19 Years

Posted on Jun 13, 2017 at 10:19 AM in Love, Stories & Reflections


Jeremy and I walked into the party—together—and within minutes three women that had watched me grow up had asked me if we were dating. I don’t remember exactly what I told them, but I insisted that we weren’t. Earlier in the day our church’s College & Career group was painting part of the basement of Covenant Presbyterian Church, and Jeremy had overheard me talking about the gathering later that day. He kindly offered to go with me, you know, if I wanted him to. To be honest, the entire falling-in-love thing that was happening was so foreign to me that I didn’t know what to think of it all. But I wasn’t lying to my friends at church. We weren’t dating at that party! However I’m pretty sure we were by the end of the night.

I laugh now thinking of the events of Fall and Winter 1996. The main event being Jeremy. While I remember hints and flashes of my first semester at UNL, I very much remember that all my extracurricular activities involved leading youth group. Which meant lots and lots and lots of time alongside Mr. Tredway. Every week involved one plan night and one youth group night. And then there were all these events where Jeremy mysteriously ended up by my side. Fall Fest. Nursery Duty. Afternoons at the park. Little did I know that I had him at “hello” and that he was already smitten.

I think about the night of the party that we went to together-but-not-together. [Sidenote: 2017 Jeremy is singing in his office right now; it’s distracting me from 1996 Jeremy.] I remember going to a friend’s house where they were watching Fargo and we caught the ending. Jeremy then told me he was enamored with me as we were driving down Highway 2, and in the next breath told me he’d be going to Covenant Seminary and encouraged me to follow my interest of going to Covenant College. My brain was stuck on “enamored” and did that mean what I thought it meant? There was a conversation with my dad to lay out reassurances and intentions, the seven-year age gap between us being an issue to address. There was a 19th birthday party where Jeremy pretty much told my family he loved me, though really it was Mom’s Freudian slip that set up that perfect situation. There was hugging in the snow at the Lied Center and then months of making this fella wait to kiss me.

These memories are only the beginning. In the almost 22 years since we began to be a “we” there’s been miles of life lived. In the past few days we’ve been saying with disbelief, “Can you believe we’ve been married 19 years already?” It seems impossible in some moments and very possible in others. From the dreamy head-in-the-clouds feelings to the love we share today, it’s been a crazy road. We’ve survived our fiery first years of marriage, great temptations, and heartaches galore. We’ve witnessed sin and forgiveness on scales we couldn’t have imagined and the scars we bear have become testaments to a very big God whose grace and gentle care knows no bounds. We’ve built up a marriage we thought we wanted only to see it torn down and replaced with a firm foundation in Christ. As two polar opposite personality types who once couldn’t answer the question, “What DO you two have in common?” we now enjoy a life that has exploded outside the bounds of what was once thought comfortable and enjoyable. We have this amazing privilege of being better together, of exploring the world from very different viewpoints only to encourage the other to becoming stronger in areas of strength as well as weakness. Though not quick enough, we are quicker to both ask for forgiveness and to give it. Aside from the natural skinniness of our twenties, I don’t believe there’s anything we’d go back in time to reclaim because the way we feel about each other today is infinitely superior to the budding love we knew back in 1996.

I experience my world through feelings, and as a Feeler, I’ve had these gloriously wonderful moments recently where I look at Jeremy and Livia and praise God thinking, “My life is so beautiful! How is this my life?!” And because I am a Feeler sometimes it’ll only take one more step of discomfort before I remember the hard parts, too. There are always hard parts.

I couldn’t have explained to 1996 Rebecca what 2017 Rebecca would be thinking and feeling and seeing and learning. It’s all been a journey best taken day by day. The grace that was afforded to me—to us—was a daily grace. And for that we are thankful and we are humbled.

Jeremy Tredway, I’m so grateful for our lives together. God is good. Happy 19, my love.


  1. Todd Jun 13, 2017 9:12 PM

    Great commentary on 19 years. Wait until you hit 39…it’s even BETTEr! Love you guys, -Todd

  2. Melissa Marsh Jun 14, 2017 7:11 PM

    Happy anniversary, you two!!! You are a beautiful example of how marriage should be. :)

Leave a Comment