On March 3rd Valerie and I celebrated our first anniversary, closing a year filled with all the joy and blessings of two lives being molded together with an ever-deepening fellowship and love for each other. What a priceless experience following many years of waiting and trusting God for His best!
We both share the experience of having our faith tested in the latter end of our single years as we tried to focus on putting the Lord first in our lives, and trusting Him to accomplish His best in each area of our lives, including the area of marriage.
In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches that if we seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, that all these things will be added unto us. In the preceding verses, Jesus points out that all over the world, people are seeking after the necessities of life. Finances, food, and clothing are certainly needful, but as Christians, we have a Father that cares for us and delights to provide for His children.
If God cares about the little things in our lives like food and clothing, how much more does He want for us to have His best in the area of a life partner! “Houses and riches are the inheritance of fathers”, Proverbs tells us, “but a prudent wife is from the Lord.” Probably no other relationship in this life will have a greater impact upon our life choices than that of our spouse. I believe that God has given me His very best in Valerie, and it has been my delight over this past year to spend time with this precious gift from the Lord.
“The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.”
— Proverbs 10:22
Does this mean that if you focus on loving the Lord with all your heart and seeking Him first, that you can be sure to have the marriage of your dreams? No, not necessarily. You can take God at His Word that all these things will be added unto you, but God knows what is best, and whether marriage is part of His very best for your life. A loving marriage might be our sincere prayer, but we are wise to hold our dreams with open hands so that God is free to bring His own answer in His perfect time.
I certainly had not anticipated reaching the age of 31 before I was married, but I would not trade the fruit of the lessons God had for me in those faith-building years of preparation and growth. Valerie and I have often commented to one another that we would not be enjoying the richness and fulness of what we have today, had it not been for some of those trying lessons and seasons of personal growth in our single years. God truly does all things well!
But lessons in life and faith don’t end when you get married, as all of you married ones know! 🙂 One of the lessons that God has taken us through in this past year was in the area of patience and trust regarding children. Both Valerie and I were eagerly looking forward to the potential of children, but month after month passed with no signs of a little one.
Our prayers continued as we watched all five of our married siblings rejoice in the news of a baby on the way. David & Priscilla were married a month before us, and just had their first in March of this year. Valerie’s brother Joe was married two weeks after us, and they had their first in January. We were only too willing to “join the club”, but could do little but pray and trust the Lord for His best.
I realize that many couples try for years to have children, and some never have this opportunity, so nine months may seem like a comparatively short time to wait, but for us the test of patience and trust was very real as we reached the end of 2012. It was with no little joy in early January that Valerie shared with me the exciting news that the Lord had blessed us with a little one! 🙂
All of this was an exciting new adventure for us, although each being the oldest of ten children, we had some understanding of caring for little ones. Our parents were of course thrilled with the news, and shared much valuable advice for us as we stepped into this new season of life. Never have I been more thankful for my mother taking the time in those early years to teach me how to cook and clean and care for a home!
Valerie did experience some morning sickness as is typical during the first three months, but this was thankfully more mild than what many go through. She is doing very well, and our little one continues to grow and develop. Our midwife reports that baby is right on target for development, with a due date at the very end of August.
About two weeks ago we had our ultrasound. What an incredible experience to see our little one for the first time! (No, we didn’t find out the gender, we are leaving that as a surprise.) As one working in the field of technology, I was fascinated by the advances in this arena.
Far from the little profile picture my parents could see when I was a baby, our doctor could show us the baby’s heart beating, details of the spine, and just about every part of our little one’s developing body. “Everything looks perfect!” was the doctor’s happy report.
Above is a picture that the doctor graciously allowed me to take during the ultrasound. We are rejoicing in the blessing of this little one!
“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”
— Psalm 127:3