So my husband and I began our journey together almost 15 years ago. We were 14 & 15 years old, middle school sweethearts. Clearly, when we began dating, marriage was just a dream for us. I’m sure if we were both being honest we didn’t really know how our lives would look in the future. The only thing we knew was that we loved each other, so we started navigating that together. We became each other’s best friend and truly enjoyed our time together, something I am very thankful hasn’t changed. Unfortunately though, We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

We didn’t know it then but relationships are hard, at ANY age.

We didn’t know that there would be moments in our relationship that would test how much we cared for each other. We didn’t realize how, absolutely, hard it was to put someone else need before our own. To be honest, we sometimes look back and wonder how we even made it to marriage without completely breaking. The ONLY thing we had going for us is that we knew we had something special, something that was important to us.

LOVE.

We mistakenly thought that love was enough. I think we often looked at marriage like a finish line. We thought that once we said “I Do” that any issues we had would be gone, that broken trust would be repaired, or that our priorities would just automatically change. We thought that we had made it until it was very evident to us that we hadn’t.

Everyone always says that your first year of marriage is the hardest. I would defiantly agree with that! We still loved each other, very much, but it was hard for us to navigate all things adulthood AND a changing relationship. We didn’t see it at the time but we were heading for a destructive place.

Thankfully, God had a plan for us that we had yet to discover. One Easter morning we decided to go to church together. Out of the blue, for really no reason at all. Since that day our marriage has changed, a lot. We’ve realized that marriage isn’t something that is just based on love, it’s based on choices. Some days we have to CHOOSE to love each other. We have to make a conscious effort to love the other person in the way they need it, not just in the way we want to show it.

The biggest thing God did for our marriage was give us opportunities to grow in our relationship with HIM. As we began to grow individually, by attending church, joining a ministry, bible study and prayer, we began to grow toward each other. As we got to know God more, He showed us what an honorable, healthy and faith-filled marriage looked like. All of a sudden, we didn’t only need LOVE, we needed the ONE it came from!

Our marriage isn’t perfect, we fail each other more times than we would like to admit but we CHOOSE to make each other a priority. We CHOOSE to love each other daily and most importantly we CHOOSE to invite God into the middle of it.

Marriage is worth fighting for! The good news is that no matter how messed up your marriage feels, God has a plan for it. He’s willing and waiting to show you what He can do when He is invited to join in on your journey.

I hope that’s what you CHOOSE for your marriage as well!

Jessica Evans

Jessica Evans

Youth Director at Grace Community Church
As a student in high school, Jessica attended Grace with a friend and was a member of the youth group. After graduation and getting married in 2010 her and her husband, Jeff, felt lead back to Grace for Easter in 2013. Shortly after, they were both called to ministry in the youth department as well as being offered full-time positions as staff members.
Jessica Evans

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