Friday, September 16, 2011

a lifetime of unconditional love

today i have a special treat for you.
i'd like to introduce you to evan.

evan is the associate director of student ministries at our church.
he is an incredible young man. brilliant & seriously talented.
evan is a UGA alum who majored in philosophy & speech communication 
my girls think he's awesome.
we all do actually.

evan and his wife morgan have been married for over 2 years. morgan is gorgeous & teaches third grade. they love traveling together, photography, watching movies, and working with students.
  evan blogs for people who want practical ways to grow deeper in their faith, have a great story, and live life to the full.

evan is guest posting today & has a tender, true life love story that will inspire you
& encourage you to love well.

take it away evan!~~

A few weeks before proposing to my wife, Morgan, I skipped class to meet with her Dad over lunch at the Chili's in Discover Mills. I wanted his blessing in marrying his daughter, and somehow convinced him I deserved it. During our conversation, however, he told me a story and gave me a challenge that will stick with me forever.

Morgan's grandparents, Paul and Marge, were married in their late teens. Just a few years into marriage, Marge contracted polio. We don't worry much about polio anymore, but back then it was a terrifying disease. She was put into isolation and spent significant time in an iron lung. As a result of polio, Marge would never walk again.

"Paul and Marge on their way to some hot springs"

The couple lived on a farm, and it could have been easy for Paul to get frustrated and throw in the towel. He could have been angry at God, he could have become a grumpy man, he could have left his wife, he could have quit his job. But instead, he chose to serve God, to joyfully love his wife, and make the farm wheelchair accessible so Marge could always feel included.

"Testing the Wheel Chair accessible Snowmobile

For over fifty years his life mission was to take care of his beloved wife. Throughout the entire marriage he prayed that he would live longer than her so that he could always take care of her. His prayer was answered, and almost immediately after Marge passed away, Paul discovered that he had stage 4 cancer. He only lived a few months more than her.

After Paul died, Morgan's family was sorting through all of their belongings. Incredibly, they found notes in Paul's wallet that he and Marge passed back and forth through the tiny crack of the iron lung almost 50 years earlier. It was the only way they could communicate, and I think he held on to those notes to remind himself of those moments of darkness, and his decision to serve and love his wife.

"The Wedding Photo"

Today, far too many marriages fall apart because of the struggles life brings. I know life and marriage can be hard, but I think we can all learn something from Paul and Marge about persevering through difficult seasons. Rather than choosing to serve yourself, choose to serve your spouse. Rather than becoming angry about your lot in life, choose to rejoice in the blessings you have. Remember that what is easy is not always better or right.

Sure, there will be low points, but the reward for working through them is worth it.

Because, at the end of the day,
I think we would all choose having a love story like Paul and Marge,
even if it meant having polio,
over one that falls apart.
"Sticking Together All the Years"

as a mom of four daughters, i love seeing young men
who have a heart for the Lord
a heart for others
& a desire to lay down their life for their bride.
it's a frequent prayer of my own, that four young men will rise
& do the same.

thank you evan!
praying you & your precious wife have a lifetime of loving on each other!
ya'll are obviously off to fantastic start.


Love Being A Nonny said...

I have a feeling Evan was saddened by Pat Robertson's recent statement. I was too. Precious young man!

A Thrifted Market said...

What a beautiful testimony and a beautiful couple! Thanks for sharing!

christina said...

this is a beautiful, beautiful post. it made me more grateful, for the loving husband, I have. we were married at the ages of 18 and 19. we were young and naive, we thought we could live on love...well almost 25 years later, here we are. we might not have always lived off of love, but we certainly, always, lived off of God. Through His love and guidance, we have always showed kindness and compassion to one another.
Thank you for sharing your story, you inspired us, so very much.

Paige said...

Just beautiful, so glad I read that today! I try every day to teach my kids that we are here to serve not to be served. Thanks for sharing, will be praying for their sweet marriage.

3 Peanuts said...

So beautiful. I am going to show this to my boys.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful story. I thought the same thing as "Love Being a Nonny" about what a contrast to Pat Robertson's statement about Alzheimer's.

Deanna said...


Evan said...

Just saw Pat Roberton's statement and it does make me sad. It also makes me angry. But regardless of what he says, I life always turns out more fulfilling when you choose to serve others instead of yourself.
I am glad this story is encouraging everyone as much as it does me, and thanks for reading!

Kristin said...

Just perfect. Just beautiful. Just the way it should be.

Alecia said...

Wow...what a beautiful story and what a sweet couple they were! Oh my goodness...that was wonderful...thanks for sharing Evan!

Kat said...

They are precious! Both couples! What a sweet story!

Hoots Momma said...

Great now I'm bawlin like a baby!! Thank you for sharing this beautiful picutre of love. you've blessed my day!

Shannon said...

what a beautiful & touching love story! thank you for sharing with us :)

Unknown said...

Simply beautiful. Should have grabbed a tissue before reading!

Anonymous said...

What a sweet sweet post!!! Very heart warming!!


Carol S. said...

Wow, what an excellent story to start my weekend of loving my husband (extra, thanks to Evan's post). God bless this young man, his family and the great grandparents that started this all going.

Anonymous said...

AWESOME...God is sooooo good. Obviously this young couple are willing vessels and we get to be blessed by their testimony.

Between You and Me said...

beautiful, faithful love....
what a treasure and legacy those grandparents left for this young couple to follow after.....

Tiffany said...

So beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Just what I needed to read today...thank you!

Unknown said...

Oh my what a fabulously, touching story. I love reading your blog and wait anxiously for your daily post, I love that it is so diverse but you still have an element of faith within them. Your blog has made me believe more in my faith and I am grateful to you and the everyday stories you tell. Thanks once again and keep 'em coming.... Sara

SoSoBella said...

oh how i love this.

Privet and Holly said...

Sniffing and
swiping at little
tears. So beautiful
and especially
resonates as my
hubby and I celebrate
a BIG anniversary
next week. Thank you,
Evan and Paige!
xx Suzanne