June 14, 2015

Nine years and new beginnings

Todd and I celebrated nine years of marriage this last Wednesday.  We reminisced about the past and anticipated the future like we do on most anniversary dates, this year at a quaint mexican restaurant.  Afterward, we found ourselves sitting by the Guadalupe River at a nearby park and later capped off the evening by treating ourselves to new pillows.

Clearly, we know how to partay.

In many ways, these nine years have flown.  Having kids has a way of speeding things up somehow because life is always measured in milestones and themed birthday parties.  Tommy is always counting down to the next thing, the next event, the next holiday.  Our little man always has to have a plan or know what the plan is -he relies on consistency and predictability. Right now we are counting down to his sixth birthday and our promise of spending the day at Six Flags with him.  And potty training our second child is looming in our near future and just thinking about it is enough for me to wish time could stand still. 

But at the start of our ninth year of marriage together, we have found ourselves in an unwanted season of transition.  A chapter in our lives that we have loved living and doing and being a part of is at its end.  And we are heartbroken.

There's no way to poetically write it or talk around it so I will just say the things that nobody really says when these things happen:  our church is falling apart.  Or at least, that's how we see it.  People are leaving.  Dear, dear friends that we have done life with and loved on and been in ministry with are moving on.  And we are devastated.  The how's and why's and who's are irrelevant really.  The fact of the matter is, churches and pastors and leaders and members - everything and everyone of us broken.  And sometimes that brokenness causes divisions and disagreements or bad decisions or just humans being extra humanly.  In short - it sucks.  It sucks so very much.

The evening we sat by the river, there was nothing but he and I, some huge cypress trees and the sound of the water flowing past.  I took this picture as it perfectly captures us, our marriage and how we fit together.  He with his camo crocs and me with my overly girly and sparkly sandals. So incredibly opposite but somehow we were made for each other.
Life is often going to hand us unexpected realities.  Chapters and seasons will come and go and many of them, like this one, we won't even see coming.  But we're in this thing together just like we vowed nine years ago.

Right now we are grieving. We are losing our church, our community, a sense of familiarity and comfort and predictability - some of those things that must go if we to continue to grow.  We are trusting by faith that God gives and takes away, and tears things down to only build something back up in its place.  Before each new beginning, there is always an ending.

I'm simply grateful that nine years into marriage, we are living our endings and new beginnings camo croc by sparkly sandal.  Side by side.

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