For anyone that knows us or has gotten to know us over the past year, they will certainly know that our lives have been consumed by “firsts” in 2011. Let me summarize:
1. Married 4-8 in Austin, Texas. Marriage is accompanied by many, many, firsts!
2. Our first trip as a married couple and David’s first trip to Napa Valley 4-10, followed by Denver (my first time to see U2) and Crested Butte
3. Our first home together – Archstone Park Cities in Dallas – late April
4. We began Apartment Life at our apartment complex (late April)
5. Jackett Photography gets off the ground
6. Learning my first “dead” language – Greek!
7. Start hosting Secret Church meetings at our apartment (monthly)
8. I quit my corporate job to become a full-time student at Redeemer Seminary (September)
9. David leads his first I Am Second: Firefighters Fort Worth meeting
Most newlyweds would have a ton of small firsts to fill up this list- i.e. Our first Christmas! Our first ice cream cone together! This is NOT that list 🙂 Whew! I limited myself to 10 because I think it is unfair to go into the nitty gritty with you. But those are the biggies. This list definitely exposes our ambition! This is what happens when you put 2 highly ambitious people together in marriage. Ha.
All of this change has brought a lot of joy into my life. I love being married; it is fun to dream together (and these 2 can dream!). It is fun to travel together, serve alongside one another, go on shoots together, talk about theological things together, encourage one another when as individuals, we cannot see the light. Joy has also been found in unexpected places in marriage – the way God uses David to expose my selfishness, my fear, misplaced idols assures me that He knows me and wants to purify me. This will hurt. He sees the evil in my heart, even when I am blind to it, and He is desperate to help me to see it too. I have experienced this sanctification prior to marriage through deep, godly friendships, but you experience it on a new level altogether in marriage. I am thankful. God has given me a godly, self-sacrificing husband that loves me deeply, provides for me substantially, serves me day in and day out and wants the best for me. I am blown away by God’s grace to me in this way.
It has been a joy to serve as a CARES team at our complex. We have developed many deep friendships with people here and we love having the opportunities to serve our neighbors. If you want to hear more about our time here, please ask!
It has been a joy for my husband to allow me to quit my corporate job and pursue Seminary as a full time student. My heart has been filled with gratitude day after day as I think about God’s grace in my life to allow this change to happen. This is something I have dreamed about for many years, but honestly, did not think it would ever become a reality. Thankfully, we serve a God that does far beyond what we expect or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)! Seminary has been challenging on many spiritual and intellectual levels, but I believe wholeheartedly that studying the Word of God will produce much fruit in this season and the seasons to come.
Now, on to 2012…
There is a part of me that longs for more stability in 2012. Phew, I said it out loud. I voiced this desire to a pastor at our church, and he said “Jen, you will be waiting until you die for stability. You will only experience the stability you want when you get to heaven.” Ultimately, that is rooted in a desire to know as God knows and therefore, be able to live without full dependence on God. This is the very sin that led Eve astray in the garden, and it is the sin that continues to knock at the door of my heart often. I have been encouraged by something that Paul Tripp said in one of my classes:
Rest is not found in knowing, rest is found in trust.
Even if I knew everything that the new year will bring, the knowledge would not bring rest to my soul. Only trusting the sovereign hand of a loving God will. This brings so much more comfort than knowing what is ahead! In fact, if I did know, I would probably be paralyzed by coming up with ways to prepare myself. How can there be joy in that?
One of my “new year’s resolutions” is to blog more about what I am learning in seminary…so hopefully you will hear more from me soon!
Cheers to 2012!