Five Years

Tim Brister —  July 19, 2008 — 17 Comments

Five years ago today I said “I Do” to my bride in an old worship sanctuary in the church where we first met.  We had grown up just miles apart but were separated in ignorance until we had both graduated college.  Through several twists and turns in the journey, I ended up with a college degree and returning to a town I swore I would never live, doing something I swore I would never do–serving as a youth minister.

But God had other plans.

And I am thrilled that he didn’t allow me to live out mine.  I know that sounds weird, especially given that we live in a day of narcissism and “self-actualization” (spiritualized as Your Best Life Now); but it was beyond my comprehension to ascertain how God was orchestrating each step of my life to a place where my footprints would be in sync with another.  Those were the steps of my soon-to-be wife, Dusti.

I still remember that day distinctly–the incredibly hot temperature, the annoying videographer, and the wonderfully eclectic group of groomsmen who were more idiosyncratic than even myself.  I remember looking into her eyes and saying those solemn words which seemed all to easy to recite were it not for the tears of joy that caused the words to stumble as my voice went to a higher pitch.   Looking out amongst my family and friends, I knew that July 19th would be much more than an anniversary but a day to recall God’s faithfulness and kind providence in giving me a precious bride to love, serve, and honor.

Much has happened in these five years.  We have moved twice, struggled through four years of seminary life, and starting a family together (Nolan turned seven months yesterday!).  During this period of time, I have experienced the grace of an understanding wife who has helped shape me into more of a man of God.  She has supported me as I have sought God’s will for us, even when it has required of her great sacrifice.  I am aware more now than the day I first say “I Do” that the gospel must drive our marriage as we daily believe in Christ and repent of our sins and failures.

My wife normally doesn’t read my blog (except when some of you guys write mean things about me or some controversy potentially gets me in trouble :)), and I suppose that is a good thing.  Blogging tends to bring out a false perception in people.  I mean, how many people blog about the sin in their lives?  But my wife knows them all.  She knows my heart while most people know my words.  She sees me for who I am in the closet while other may see me for what I say via a hyperlink.  Three years of blogging can lead one to think they are somebody.  Five years of marriage leads one to think they are nobody apart from the grace of God.

So this anniversary I rejoice with the wife of my youth for all that is and continues to be as my partner, best friend, lover, and co-laborer for the glory of God.  May the Lord strengthen my affections to love her more deeply and inflame my passion to give myself to her more sacrificially.  When the song of life is over, I pray the sweat on our brow and the joy in our hearts reveal that we danced well!

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  • Becca

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TIMMY AND DUSTI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i thank God so much that He has brought yall down to be with us, and pray that you will spend many more years serving Him together here. Thank you so much for the testimony of God’s grace that you both display. i love your family so much, and hope you have a WONDERFUL day together (sniffles and all) :)

    p.s. you should definitely let us keep Nolan if yall go anywhere tonight. ;-)

  • http://timmybrister.wordpress.com/ Timmy Brister

    Thanks Becca! BTW, we passed by you today, waving (I think) to no avail. :( Due to the family being sick this week, we have decided to hold off on all anniversary festivities until we are feeling better. But of course, Nolan will gladly meet you with a snotty smile anytime you like. :)

    Oh, I also commented back on Tom’s blog because the hyperlink was broken in your comment. I hope you and the rest of the crew have a restful day today! You guys have had a crazy week, no? ;)

  • http://www.timellsworth.com Tim

    Happy anniversary, Timmy. My wife and I are celebrating 11 years today.

  • http://timmybrister.wordpress.com/ Timmy Brister

    Thanks Tim! And happy anniversary to you guys as well! :)

    BTW, Tom and I were talking about your book the other day and how well it was done, especially given the brief time you had to write it! Have a blessed anniversary weekend brother.

  • Becca

    hm. That probably was me. I was out running around quite a bit today :P. i would have waved back, but i’m sure i was concentrating on being a very safe driver. ;-)
    do you know yet if the fam will make it tomorrow? i’ll take Nolan, snotty smile or not. :)
    and thanks for fixing the blog. i was still semi-comatose when writing it, so i’m not surprised the link was bad. our crew has been not so much resting today as shifting gears. we’ve got to get into leaving-town-mode now. but it’s been nice to have a change of pace. :)
    see yall tomorrow LW!

