hit (one's) stride
1. To achieve a steady, effective pace.
On our fourth wedding anniversary last month, Sean wrote me a note. He acknowledged my lack of excitement for the past year -- there were no major changes ahead. Sean was still to be in school for another year, I was sticking with the same job, we weren't moving homes, no family additions planned. He was right. I wasn't particularly excited and felt more like I was just going through the motions at times. Something really cool did happen this past year, though, that we realized through our reflections on our anniversary.
We hit our stride.
Guys and girls, it's a wonderful feeling! Our marriage is certainly not perfect (it does involve two sinners, after all) and we don't have all of the answers. Heck, we probably don't have half of the answers. What we do have, though, is a deep rooted love of Jesus who is the ultimate picture of grace and forgiveness. Through His grace, our communication patterns have been strengthened, our weaknesses improved upon and our strengths reinforced. We can rest in the confidence of knowing that we were handpicked for one another and are both complementary and supplementary to each other when needed.
When I say we hit our stride I mean that we just 'get' one another -- so much so that we are prepared to offer grace in certain situations before they even play out. We have been together a long time considering our ages (10 years this summer), so I have known for a long time that he doesn't like applesauce because of its texture, that he drops his clothes where he removes them and he hates using his windshield wipers in the rain. Those little quirks have been apparent for a long time, but we're still learning. This year I learned that Sean doesn't like cornbread (what?!) and that he prefers to eat with the large forks, not the regular size ones.
Marriage is super fun. It's challenging and requires active participation. It is not always easy, often requiring us to swallow our pride. Marriage brings forth laughter, tears and wonderful joy. What a beautiful, sacred gift God has given to His people!
Lord, thank you for creating the institution of marriage. You knew we would need the mirror of a spouse to identify sin and help refine our character. Thank you for picking Sean to be my husband. Lord, I pray that you will use me in mighty ways as a wife. I fail often, but am thankful for your grace and forgiveness. Please place a burning desire in my heart to continually serve Sean and to be his helpmeet. Protect our marriage and our hearts against the many temptations of this world and help us to keep our hearts and mind pure for one another. Father, we love you dearly. Amen.