Nine Years of Work, Not Bliss

By Trillia Newbell


A recent candid photo of us! Years of sweet laughter.

Today is my anniversary.

I have been married to my sweet love for nine years! It would be easy to simply say it’s been blissful every step of the way, but if I said that I would be lying to you. It has not been blissful every step of the way. It has been work. But the work has resulted in a marriage that is now quite blissful.

Thern and I got married and brought along with us a little bit of baggage. We started our journey together before we were Christians. We dated for a few years and then were engaged. We got engaged twice and broke it off twice. God was truly merciful to not allow our first relationships to end in marriage—we would surely be struggling or divorced.

God first reconciled each of us to Him and then to each other.  I became a Christian and a year or so later Thern followed. We didn’t speak much and lived our lives as if we’d never get back together. But God had a better plan. Thern eventually expressed his interest in rekindling the fire and seeing if we were meant to be. Thank God he did! And yes, we were!

We were married in December 2003. From there began this journey we are now on called marriage.

For the first year of our marriage I continually evaluated him.  I had grown into a self-righteous woman (or perhaps I had always been—marriage really brings out the real you). I thought of ways he could lead better. I could care-less about room color but all of a sudden this stuff was extremely important. I had sweet relationships with girlfriends and compared him to them. I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t as open and gushy about everything (you know, like a girl would be).  We loved each other dearly but fought like cats and dogs.

But God who says he will finish the good work he began didn’t leave me there. By our second year of marriage God was working in my heart to love Thern and grow into his helpmeet—not his “holy spirit.” I also simply enjoyed him much more. I was no longer out to change him. It was really miraculous. And I believe part of this work he was doing in my heart was to prepare us for trials.

We entered the tough season of miscarriages and financial scares, unified. I trusted Thern to lead me where before I had second guessed everything he had said. He helped me with my sorrow over the loss of our babies throughout the years and continually (and continues to—oh how I need this) preached the gospel to me. We began to understand what it means to become one—we were growing in our marriage.

Our nine years have included conflicts and make-ups, struggles and rejoicing, great sorrows and cheers. We have wept together and sung together.

I’m thankful to celebrate these nine years with my love, not because we’ve had a perfect marriage but because we have had a marriage with roots deep in the gospel and hands clinging to those truths. I celebrate because God has been faithful to us. And it is because of God’s sweet grace and faithfulness that today I celebrate a marriage now filled with bliss and love.

Happy Anniversary, Thern! I love you!

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4 Comments to “Nine Years of Work, Not Bliss”

  1. Aimee Byrd says:

    The picture says it all 🙂 Great post.

  2. admin says:

    Thank you!!

  3. I grinned as I read your post. It’s great to hear that at least one other lady has had to “learn” how to be married other than me! My precious husband and I got married when I was 26 (he was 5 years older) and I always thought I was ready even before then… ha! Not! That whole “I’m not his Holy Spirit” thing you mentioned? Boy did I ever have to learn about that. It’s tough learning to get un-“set in your ways.” But like you, I agree it’s worth it. My husband is amazing and I’m learning to appreciate him for who he is more every day. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  4. admin says:

    Your response made me smile too! It really is a learning process but YES it is so worth it. Thanks for commenting!