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Thursday, May 28, 2009

15 Years

Doug and I got married on May 28, 1994 in the newly built Anderson Chapel on the campus of North Park University. That's 15 years ago today. We were the first couple to be married in the "new" chapel and that seemed ever so fitting since I was chaplain of the University at the time.
The day is a treasured memory. It was a wonderful celebration of a love that we knew would be abiding. We had struggled along the way, suffering numerous break-ups and wondered if we'd ever find our way to the altar. What a thrill to look one another in the eye and say, "I do".
I love Doug. That's pretty obvious. He's my one and only. The absolute true love of my life. He gets me better than any other person on earth and loves me unconditionally. Sometimes I wonder how he does it...

I guess he's always known that I'm high maintenance and yet somewhere in his psyche he thrives on maintaining me so it all works out in the end.
Our life together has been every bit as good as we had hoped it would be. We've had our ups and downs, worked through conflicts, and struggled to keep finding closeness and newness in the midst of the routine. Making the decision to work together for the past 11 years has been filled with unique challenges and also special joys. We have had to be quite intentional about prioritizing our marital relationship in the midst of being colleagues. In spite of some of the hardship that working so closely brings to our life together, it has also been a major thrill to build up the ministry of Immanuel International side by side, sharing a common vision while celebrating the unique and wonderful gifts we each bring to the ministry.
I remember when we first got married the thought of a life commitment was a bit dubious for me. Now I can honestly say that I'm just not sure a lifetime is long enough with Douglas. When I first met him I wasn't sure if he was the funniest person or the weirdest person I'd ever met. Now I know...he's both! His humor never ceases to amaze me and his creative spirit keeps things interesting. He is truly an entertaining husband!

When we got married 15 years ago we did not know that:
We would spend 11 of our first 15 years of married life living in Sweden.
We would become lovers of yellow Labradors.
We would suffer through the pain of infertility and never become parents.
We would be able to travel the globe and have so many unique and exciting experiences in this world.
But when we got married 15 years ago we did know that:
We loved one another deeply and had suffered through enough difficulty that we'd be able to see even the toughest moments through.
We wanted to be together for a life time, sharing the joy and the sorrow by one another's side.
What I know today is that Douglas Edward Fondell is the absolute love of my life. He is truly my one and only and I am so thankful for the life that we share.
I love you honey. Looking forward to the next 15 with joy and anticipation.
Honey, we've had a good life...
From our honeymoon in Hawaii...

To the beauty of Turkey...

And all the fun we've had seeing the world together...

We're still smiling after 15 years.