Ten years ago, we were newlyweds. We were still in college and just thinking about what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives. Man things have changed in my heart and attitude that have changed our marriage dramatically. God has graciously done such work in the depths of my heart that have made our marriage grow. He's done it in Ty too and in us as a couple. We are so grateful to the Lord for what He has done in us and where we are now as opposed to 10 years ago!
Ten years ago, we were living in a fancy apartment, thinking about how to decorate and when we might buy our first house. We worked like crazy and both drove vehicles with loans on them. We went out to eat often and played hard whenever we could-jetskiing, golfing, etc.We were consolidating our school loans out as far as possible and some months carried a balance on our credit cards. Today, God has completely reordered our priorities. We have less stuff than then (and with 2 kids thrown in!). We rent a small house that is more than enough for our family, and if we look to buy again it will be below our means-not at the upper end of what we can afford. We are a single car family and that is paid for. We plan to drive it until it dies. We have no debt aside from student loans and those are being paid off. God has used some very wise people to grow and change our hearts in terms of stewardship as well as kingdom thinking. We are much less concerned with what we have now as we are how to use all we are and have for furthering the gospel. We praise God that he has transformed our minds to remove some of the pull of the world regarding those things to help us better hear when He speaks to us. The things weren't bad in themselves, but they were ways we distracted ourselves from greater things. We love how God has grown us from 10 years ago!
Ten years ago, we had been on 1 mission trip together. We were involved in our first church together and were brand new to ministry and still had much to learn about leadership. God has led us through several churches and many trips to our favorite orphanage in Mexico and put some incredible mentors in our lives. Through those people and experiences, we have been challenged and stretched beyond what we ever imagined. God used them to give us more knowledge and increase our abilities and wisdom. We are so thankful for God's grace not just in our lives, but in the lives of those who have helped shape us over the last 10 years!
When we think about the way our world changed 10 years ago on 9/11, we are truly thankful that God has chosen to draw us into a personal relationship with himself. Today in church we heard a message reminding us we don't know what tomorrow will hold. Each day is a gift God has given us and we must make the most of using it to further his kingdom. We can't get lost in the fear, despair, and evil that exists all over our world-today and 10 years ago. We need to rely on the hope of Jesus to transform any of us. For the reality is, we all are sinners in need of forgiveness and a savior. Each of us. Me. You. Our kids. And those waging war against us on earth. See, there is a greater enemy waging war on our souls and he is who we should focus the fight against. Through the power of Jesus, that enemy will be defeated and we will one day live with no more days like 9/11. Praise God for the hope Jesus brings! When I see the hope in my own life he's given just in 10 years I marvel that Jesus saved a sinner like me and continues to love and grow me more like him!
How about you-how have you changed in the last 10 years?