Saturday, August 23, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Baby

I've done all my growing up with the charming and beautiful Susan as my partner. I've been with her for more than half my life. We met just a few days after I turned twenty. She was only nineteen. I married her before I turned twenty-one. Today, our marriage is twenty-two years old.

We've been on marvelous journey together. She introduced me to faith in Jesus Christ. We've grown together in that faith. We've put our faith into practice in marriage, parenting, and service with God at the center of all we do.

Like all marriages, the foundation of that marriage has been attacked from outside forces and we've allowed it to be undermined from the inside by our own selfishness. These challenges have forced us to build and rebuild, examine and remodel, tear down and re-construct.

The night that Charity called in despair over her baby near death, our lives changed forever. We cried out to God in anguish; we questioned Him angrily.

"How could You let someone hurt this incredibly precious, innocent little baby?"

Both of us asked this. We always felt we had the answers to the theology of suffering but never knew how dark and lonely and disorienting suffering would actually be. We never knew God would be so quiet.

We both tried our damnedest to hear God.

It wasn't until we both individually made a choice to live for God in spite of what we were going through, that is, the ripping apart of our family, leaving friends, surrendering property, that things started to change. As I watched the faith and obedience of the charming and beautiful Susan and her selfless mothering and caring for me, we turned a corner. I saw God working in her and I started to see Him at work in places I wasn't looking before. He was at worked through every situation I was most critical of; the places I was fighting Him the most. He worked through my friends, my family, you readers, and through that familiar, still small voice. I was starting to hear again.

I don't know how any of this could have happened if I didn't have the incredible partner He gave me. I see the amazing wisdom of God at work in my mate.

I never knew I could experience the depth of love that we have in our little trio. I genuinely look forward to the company I keep every single morning when we have our time together over coffee before we take on the day. Our love and joy are overflowing; they far exceed the suffering of the past year and a half. We didn't get here over night. It has taken two decades of sowing into a field that's been our life together.

If the last twenty-two years has yielded this kind of payoff, I can't wait to reap the benefits of the next twenty-two years.


Anonymous said...

What a nice post, Bryon! Congratulations on another Anniversary! God does bring beauty from ashes! Amazing what God did in the midst of your storm. I am in awe.

Mike West said...

Happy Anniversary! The lessons are always in the valleys and God is rewarding your faithfulness.

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!May many blessings keep coming your way!

Anonymous said...

Congrats from Kenya! Mungu Akubariki!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to both you and Susan. Your post is a great testimony not only to your marriage, but to how God can work in people who are committed to Him, even in the discordant times.

Bruce and I will celebrate 20 years in January. Only in the past month, or so, has he attended church with me, regularly, on his own initiative. This is the man who was adamantly opposed to going to this church, because he couldn't stand the music. Now, he's enjoying it! God is so clearly working in him, as He has clearly worked in both of us and drawn us ever closer to each other...and to Him. He is so good!

Anonymous said...

"with God at the center of all we do."
This is your own word Bryon. So why are you even consider Obama as our president.
Do you believe the bible is God's word because the way God told us about about the leader he did even fits.
If God if is the center of all you do. Did you go by what he told you or what seem good for you?
I was very disappointed when you comment Chuck Smith. You use to be a pastor at Calvary Chapel once how could you make that comment. You are far gone away from God Bryon because I have been reading your blog for a while beside Allie's and your wife's story your blog is suck.

Susan Mondok said...

Anonymous needs to lighten up a judgmental and all. Just because Bryon has a different opinion doesn't mean he is far from God. So please lighten up, this post was for my happy anniversary not your opinionated comments...
Susan M

Unknown said...

just read this, happy anniversary guys, congrats!!!!