Last week I elaborated on how grateful I am for my kids, Elly and Caleb. So you must have known that this week I would elaborate on how grateful I am for my husband, Ciaran (Keron). He is brutally handsome, South African to his core, and an incredible husband and father that loves Jesus with all of his heart, mind, soul, and strength. I can write pages on how wonderful he his, but first let me tell you how we met.
I did a three week expedition to Zambia (southern Africa) in 2007 with Overland Missions (my current employer) to spread the Good News of the Gospel to remote people groups. During my trip to Overland Mission’s base I shook Ciaran’s hand once and saw him maybe two times. I was very shy and he was very busy. The following year I befriended him on Facebook and briefly Facebook stalked him, but once I discovered he was “off the market” I wrote him off and thought to myself “all the good ones are taken.” I knew I would see him again because I would be attending the Advanced Missions Training (AMT) program on Overland Missions’ base in May of that year for three months. That same day I found out he had a girlfriend, I was riding in a car with some friends and blurted out, “My future husband is in a relationship!” Haha. Ironic. Totally. Ironic.
Lets fast forward to May 2008 when I arrived on the missions base. I was soooooo incredibly nervous around Ciaran but I managed to keep my cool and not seem completely ridiculous most of the time (not). One day it was his birthday and told me he was turning 25, so I responded, “Awww you’re half way to 30!” Of course I had to say something like that. That was just one of many fascinating remarks I made to him in the beginning. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, him and his girlfriend were on rocky ground, can’t say I was disappointed about that one when I found out! Eventually they broke up and when I found out he was free I put my totally charming… I mean, clumsy self out there to be vulnerable to whatever God was doing in that moment.
So I wasn’t allowed to date during the missions training program, but I was allowed to talk to Ciaran, so it wasn’t all together terrible. We maintained distance but there was no denying the abundance of fireworks between us. Ultimately we were just two kids sold out for God and I think we both knew that we would end up marrying each other. Did I mention I was 20-years-old at the time? Cray-zay! When the program ended Ciaran took me on our first date to a little sea food restaurant in the town of Livingstone, and it was magical despite the fishy smell. A few weeks later I had to fly back to the States but Ciaran looked me in eyes and told me he was going to marry me, full stop.
There ya have it! We have been married for almost seven years now. We have lived in Zambia the entire time and are about to make an incredibly huge move across the Atlantic. I am so grateful for him. I know from experience that it’s a slippery slope to complain about your spouse. It’s easy to complain to others and expose your spouse so you can get the validation you so desire. I can’t emphasize enough how damaging this can be to your marriage. So here I am to give thanks for Ciaran.
Ciaran is incredibly solid. He is a phenomenal leader. He has taught me so much over the years, especially about how to get around people, support them, and help them succeed in life. He never blurs the line between leadership and friendship with those he leads, and people always know where they stand with him. He doesn’t succumb to peer pressure and he is faithful in everything that he does. He doesn’t demand respect, he always earns it. He never tries to show his dominance over people, he is there to serve them in whatever capacity. He loves. He has a soft heart. He has the best sense of humor and so he totally gets me. He legitimately doesn’t care about what others think… thank God, because that’s been a struggle for me my entire life. He has supported me and loved me through extremely dark seasons. He seriously prays for me every day. Did I mention he’s ruggedly handsome and a man’s man through and through? …oh and he LOVES rugby.
I love you Ciaran!
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are of good report, if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things ~Philippians 4:8