They often talk about how it takes a village to raise your kids, and I can totally get behind that.
But as I reflect on our marriage, I'm reminded of how vital that village is for marital relationships, too.
Jordan and I have been blessed beyond belief by incredible community throughout our relationship. Whether they are friends we've had since childhood or people that were in our lives for a short season, they have played a significant role in our lives and marriage.
No matter who you are or what your relationship status is, you aren't meant to do this life alone. We need each other. We need people to be in the thick of the hard stuff with. People to celebrate life's big and little joys with us. People who will have our backs, lift us up, and be gracious, but also those who will tell us the thing we don't want (but need) to hear and help us grow.
Proverbs 27:17 says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." In every season of my life I have found this to be true, and it's especially notable now that I'm married.
People from all stages and walks of life have impacted our marriage, and I am so grateful to each of you.
To our fellow married friends, thank you for sharing this journey of marriage with us. For modeling humility, grace and forgiveness, and what it looks like to work through conflict and grow in communicating well.
To the families with kids, thank you for letting us see your parenting in action. How you sacrifice and serve, maintain and prioritize your marriage, love and discipline your children, and learn patience and grace in a new way.
To our families, thanks for believing in us, cheering us on, and supporting our life's mission. For talking with us regularly, encouraging us, and sacrificing in big ways as we moved overseas. For loving on your granddaughter even from a distance, celebrating with us in the exciting times, and walking through the tough times together.
To our single friends, thanks for taking the time to ask about our lives and relationship, to hang out with us and not feel like a third wheel (because you never are!), and for becoming a part of our family in so many ways. Also, for reminding us to have fun and be spontaneous.
To the elders God has placed over us, thank you for your wisdom and truth. For modeling commitment and integrity in your relationship with Christ and your spouse, and showing us what it looks like to run the race well. For letting us make our own mistakes but backing us up and encouraging our socks off.
To all of you near and far who have cared for, prayed for, encouraged and loved us in more ways than you likely realize, I thank you! Your friendships and influence sharpen us.