The Friedmanns

Wow, it's been a while! Since I've blogged I mean. Since the last time, it has become about 30° cooler here in Kansas City and consequently I have become much more pleasant to be around. The change of weather is nice, but it also aptly reflects the major shift of seasons in our personal lives. This past summer, when I was back home in California, I had dinner with a few friends from college, I hadn't seen these girls in almost ten years. So much had happened in that time. One had lived abroad with the peace corps for several years, while another laid bare her heart about her family. Oh how much we had grown since the days of Biola! And I remember gushing about my new husband and my dreams for grad school and research over the dim candlelight and crowded white noise of the busy restaurant. I had applied to graduate school for my masters in Philosophy with the desire to pursue a PhD in Christian Ethics. I was accepted to my graduate school of choice and plans were excitedly underway to move back home; home to my family, friends, and culture. I was ready to reminisce about my time here in Kansas City.

Meanwhile, Jon had also applied to school, here in Kansas City. I was in the midst of looking for apartments and jobs in Los Feliz when we got the letter that Jon was also accepted to school. My heart sank. I guess I was happy for him? Gosh, I can be the worst! I love him as much as my heart can hold, and I knew how difficult it was for him to even apply. But what about my schooling and my academic career? It was hard, but also really beautiful to see us fighting for each other. Knowing how excited I was for school, Jon argued that we should follow through with our plans to go back to LA. I wanted him to go to school,  to jump in despite his fear. We had a lot to pray about this summer. Ultimately we decided to stay. It broke both our hearts, and I cried a lot. Sometimes being married is hard!

Despite the plans we make, it’s like our steps are being directed elsewhere. And I have so much to be thankful for. I am especially thankful all the worrying and talking and strategizing and stressing and arguing is over. Except it’s not really. Jon and I merely overcame our first big obstacle, major life decision as a married couple. And that is only the beginning because we are committed to doing our lives together for a hundred more years, at least! That means a lot more heartache, and more refinement and much more grace. Doing life with another person is hard, even if it is with the love of your life, and marriage will continue to be difficult. But it is also incredibly beautiful to watch my heart grow in love despite my selfishness. I am thankful I get to do life and marriage with Jon Farmer. He is my favorite.

But some couples overcome their first major heartache even before they are married. Meet Rich & Ann. They are the best. They were friends of friends for a long time, and then became friends, and then started dating. Rich's affable nature and Ann's sweet spirit draw people in. They are the kind of people you see laughing across the room and wish you knew them. It seemed like a recipe for happily ever after. Instead, Ann started having a headache that deteriorated into a nauseating and debilitating migraine. When she finally went to the emergency room, her scan showed a highly fatal brain hemorrhage, and she went in for surgery immediately. They didn’t know if she would ever wake up, let alone talk or remember anyone. Rich stayed by her side, and when her eyes finally opened, he was there. When he cautiously asked her how she was doing, she just asked him to hold her. Oh what a beautiful answer to prayer! And he did just that. The hemorrhage had only caused minimal damage to her brain, and with physical therapy and support from her family, she has made quite a recovery. I met them only a few months after all of this, and stared in awe as they told me their story. I was honored to document their wedding, their first step into the beautiful mess that is marriage.