30 day challenge – Day 5

Today’s challenge:
Post a picture of your favorite memory

The challenge for Day 5 is an easy one and a hard one at the same time. I say that simply because there are so many great memories for me to choose from. But, there’s one that stuck out the most and here’s a picture of it:

Read on for more details

This photo was taken in Seaside, OR at the end of a rather rough 9 months for Theresa and I. Back in January of 2010, I had moved down to Portland, OR to pursue a degree in Music Ministry from Multnomah University. I was pumped and excited about it and Theresa was too. At the time that we had moved, Theresa hadn’t found work down in Portland yet so we decided that I would lead the way down to Portland and then she would follow after me once she had found work.

We were expecting our time apart to last no more than 6 to 8 weeks. Theresa has great skills and an awesome resume. We both knew she wouldn’t have any troubles finding a job. Man we were wrong…

While I started classes, Theresa moved into my parents basement. She would go to work and look for other jobs while I would go to class and then go work part time at one of the local Best Buy stores. While this sort of worked, it really didn’t. Theresa applied for several jobs but nothing ever came of it except a stack of “We went in another direction” letters. She worked for over a year trying to get to Portland.

While she was living in my parents basement, I was down in Portland enjoying myself and thriving on the new life that I hoped to share with Theresa. I had made some quality friends and I was taking some great classes. I had learned a lot about the Bible that I hadn’t learned before. I relearned how to study and see the things that I hadn’t seen before in the stories. They started to come alive to me. It was a wonderful time for me.

The only dark cloud was that my life wasn’t complete. I had found friendships but I didn’t have the companionship of my partner in life. Theresa and I saw each other several times throughout the year but it was never enough. Not living together was not working out for us. Poison had slowly started to seep into our relationship. Bitterness was starting to build up in both of our hearts and wreaking havoc in our relationship.

In August of 2010, nine months after this had all started, a position opened within Theresa’s company at their Portland campus. The job was the exact same job she was doing now but down in Portland and not in Spokane. She applied and we were certain that this was going to be the job. That this would finally bring an end to our time apart. I thought for sure I’d be starting the next school year living with my best friend and have nothing to worry about.

But that didn’t happen. Theresa got an e-mail a week after the interview saying that she didn’t get the job. I was livid. If I hadn’t been at work when I found out, I would have screamed several obscenities very loudly. It hurt a lot. I was angry at myself for being so selfish and at God for not giving me my selfish desires. I was also angry at Theresa’s company for being too stupid to realize what a valuable resource they have in my wife.

I promised myself that if she didn’t get this job, that my time in Portland would be done. I knew in my heart that being apart for this long was not doing either of us any favors. So that night, I went home and drank 2/3 a bottle of Rum and watched movies on my computer. The next day, I told my boss I needed to transfer back to Spokane and the transfer process was started.

A few weeks later was Theresa and mine’s third year anniversary. We decided to celebrate down in Portland instead of me coming up to Spokane. So Theresa came down and we spent an entire week together. That was the longest time we’d spent together since I moved down to Portland.

On the day of our anniversary, we decided to spend the day visiting some of our favorite places in Oregon. We first stopped in Seaside and walked the beach. The picture was taken at Seaside right before we went and got some Salt Water Taffy. Then we drove south down to Tillamook to see the cheese factory. On the way there, we stopped at one of the most gorgeous beaches I’d ever been to called Arcadia beach. We decided to stop in and walk that beach too before heading to Tillamook. Those of you that are friends with my wife on Facebook can see the pictures from our whole day that day.

That day in particular was a day of great healing for Theresa and I. I was reminded of how much I loved her and how much she truly meant to me. It’s probably my favorite memory of our last three years together.

I think the biggest lesson I learned during this time, is just how valuable my marriage is and how precious a gift I have in my wife. As some of you know, I hope to some day be a worship leader for the church. I believe that’s what God has called me to. I was going to school at Multnomah to learn how to be better at the ministry I was called to. While I was learning how to be in ministry, I was failing at my primary ministry as a husband. And how can God bless someone who’s not fulfilling their primary role first?

I think I will always miss Portland. The friends I made down there are some of the best a person could ask for, but I know I made the right choice by coming back to Theresa. I don’t regret that for a second. I am reminded again that while making the right choice is usually hard, it is almost always worth it.

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