Wednesday, April 22, 2009

For Life. . .

When I was in college, I loved listening to Rich Mullins. His music was so challenging, so honest, and so deep, and I loved him. He actually went to be with Jesus during my senior year of college, and I was very, very sad. I think the thing that I loved most about him was his reckless abandonment to God. He was, by no means, a casual Christian. He was bold and untame, and I was very drawn to him because of it. I have always been straight laced and a bit on the stiff side. Legalism comes naturally to me, and I have to fight daily to live free. All that to say, Rich challenged the starched spirituality that I had come to accept as Christianity. He helped me to see Christianity not as a religion but rather as a wild carefree journey to the heart of God. Jen and I began using the word "raw" to describe this reckless faith. And, we would pray that God would give us "raw" husbands one day. I didn't want to live an ordinary life just going to church on Sundays. I wanted my faith to permeate every aspect of my life.

I met Erik early in my Junior year of college. We ended up sitting in a car waiting on Jen and Jason, and we talked and talked and talked and talked. At one point I remember thinking. . . "Who is this guy, and why am I telling him all these things?" I poured out my heart to him, my dreams, desires, goals, and plans. And, he did the same. He even walked me through the floor plan of his "dream home" that night. We had a lot in common, and a seed was definitely planted that night. For the first 6 to 8 months that Erik and I were "friends," I was also being "friends" with another young man. His name was Chris, and he was studying to be an orthodontist in California, so we dated when he came home for weekends and holidays. But, the summer between my junior and senior year, I began to feel convicted that neither of these guys knew that I was "friends" with someone else, and I needed to choose.

So, two roads diverged, and I stood looking down both desperately trying to choose. They were both awesome Godly guys. But, there was one difference, and I could sense it and feel it, and I knew the answer. Chris loved God. He really, really did. He prayed with me and talked about wanting to be the Godly head of his family, and there is not a doubt in my mind that he is exactly that wherever he is today.

But, Erik was different.

He was like no one that I had ever met. He was reckless in his faith. He loved Jesus and talked about Him casually, comfortably, and with deep emotion. He was a living extension of what I was learning from Rich. He was "raw," and I was wholeheartedly smitten.

So, I made my decision and never looked back.

A year and a half later this amazing man knelt down in front of the fountain in the courtyard of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Courtyard, and said that there was no one else he wanted to wake up next to every morning, no one else he wanted to be the mother of his children, no one else that he wanted to grow old with, and then he asked me to be his wife.

It was the greatest compliment of my life.

This man that I adored and respected and admired. . .

Full of character, integrity, and a rugged, "raw" faith and passion for Jesus. . .

That he would choose me to be his. . .

for life.

I am still baffled by this. . . baffled but grateful, so grateful. . .

On our one year anniversary, I looked across a candlelit table, stared deep into his eyes, and told him that through his daily life I had learned so much about the love of Christ and about the character of Christ. My respect and admiration for him multiplied that first year as I watched him live life, and it challeneged me tremendously.

And, now we have been married ten years. And, when we went to dinner the other night to celebrate, I told him the same thing once more. I never cease to be challenged by his life. And, as unbelievable as it is, my love for him grows day by day, year by year.

When I look back over the last 10 years, I am amazed. God has been so good. We have been blessed in so many ways ~ four little red-headed freckle faced boys being at the top of the list. And, up until 3 weeks ago, we hadn't really had much in the way of trials or tragedy. But, now we are dealing with that, and our love is being grown and strengthed as we walk through it.

An update on his parents: Erik's mom is still in a coma. She has two infections that she is fighting right now. So, please pray for her, and pray for her doctors. Erik's dad is also about the same ~ just healing. These things take time. Jason, Erik's brother, is working hard to get them into the next hospital (a long-term care facility). Pray that they will be able to share a room! This is something Jason is working on, and it would be wonderful!!!


Jill said...

What a beautiful tribute and testimony ...what a blessing a godly husband is for both you and your boys.
I'm sure these days of trimpant and tragedy are trying; keep the faith. God will sustain you.
Praying that all works out for your inlaws to be togehter. I'm sure that would do wonders for both of their recoveries.

Sarah said...

I love this, Erin! You two continue to challenge and inspire me to live raw!!

(And I just remembered the Chris conundrum from college--fun memories, those! Remember staying up for me when I got engaged? I still love our UU days more than just about any other period in my life--sweet, sweet times with you and Jen!!)

Praying for your family tonight, Sarah

Sun said...

Beautiful post. I am still praying for your husband's parents. I hope today is a beautiful Spring Day for you! Sunshine

Monkey Momma said...

Erin, I am blessed enough to marry into a family like Erik's. The man my husband is today is a direct result of the guidance, prayers, and unconditional love his amazing mother and father provided him. I owe so much to his Momma and Daddy and can only HOPE to be the mother to our sons the way she was to my sweet husband.

We've been together for 6.5 years now and every year just gets better and better. And like you, now that we have our own son(s), I find myself falling in love with him in deeper and more meaningful ways. Marriage to him is really one of the best choices I've ever made!

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Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.


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