Ten years ago today Jennie and I were married! It is exciting to have reached this milestone and have spent a decade together. I really can’t believe she married me in the first place, and the spell hasn’t worn off a bit. In fact, my love for her has only grown as I have watched her become more and more the woman Jesus wants her to be.
In the book of Genesis there is a man named Jacob who had to wait and work for seven years before he could marry Rachel, the woman of his dreams, but he didn’t mind. The seven years seemed as only a few days to him because of the love he had for her. When you love someone the things you do for them are a joy not a sacrifice. I can’t help but relate as I think back on these ten years. Time has passed quickly, difficult things have been diluted and joy has been enhanced by her presence in my life.
Not that it’s been easy. Uprooting from the city and pioneering a multi-site church in rural America, a demanding schedule of outreach events, an allergy to complacency and having four kids along the way has kept our calendar packed and our life wild. Friction and conflict are frequent realities. Jennie and I have a great marriage today, but it’s not by accident and it didn’t happen on it’s own. We have worked hard and fought for it. We have invested in our friendship, cultivated it and as a result we get to enjoy the fruit.
On the one year anniversary of Lenya going to Heaven Jennie and I were standing in the cemetery holding each other and Alivia took a photo of the two of us. When I looked at it later it hit me that this is not what anyone has in mind when they dream about marriage. You usually think about all your plans for the future coming to pass. Thats why looks, chemistry, money, and things you have in common, are ranked so highly.
There’s nothing wrong with any of those things of course, but how will they be when life goes worse instead of better? I know that back when we were dating I never pictured us shedding tears over the grave of a child together. I pictured us kissing on the top of the Empire State Building and preaching the gospel ’til our last breath, our kids beside us like little arrows.
The highest praise I can give to Jennie is that it has been an honor to suffer with her. It’s not the good times that show what is really inside, it takes pain filled moments to reveal character, and she has suffered magnificently. As it turns out our dreams and nightmares have come to pass together. We have kissed 102 floors above the twinkling lights of Manhattan, done ministry across the country together AND cried until we ran out of tears when one of our little arrows flew unexpectedly to heaven. In it all it has been a privilege to do so as the husband of Mrs. Jennie Lusko. There is no one I would want to hurt with, laugh with, scheme with, cry with, trail-blaze with, hold onto hope with or get old with more than her.