2012 was a blessed year in so many ways. It was my first year married...and marriage is fun! It was a year full of family nights and amazing memories with friends. It was a year where we spent 3x as many evenings with others than at home alone. It was also a year with some unforeseen struggles and challenges. And I think that's the beauty of not knowing what each day will hold - not ruining the good, not dreading the not so good, and the moment of reflection at the end of it all.
Although I could type a novella about the moments and memories, laughter and tears of this past year - there are two things that are drastically different now than when I sat reflecting a year ago...
1. Derrick's job - When we got married, Derrick was looking a job. The company he had been working at full-time before moved to California, so he spent several frustrating months looking. In the moment and looking back, I knew it was something that would strengthen our marriage and test me as a wife. It wasn't easy for him - applying to dozens of jobs to hear nothing back. It wasn't easy for me - going to work when my husband wasn't. But we made it through stronger. He took a job in November of 2011, 6 weeks after we were married, working for HHGregg...which meant that we would have to get used to him working many long nights. It gave me plenty of time to clean and clean, to hang out with friends and family and clean...and miss him. Working retail during the holidays meant getting home at 11:30 p.m. and working Saturdays. Once again, I knew God was providing for us and also teaching us something.
In January, Derrick was in Fuquay looking for a certain address. I had given him the wrong information, and he had to turn around to head a different way. He pulled in a strip of hidden stores behind Ruby Tuesday and turned around in a parking lot...the sign on the door said "Amazing Videos". Wanting to find something different than HHGregg, Derrick googled the company, emailed the owner, and began working there part time. The owner and his family were friends of friends and go to the church I went to as a teenager...Now, Derrick works there full time as the Media Director. It was such a God-thing and such a blessing, and we're excited to see what's to come!
2. Church - When Derrick and I started dating, because I didn't have a lifetime church family, I started going to Hilltop with Derrick. That was a blessing to me and helped build upon the foundation of my faith in many ways. After we got married, though, I think both Derrick and I started looking at and thinking about our place in church - what we wanted to be as a part of the church body and what we wanted in a church.
We decided to start looking new churches after New Years, and we ended up visiting Relationship Church. Aaron and Whitney invited us when they were down helping with the children's ministry. The first Sunday I was unsure. It was all so new and different.
After visiting a few more churches, Derrick felt like Relationship was the one, and I'm glad that I follow his wise leadership. I contacted an old friend of mine who went there with tons of questions. Finding a church, making sure you agree with the doctrine, etc. is a big deal and was something new for us. Just two or three weeks after, we visited a life group, Derrick had lunch with the music director, and we had dinner with he and his wife. Before I knew it, we were involved in a life group, and I was a greeter for our First Impressions team.
Now, so many of our friendships, so much of our laughter, so many moments and memories have come from Relationship and the relationships we have made there. I can't believe how much this one change has colored our past year. We have made many lifelong friendships and an eternal church family. When we started going a year ago, Relationship had just started itself - only a few months old. It has been awesome to see the church grow, meet new people along the way, see the changes God has brought...and it's exciting to look forward to what's to come!