In lieu of our upcoming anniversary, I thought it would be fun to take time this week to look back over the years and share a bit about where we came from and how we got to where we are. So here it goes…
Looking back at this old picture, apparently we were teenagers when we got married. Just kidding. We both a very mature twenty two. We were both finishing up at Grace Bible College where Jeremy was pursuing his pastoral degree and I was a semester away from earning my teaching degree. We were in love and very excited to start life together.
We got married on a beautiful day in June and left the very next day for a two week Honeymoon trip out to Eastport, New York where Jeremy had a six month Pastoral internship. We had a blast together, stopping at many fun sites along the way and enjoying our time with just the two of us.
Our first home together was this cozy little green trailer on North Bay Avenue in Eastport. It was located within a mile from the church and right behind the home of a wonderful couple, the Tuttles. I remember walking into that trailer for the first time, sitting on the couch and crying. Not because I wasn’t happy to be there. I think that I was just completely overwhelmed. We had just gone through so many big life changes. We got married and moved out to a new state. I had left my family and my home and wasn’t sure what to expect with this new life ahead.
Thankfully, we settled in quickly. Jeremy got off to a quick start, waking up at 7:00am every day to get to the church to work and I started to work to figure out my new role in life. After about a week into ministry at Eastport Bible Church, we received some shocking news when we learned that that pastor that Jeremy had come out to work under was moving to California with his family. It was the first of a few big adjustment periods that we would experience in ministry, but it was good to see how God has his hand on our lives and our ministry even through the tougher times.
Thankfully, the church had had two pastors, so Jeremy was able to continue his internship at the church under Pastor Charley Young. That summer, Jeremy helped lead the Youth Group and one way that we really bonded quickly with many of the students was when we took a group of them to a conference called DCLA.
It’s funny, because this whole time, it’s technically been Jeremy’s Youth Pastoring job that has brought us to serve in ministry at Eastport Bible Church. And I’ll be honest. Before we got married, I had never thought of what life would be like, as a Youth Pastor’s wife. But thankfully, I’ve always had a heart for ministry with teens as well. I had spent seven summers serving on a missions team and as a counselor at a Christian camp in Michigan so I knew firsthand the joys and struggles of working with teens. From the very beginning, I’ve loved serving along side of my husband. This is a picture of our first Sr. High Youth Group.
And this is a picture of our first Jr. High Youth Group. All of these students are grown up adults now and doing all sorts of various awesome things in life. What an incredible blessing it’s been to serve in ministry for all these years and to get to know so many wonderful students.
After spending six months at Eastport Bible Church, we packed up that sweet trailer and got ready to move back to Michigan. We had made some great friends while we were there and it was sad to say goodbye. At the time, I figured that moving around a lot would just be a normal part of life in ministry.
In January of 2004, we were back at Grace Bible College, where Jeremy was finishing up his last semester of college. He was always a hard worker and always enjoyed learning.
I spent that last semester of college doing my student teaching at Fountain Elementary with a wonderful teacher and mentor. I had a beautiful little class that I loved dearly and was excited at the thought of starting off a great teaching career.
Jeremy and I both graduated from Grace Bible College that Spring with Bachelor’s degrees. He earned a lot of Preaching and Pastoral awards and also delivered a wonderful speech at our graduation. It turned out to be a weird time for me though. I graduated with my degree, but knew that it wouldn’t be something that I would get much use out of, at least right away.
Because in an unexpected turn of events, I found out that I was pregnant. I had had my plans for how my life would go, but God had better ones. We had more changes coming too, because right out of college, Jeremy was offered a Youth Pastor Job at Eastport Bible Church and we had a new more permanent move ahead into a new and more permanent position.
All in all, it was a crazy first year of marriage. We had our ups and downs, but through it all, God was continually working and shaping us into a couple that could serve Him, following paths that He had set for us. I learned that the best plans were God’s plans and it was something that would stick with me throughout the years.