Being with each other has been an incredible journey neither of us could have plotted out quite like God has. What an amazing Father to bring us together and allow us to serve Him these years.
We talked about what we wanted to do today to celebrate and decided to spend it with our kids. Tuesday evening has been set aside for Bible study with them for the last nine years; we couldn't think of a good reason to skip out on them tonight. Not all of them could be with us of course as dozens and dozens have already left the nest and are scattered around the world.
As we shared some snacks with them this evening they asked us questions like: How did you meet? or Do you ever fight? These and other questions started a special time of discussion on marriage, dating, children, and related topics.
(One boy said he had never heard anything like this.)
(Siblings in Christ from Cuba and China)
Only two of them were even born when we were married. They laughed at our wedding pictures and said we looked so young.
As the night grew late, one girl said she wanted to share something. She launched into an emotional speech about how much she thanks God for our presence on campus and in her life. One boy shared that he never knew what a loving marriage really looked like until he met us since his parents divorced long ago. Another girl wept as she shared that hearing our story tonight was exactly what she needed; another told us that she now realized that she needed to let God control her life. (Anyone have a hanky??)
Somewhere along the way we have lost count as to actually how many kids God has given us to influence, lead to Christ, counsel, mentor, and invest in their lives. Their faces are deeply etched into our hearts though; their gifts fill our home; their names fill our guest book; their stories burn in our memories... and we recognize the profound love of God to have given us so many precious children.
(Getting them to stand still for a picture was a task-- they even pulled me into motion!)
Finally, we managed a semi-decent pose of just a precious few.
Tradition says the twenty-fifth wedding anniversary is known as the 'silver anniversary'.
It seemed golden to us.