Today’s Equally Yoked post is by Jada Swanson.
To my husband, my love, my partner and friend,
In just a few days, we will be celebrating 14 years of marriage, partnership, and teamwork. Where have the years gone? Sometimes, it feels as if we’ve been together all of our lives and at other times, merely a few days.
We took to heart the advice we were given on our wedding day: LAUGH. Laugh a lot.
We’ve laughed at ourselves, and we’ve laughed at each other. When things were funny and when things were not funny at all. Finding the comic relief of the situation seemed to help. And after all these years, it just takes one look —you know THAT look— and we start laughing all over again.
But we’ve cried, too.
When tightly held secrets were shared for the first time, and beauty emerged from the ashes. Those were healing tears! When we found out we were expecting a baby after almost losing hope of ever becoming parents. Tears of joy! When dreams were shared and longings revealed. And when one chapter of our life began to close, so another one could be written. Those tears held mixed emotions for both of us.
We have experienced so much. Side by side. Together.
Through the years, we’ve grown as individuals and as a couple. Navigating our way through all sorts of experiences and situations, joys and heartaches, beginnings and endings. The work and effort exerted to get us to this place has totally been worth it, and I wouldn’t trade our journey for anything.
There’s and ebb and flow in our marriage, in our family and even in our daily lives. Long before we understood the distinction between Egalitarian and Complimentarian, we had already discovered what worked for us: sharing, teamwork, and unity. To us, it wasn’t about “woman’s work” or “man’s work”. No, it was about supporting and encouraging one another, so we did whatever needed to be done. And we still do!
We have purposefully chosen to embrace words like forgive, love, respect, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. Oh how we have, and continue to work on those. Along with daily submitting to one another, mutually respecting, and forever loving, we fervently and faithfully seek God and His plan for our lives.
One of the greatest gifts we have given to each other is the gift of dreaming…BIG! But we don’t stop at dreaming. We are called to steward and develop all the gifts, skills and abilities that God has given to each of us. So, we challenge one another to think outside-of-the-box in order to see the dream become a reality. And through it all, we cheer one another along to the finish line!
Jon, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without having you in my life. You believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. You protected me when others didn’t. You saw things in me that I couldn’t see: gifts, talents, skills, even a pastoral calling. And although you didn’t think you could do it, I knew you were destined to continue your education, no matter what. Amidst moving cross-country, planting a church, home schooling our kids, and the fullness of ordinary life, you will soon be Dr. Swanson! I am so proud of you!
Thank you for always making our marriage and family a priority. Daily, you show our children what it means to be a devoted Christ-follower and a husband who shows their mom love and respect while exemplifying partnership in all aspects of life. More than ever, I am reminded just how amazing you are and how very thankful I am for you, the partnership we have developed, and the life we have created. I wouldn’t trade our journey for anything!
Here’s to 14 years, Baby! How’s forever sound?
Jada Swanson, an ordained pastor in the Free Methodist Church, is a teacher at heart. One of her passions is preaching and teaching at churches, conferences and retreats. For many years, she has shared the gift of music with her piano and voice students, and considers it a privilege to travel with them on their musical journeys. She’s a self-professed “foodie,” so spending time in her kitchen is a spiritual experience. One of her greatest desires is to foster a renewed engagement in the spiritual discipline of hospitality to this generation.
Want to contribute to the Equally Yoked series? Email Jenny at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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