5 years ago

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I always get super nostalgic around holidays and annual markers. Jake and I are approaching a bunch of 5 year markers this next year. Since we started dating, got engaged, and married all within the same year, get ready for lots of sappy posts in 2016. I’m half joking. But the start of it all (for me) was at the end of 2010. I had graduated college, traveled a bunch, started working with a great production company, it had been a really good, and in a lot of ways, really hard, year. So as I sat with one of my childhood best friends reflecting on the previous year and discussing the things we felt the Lord wanted to teach us in the next year, the Lord started this whirlwind 10 month adventure that ended in me marrying the most amazing man I’ve ever met.

As we talked about things the Lord had taught us and things we felt like we needed to readjust for the next year – men obviously were a topic of conversation. I was the “broken” girl, legitimately, many friends thought I’d be the one who never got married. I had lists, and rules, and walls {really tall walls} built all around my heart. As we chatted I just got this wave of conviction that was pretty simplistic at the heart of it, but huge in reality. My verbal processing went something like this “I feel like I have all these rules about any man I’d want to marry or date, and God’s just been showing me that all He requires of me is to love Him with all my heart, soul, and strength, and love my neighbor as myself; so maybe that should be my standard for a man.” I was really humbled; I was requiring more of this hypothetical man than what God required of him or me. Honestly, I am humbled all over again writing this as I realize that once again I’ve started to put all these ridiculous expectations on Jake.

But that was it for me, in that moment the only man I could think of was Jake. I didn’t know him incredibly well, but I knew that for the past two years any time I had seen him it was so clear that he loved Jesus more than anything else, and while I was sure he wasn’t perfect, I knew that was the most important quality in a man. More than all the things  I thought I
“needed,” I needed more Jesus, and a man who would push me towards Him. You can read how the rest of our story unfolded here, I just wanted to take time to remember the huge work God did in my crazy heart only 5 years ago. It seems like it’s been forever and like it was yesterday all at once. Happy almost New Years!

xo,
Jac

*Disclaimer* I’m always super hesitant to post things like this about our story and relationship, because as people I feel like we typically fall in to two camps; too many standards or not enough standards. The last thing I would want is for this type of story to be justification/encouragement for someone continuing in a relationship with someone who treats them poorly. What I mean is, if someone is claiming to love Jesus, their actions will show it, “greater love knows no man than this that he lay down his life for his friend.” Words and claims are followed by actions, not perfect actions, but repentance and kindness. Jake and I had 2+ years to see the evidence of this, and while the story of our relationship was quick, the foundation for that was long and steady. This isn’t an “anti-standard” encouragement. Seek God’s word about what He says are the qualities of a man or woman who seeks Him, and make that your standards, not your own arbitrary rules. 

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