  • http://xfrmdxrenewal.blogspot.com/ Jackie Gilliam

    Congratulations on your 5 year anniversary and thank you for making me smile and cry as I read it.
    God bless and strengthen you both as His children first, as husband and wife second and as parents lastly.

  • http://www.timellsworth.com Tim

    Thanks so much, Timmy. Glad you enjoyed it. Now if you guys would just buy a copy for all your church members, that’d be great.

  • Tyler Smith

    Happy anniversary, guys! I still remember that day well. For some odd reason, I met and road with Brandon Baldwin from Clements to Athens. It was one of the scariest car rides I’ve ever had. Riding shotgun, I was clinging to my armrests with as much strength as my hands could muster. Brandon was around 90 mph the whole way as we weaved between each car. I was (arguably) the happiest person to be at yours and Dusti’s wedding–my reason being different than yours. I was glad to still have my life, and you were glad that you were getting married to Dusti. In the end, I somehow talked Brandon into letting my drive his car back to Clements and left him at the wedding to ride home with somebody else. All in all, I was very glad to get to see you and Dusti get married, but I must say I was happier to be alive at the end of the day. Haha. Anyway, I hope you guys are doing well.

  • http://www.jenniferpartin.blogspot.com Jennifer Partin

    Congratulations Tim! This post was a beautiful tribute to both your marriage and your wife—-I hope she does read this one. :)

    Brett and I will celebrate our wedding anniversary on 7/22. It’ll be 13 years and I will say it only gets better! May He continue to bless our covenant towards each of our spouses.

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  • http://drewsbilspic.blogspot.com Drew Downs

    Happy Anniversary guys! I remember the beautiful wedding and how God honoring it all was. It was a pleasure to be there :). Not to mention the fun comments/slip-ups that Timmy had in his Wednesday Night Lessons, those were priceless :D

    BTW ran into Matt & Mindy Dennis yesterday, they were in town visiting family, it was great to get to see them, he asked how ya’ll were doing. I told him about your site here so you may see his comments soon :). They were doing great!

  • http://timmybrister.wordpress.com/ Timmy Brister

    Thanks Drew! It’s great to hear from you guys. Yeah, people down here have already been informed about my speaking mishaps! It’s good to hear that you have caught up with Matt and Mindy. The last time we saw them was at Caleb’s wedding in Birmingham. Thanks for commenting, and please keep in touch.

  • http://timmybrister.wordpress.com/ Timmy Brister

    Thanks Jennifer! And congratulations to you guys as well! Indeed, may the Lord continue to bless the covenant of marriage.

  • http://timmybrister.wordpress.com/ Timmy Brister

    Jackie,

    Thank you for your very kind comments.

    Tyler,

    I am sorry that you were not forewarned about riding with Brandon, but I am glad that you made it to our wedding! I am glad to see that we are keeping in touch after these five years. Don’t be a stranger. ;)

    Tim,

    So you are trying to bring regenerate church membership into the discussion of book sales and marketing . . . nice. :)

  • http://rodcarroll.wordpress.com Rod Carroll

    Hey Timmy. Happy Anniversary. May there be many happy more to follow. Your whole take on who we really are in the context of marriage and blogging hit the mark. Well said my brother.

  • http://ryan-and-sandi.blogspot.com/ Ryan M.

    What a coincidence! July 19, 2008 was my 5th anniversary too. What are the chances?

    Just thought I’d share :)

  • http://timmybrister.wordpress.com/ Timmy Brister

    Ah, but Ryan, I bet you guys were not married in Athens, AL. ;)

    But seriously, that it great! Belated congrats to you guys. I see that you are with HCJB in Ecuador. I was down there a couple of years ago with a team doing ethnographical research on some of the people groups there and spent a day at HCJB. I recall being very impressed with the work being done there.