Contentment · Family Relationships · Love · Marriage

Top 10

Today marks 10 years of marriage and 12 years of friendship—cue the confetti bombs, because I think that is worth celebrating!! The husband and I spent the weekend going back to ten places where God wrote out our love story. To all my young friends, single sisters, parents with daughters or sons—these Top Ten stories are for you.  I pray you are encouraged or able to encourage others to remain in Christ, wait upon the Lord and be amazed as He provides more than you could ever imagine or hope for.

Number 1: Ohio State

September 2003. The Ohio State University. I was a sophomore, He was a senior. We were both coming through seasons of allowing God to put the broken pieces of our stories back together as we rededicated our lives to Him. We were content with Christ alone when He allowed our eyes to meet and souls to connect. But God is not a God of irony, He is a God of Purpose. And his purpose for everything we had been through up until that moment was for that moment. He prepared us for one another not despite our pasts, but because of them. “For I know the plans I have for you..” Jeremiah 1:9

Number 2: Chipotle
First date. We talked and shared and prayed. Meeting someone who desired to know my heart and soul above all else was foreign to me. Seek a friend who loves you like that, the way the Lord perfectly models. “The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

Number 3: Goodale Park

Friendship was built on the concrete walkways of this beautiful old city park. So much laughter and joy felt here. Never settle for less. “Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away” Isaiah 51:11

Number 4: Build-A-Bear

Our first fight. He wanted to buy me an expensive stuffed bear. I didn’t want him to spend his money on me. He was choosing to give me a good gift and I was rejecting it, feeling unworthy. He gently reassured me, bought the bear and I still have it today. It reminds me that we are not worthy, that there is nothing we can do to earn one another’s love, or the love of our Heavenly Father. The blessings God bestows upon us come solely out of His love for us, not because of anything we have done. Find someone whose love always leads you back to Christ’s. “For it is by Grace, you have been saved…it is a gift of God” Ephesians 4:8

Number 5:  Express

He was rummaging through my closet, I was trying to find something to wear. He tossed out oversized hand me down jeans and teeny tiny tops and questioned why I owned such things. I told him the easy truth–my family did not have a lot of money, so top of the line fashion was out of the question. And I told him the hard truth–I wanted to feel loved, and relied on outward appearance more often than not. He bagged up all of that baggage and dropped it off at Goodwill. Then took me to Express and bought me clothes that clothed me. Like Eve in the Garden of Eden he covered and protected me that night, and he always has. “The Lord God made garments…and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21

Number 6: Poplar Street

My college home. I told him, ‘I love You’ right out back. We’d only been dating a few weeks, but I couldn’t help it. I meant it then and I mean it now.  “Above all, Love…” 1 Peter 4:8a

Number 7: Columbus Fish Market

This place- one of my favorite restaurants while living in Columbus. Joel always desired to bless me with the things I enjoyed. Countless birthdays, anniversaries and date nights were spent around these tables. To know what one loves is one thing, but to seek out ways to delight them with those same things is another. Be generous in kindness and good deeds toward those you love. “He who is generous will be blessed” -Proverbs 22:9

Number 8: Kenbrook

Our first home. I had never a lived in a home that was owned, let alone had my name printed on closing documents. Joel always provided for me as God always provided for us. He would take the shirt of his back to ensure we were clothed, lay down his life and  give up his dreams, to ensure food was on our table and a roof over our head. To loves through sacrifice is to really love. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16

Number 9: The Harpers

The exact spot I said, ‘yes’ 11 years ago and would say yes 10 million more times if I could. My childhood home away from home. The place we all gathered in times of joy and sorrow. The place Joel drove 3 hours to get to, in lieu of vacationing with his brother, to comfort me when my sister passed away. There are countless memories stored up in these walls, but this one, on this bench, outweighs them all. “May you ever be captivated by their love” – Proverbs 5:19

Number 10: Hilton

The first place we stayed as Mr. and Mrs. before heading out to honeymoon. I do not believe true love waits, I believe true love remains. As we remained connected to Christ, the source of all our needs, we were able to be filled with the gift of patience for and with one another. The same remains true today. Marriage can only thrive as we remain anchored in Christ and rooted and grounded in the love. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Cheers to ten years!! 



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5 thoughts on “Top 10

  1. Congratulations and further blessings and thank-you for sharing your love story with us all. This is the most beautiful post; a tribute to Joel, a tribute to your covenant and, most importantly a tribute to the Lord for His faithfulness. Love you both!!!

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