fun arranging all the events for the wedding because I always got asked how old I was and was told by young and old that I was too young to be getting married.  I never heard as much as I did about getting married so young as I did in Philly- mostly at work.  I had lots of co-workers that just couldn't believe how a person could commit at that young age and know that she would/could spend the rest of her life with someone else.  I would love to have been able to then, and now, talk about how I have wisdom and maturity beyond my years and that my intellect far surpassed my peers.  Obviously, I made a very good decision!  However, every anniversary I am reminded how much grace and blessing that God has poured out in my life specifically when I think of Charlton.  I do not deserve him!  

 I meet him nine years ago.  I think that it was Feburary '99 when he came to the A&M RUF weekly meeting and we met.  We started dating in August, were engaged Feburary '00, and were married August '00.  I was starting my Jr year at A&M, and although I originally had been "very uneasy" to talk about getting married with that much school to finish, I was quickly "convinced" and excited about starting this adventure with Charlton at 20 years old.  

 I hear so many people say now that you should find yourself, finish school, start your career, make some money, live on your own, etc, etc, before getting married.  We did most of that together and it has been a wonderful way to live life.  I have never regretted getting married so young, and on the contrary, look back in amazement wondering how I could make such a wise decision at a young age when everything else told us we should wait until we were older.  God was heaping tremendous blessings on us early on.  Some days I wake up and can't believe my luck that I am married to such an amazing man!  I tell people when they ask why we got married so young that I knew what a great catch Charlton was and that if I didn't snatch him up right away then someone else might try and steal him.  It's a light hearted answer but true.  I wasn't necessarily ready to be married in general, but I knew I was in love and HAD to marry Charlton and so it didn't matter if I was 19 or not, I was ready to commit myself for life!  How do you explain such feeling?!    

Charlton has helped me understand better who I am, my strengths and weaknesses, God's will for my life.  Several months ago I read Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas and in two chapters he wrote about Anne Lindbergh (Charles Lindbergh's wife).  He included a passage from one of her journals in which she wrote about becoming engaged in spite of many people suggesting otherwise.  I thought that it was a beautiful description of how committing to someone for a lifetime is truly freeing and liberating- such a contrast to today's view of marriage that it's hard to explain how love can completely take over your life and make you a different person in a good way.  So many people today are worried about losing their identity by committing their life to someone else.  God's made me a different person and given me a new identity as Charlton's wife-- that is, in fact, the point.

To be deeply in love is of course a great liberating force and the most common experience that frees young people.... The sheer fact of finding myself in love was unbelievable and changed my world, my feelings about life and myself.  I was given confidence, strength, and almost a new character.  The man I was to marry believed in me and what I could do, and consequently I found I could do more than I realize, even in mysterious outer world of flying that fascinated me but seemed so unattainable.  He opened the door to real life and although it frightened me, it also beckoned.  I had to go.


Yesterday marks eight years since I by God's grace made the best decision of my life.  Praise God for His gift of marriage and for our wonderful 8 years together!  



~the eight of us~ said...


Anonymous said...

Laura what a beautiful reminder of God's blessing of marriage. I love that you put it in words. It certainly encourages me. I am proud of you and Charlton and love how the Lord is changing and growing you (three) every day.



Jamie Rives said...

Happy Anniversary! I loved reading your sweet reflections of your 8 years together! May the Lord grant you many, many more!

Sarah said...

Congratulations! Btw, Steven looks so grown-up in the picture in your last post--what a handsome little boy!