I have been married to Sarah Grace Parks for 11 years and 8 months now. Her birthday is today. I’ve had the incredible honor of walking side-by-side with her for a little under a third of her life and can’t wait for the rest.
My wife is truly my best friend and it is literally impossible to clearly communicate all that she means to me after the past years.
The last several have been the toughest our marriage has ever faced but also the sweetest.
Somewhere in 2009 we finally began to bridge the gap in our hearts and lives between talking about the gospel and living according to the gospel. Our decisions began to shift away from complete comfort and toward obedience. In our weakness we began to squint our eyes toward the future and the Messiah’s return while beginning to “cut the rope of an anchor” this age had convinced us we needed. We went from allegiance to men’s agenda’s and opinions, to simply wanting to listen and obey God.
The internal crisis that came with that shift was huge based on the years of building our lives around what was comfortable, fun and what “I deserved.” We recognized how uncomfortable life would become. The stigma of men’s opinions toward us and so much more.
But with our eyes set and a Biblical anchor of faith on the future Day of the Lord, we continue to “fight the good fight of faith” and “run the race” for the ultimate prize.
The leadership of the Spirit has pressed our family in ways that we could not have imagined since we decided to wholeheartedly follow Him. The Spirit led Jesus to the cross and He is doing the same with us that we might receive the same reward.
And through it all my wife has faithfully made this journey beside me.
So, if you didn’t know it, she is amazing!
Now humor me.
Can you imagine asking your wife to trim all of life’s possessions down to a few bins that can fit in the back of a 2004 Chevy Silverado extended bed. Then take her 15,000+ miles in that truck while being pregnant, with 2 young kids over 4 months pulling an RV (for the cherry on the top, there was no tourist stops along the way except at the very end while in South Dakota). After dropping off the travel trailer, imagine how your wife would feel landing in your next city with no solid housing options and feeling somewhat homeless for weeks. Then add the process of getting insurance for her to birth your next baby in a matter of weeks because the due date was off, while doing it in one of the hottest summers on record for that city, then having your older son’s appendix rupture shortly after giving birth (consequently over her birthday), then she has a 104 degree temperature based on mastitis from breast feeding. And to end it all off, while still overcoming the mastitis, you and she have a prayer retreat to decide what is next because you have to move out of your current living condition in 5 days. After the 5 days are up the truck is packed, wrapped and ready to go.
And that was just a few months of our lives last summer. You don’t want to know what she is having to face in our current season of life.
Imagine prayerfully walking through life with a woman who listens to God with you and is willing to obey no matter what the cost.
I love my wife for many reasons. Here is a few:
Her patience with my passion.
Her resolve to do what’s right even when there is grey areas to do what’s wrong.
How she loves each of our children on a consistent basis. And yes, her and I sin in our parenthood followed by face-to-face repentance with our kids. We raise our voices at the kids at times and get frustrated with them but above all that, they know mommy’s love for them more than anything else in the world.
Her common sense.
How she’s the queen of options.
Her incredible smile that each of our kids have and strangers talk about.
Her soft eyes mirrored by the softness of her heart.
Her sense of humor, which makes fun of me often and which I adore.
Her thoughtfulness when she listens. She is a way better listener than I am.
How she hungers for growth in the Lord and maintains that hunger even with limited time in the midst of motherhood and non-stop transition.
How she calls me to lead her when I’m at my lowest.
How she doesn’t “move past” the cross and our future hope of bodily resurrection for the sake of feeding her flesh but allows it to confront her when needed.
How she unashamedly tries to raise our children in being faithful witnesses, preparing them for future persecution and even martyrdom.
This is my wife. Wonder woman as we like to call her around here.
She is flawed for sure, like all of us. But I love to see the incredible things that God has made her to be and is doing in and through her now.
Happy Birthday my beautiful bride!