Fifteen years ago, on our wedding day, Jeremy gave me a card with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I saved that card, and actually read it today and realized what a lovely thing to think that the words he wrote so many years ago, would still ring true today.
“You are my best friend, my greatest encourager and now today, you are my wife… I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us as we continue to serve and follow Him. I love you with my whole heart.” What God would have in store for us would be greater than we could have ever imagined at 22 years old.
God would end up leading us to move to Long Island after Jeremy accepted a Youth Pastor position right out of college. It was also a big surprise that I’d be pregnant in our first year of marriage, despite me thinking that I would wait till, well, now (in my mid to late 30s) to have kids.
Our family would ultimately end up with two amazing kids that we very much love and adore. They also drive us crazy at times, and parenting next to marriage is one of the hardest things we’ve done, but it’s also brought us the most joy which seems to make the hard times mostly worthwhile.
In my early years of marriage, I always assumed with Jeremy being a pastor that we would move around a lot. And whereas we’ve actually travelled around quite a bit in the last 15 years, we’ve continued to feel called to serve and lead at Eastport Bible Church, where Jeremy started right after we got married.
Loving the students in our Youth Group and pointing them to Christ has been overall, quite a wonderful way to spend 15 years. We’ve learned a lot and grown a lot ourselves as we’ve worked to teach and love our students. And over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to interact with hundreds of teens and that itself has been quite incredible.
In 15 years, God would bless and grow a deep love for Long Island within our hearts. Granted, it’s easy to love a home where the Bay is a mile down the road, New York City an hour and 20 minutes away and the Ocean only a 15 minute drive.
But more than just a love for the beauty of our surroundings, is that we’ve grown an incredibly deep love for our church and our community as well. I never imagined that we’ve be living in New York, but looking back, it’s exactly what God had in store for us. And while other opportunities have come throughout the past years of our time here, we continue to believe that God is leading us to stay and to minister right here on this beautiful island.
Between us, never would I have imagined the opportunities that God would bring for us to travel the world together. Marrying a man with a sense of adventure mostly just makes you become more adventurous.
And I have to admit (much to my mother’s dismay of me traveling outside of the country) that I absolutely love being adventurous with this man. Everyone may not understand that we’d rather trade fancy cars and furniture, for trips overseas but that’s okay. In 15 years, I’ve learned that strengthening your marriage is always a sound investment so that is what we’ve done, and to this day, I have no regrets.
And for transparency’s sake, please know that our marriage has not always been easy. Having a strong relationship takes a lot of effort and truth be told, we’ve not always gotten it right. We’ve gotten angry (and at times, have stayed angry) and have had our share of arguments and sleepless nights. But as Jeremy wrote on our wedding day, in the long run, we’ve remembered that despite our differences or arguments, we truly are best friends and thankfully with God’s help and abundant grace, we’ve gotten through those tough times and often times come out a bit stronger for having gone through them.
And over all, I’m happy to share that 15 years later, I absolutely adore this man. There is no one in the world I’d rather do life or ministry with.
I love, honor and cherish the marriage that God has blessed us with and pray that the next 15 years will be just as wonderful as the first. I pray that we will continue to be best friends, we will continue to encourage each other and that we will continue to pursue what God has in store for us as we serve and follow Him.
Happy Anniversary Jeremy Herr, I love you so very much.