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The 40 Year Journey


I can’t believe I am even typing this, but today marks 40 years of being married. It truly seems impossible and I mean that in every way. How could it have been 40 years? How did we not only survive but have learned to thrive? How could this journey have been like it has?


I awoke 40 years ago on this date beyond excited to get married. I could not wait to get to be with Johnny. I was beyond unprepared, and unrealistic about what life might hold. I am grateful that God in his mercy does not let us know what is ahead. He wants to teach us to walk by faith, not sight.


I think sometimes, what if I had known? Would I have signed on? Would I have stood and said, “I promise to love you Johnny for better or worse.” Really, who came up with that? I mean who in their right mind wants to commit to another flawed human being, who has no ability to control life, and then say that we will love them no matter what! I believe that is why it is imperative that, as believers, we know that in and of ourselves, we cannot do this. We will not do this. But we belong to a God who can and will.

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Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Romans 8:32 (NLT)

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I had no idea what all God would need to teach me, and that he would use my marriage to do so much of it. It was in the hard places, the disappointments and despair, that he taught me that only God will meet my deepest needs. Only God can give me an eternal secure love, and the significance and sense of worth that I crave. Yes, we can help our spouses understand and experience love that reflects this, but only God can ever and always meet the need.


This was one of the most freeing truths that I have ever learned. It took me a long time, a lot of years of frustration, heartache and disappointment. I am so grateful today, that God did not let me go, that he continued to use every hard painful thing to show me truth. Sometimes truth is a beautiful clarifying freeing experience that is beyond awesome. Sometimes truth is forged through the fire, in the heat of life, the pain of grief and despair and the removing of all that stands in way of real freedom. Because we know that Jesus has told us, “You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 (NLT)

When I think about 40 years of marriage, I think of 40 years on a journey that I did not expect, did not want many times, did not enjoy at times, and yet I have been granted the experience of becoming one with another human being, so that we might be able to reflect (not perfectly), but amazingly the wonder of the way Christ loved his bride and gave himself for her.


It is by God’s grace that I can say, “Thank you God for this marriage journey.”

~Carla


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