Christ, Candles, and Camo!

Christ, Candles, and Camo!

By Tim and Caroline Young

If you would’ve told us one year ago, that we’d be married, living in Hawaii with each other, and quarantined because of an international pandemic, we would have laughed in disbelief. Our lives now are vastly different than a year ago, but oh what a joy our journey has been! In the past year we got engaged, married, and moved across the ocean. We have both had to adjust to leaving our families and friends and moving in with each other.

It’s been a beautifully chaotic transition into married life, and our little Hawaii house is starting to feel more like a home with the help of Christ, candles, and camo.

It’s been seven months since our wedding, and we feel we have much to say about marriage already (though we know we still have so much to learn). God has taught us about ourselves, each other, and Himself through this whole process of ‘becoming one.’ It has required sacrifice on both our parts. It has been messy and hard at times, but more than that it has been healing and rewarding in ways words cannot describe.

Whenever we asked for marriage advice before our wedding, we were consistently told that “marriage requires a lot of work,” well we figured that, but we’ve learned quickly that marriage work is not simply a 9-5 job, it’s surprisingly more of a 24/7 job! An intentional marriage requires us to be in constant communication, to have the hard conversations we don’t always want to have, to try our best to put each other first, and to not take ourselves too seriously.

We still have many lessons to learn and know this journey will not always go as planned, but we are so thankful we get to do life together. Marriage truly feels like a never-ending adventure and sleepover with your best-friend! We may have different ways of cleaning the house, different ways we each do laundry, and completely different ways of thinking, but God has used our differences to grow and challenge each other in so many unexpected ways. In these past seven months we have seen the faithfulness of the Lord and have deeply experienced His goodness and grace. God has brought us to the end of ourselves many days, and has used each other to teach and reveal Himself all the more. What a treasure it has been to enjoy the fullness of marriage!

A Thought on Marriage from Caroline

I remember the plane ride here – I was so excited and anxious to see the island and the house and car Tim had picked out for us (he’d been living on the island for a month before we got married and flew back for our wedding). I couldn’t believe I was married, that I said bye to all my friends and family, and left my job for this man I had just met less than a year ago! The first two days felt surreal, like a true fairytale honey moon. We went to the beach, ate at super cute food trucks, watched movies in bed, and then it happened; Tim got sick. Now, I’ve always heard of women talk about the ‘man cold’ and figured my husband would be different; he went through Ranger School after all! Well, it turns out all the other women were right, my husband indeed had the ‘man cold’ and I had to take care of him about 5 days after getting married. My first lesson in marriage was that men are different than women; I learned that my role as a wife would be to care for Tim, even when I would (secretly) rather be at the beach – ‘in sickness & in health.’

A Thought on Marriage from Tim

Caroline makes everything in my life better! I listened to a lot of country music growing up and one of the songs that I remember best is “Put a Girl In It,” by Brooks and Dunn. The whole message behind the song is that you could have everything in the world, “a brand new truck… a house on the hill… a pool and a pond and a view to kill,” but if you want to make things 100x better “put a girl in it.” And since Caroline has come around – everything is better!

A year ago I was living in Fort Benning with three of my best friends in what might be called, “a bachelor pad.” We had a big dart board hanging up in center of our living room, a fridge with four different types of meat, Army flags on every wall, and a guestbook log in our bathroom. Now I live in a house with 10 fake plants, a fridge with about four different types of cheese, pictures of our wedding line the walls, and a hand towel in our bathroom that says “Aloha” with a picture of a cute little pineapple.

I would be lying if I said that I didn’t enjoy my “bachelor pad” days, but there is something 100x better about living in a home with Caroline. She just brightens up the house! And I don’t mean just through her vibrant decorations, she has a gentle warmth and living wonder about her that makes our little house feel alive. God has truly blessed me with a woman after His heart! I love introducing her as MY BRIDE!