As I lay in bed with my sleeping wife, on her birthday, I can’t help but think of the ways I am thankful for her. I recount the years of our relationship and smile. I cannot capture the essence of Tara with words. It is not fair to immortalize her with flattery. The best I can do for her is show her life accurately in the words of this blog.
In April of 1996 we moved to Burlington, Iowa. The ensuing 4 years were potentially the most significant in her life, and mine. She always desired a career but chose to follow me on my career path. It wasn’t like I was making a lot of money or anything, she just did it…for me. At each stop (Kansas City, Memphis, and now Burlington) she worked a job, each time being promoted and valued just in time to move on. Kids were not on the radar for either of us and we were debating, 2 or 3.
In 1998 she decided to pursue the next phase of her education. Over the next few years she earned (and I mean earned) a Masters degree at Western Illinois University. It was an hour either direction. She took 20+ credits each semester. She worked her job the entire time. She rocked the program and was promoted at work.
At the same time, she was gaining a passion for the word of God through inductive bible study, and was most struck by the knowledge that her identity was in Christ. Her life wasn’t about who she was, rather who she was in Christ. I remember well when this clicked in her heart. Her head knew it for years, but once her heart knew it her life changed dramatically. Our marriage improved. Her joy at work improved. She became more content. She was good with who she was; degree, career, or not.
Her education, work and faith intersected at that point. She had achieved what she wanted in her education and career simultaneous with her heart knowledge of her identity in Christ. I was in awe watching it all. Any way it went from that point was good with me. It was then that she desired children. In 1999, to our joy, we got pregnant. She desired to be home with the baby, once again setting her career aside.
I am not describing those 4 years well enough. God was at work in her life like I had never before seen. It was a drastic change. A new course. And now I lay in bed with my wife of 19 years, 5 kids later, cancer stricken, tired of battling. But joy still remains because of those 4 years where she wrestled with who she was and found out. Later, I’m pretty sure we will look back and find out that the years from 2013-?? were also significant.