So our second year of marriage was our first year in full-time ministry. Casey was youth pastor to high school and junior high students, and our first major event was to a winter camp. The thing that I remember most about the camp wasn't the camp, but the drive to the camp. It was snowing hard (I was soooo sick of snow!), and one minute a leader from another church was driving in front of me, the next, she was in the ditch. I couldn't stop though, because if I had stopped, I wouldn't have started again.
We went to Mexico- and successfully, I might add (Casey was bothered by folks from Day 1 that he needed to start Mexico training in January. The trip wasn't until June-ish!). Two weeks before we left, as we lay in bed, I said, "I think that I'm ready to start a family. So, whenever you're ready, I just wanted you to know, I'm ready." I left it at that. We returned from the short-term Mexico trip, and as we lay in bed, husband said, "I'm ready to start a family too."
I got pregnant the next month. I remember walking into VBS and telling a girlfriend that I was so spacey lately, and she asked, "Why? Are you pregnant or something?!" I was silent. Shouts and hugs followed. And thus word spread. We thought that we would keep it quiet. But it didn't work. We were too excited. Those who found out were too excited. A pastor's kids hadn't been born to that church in about 30 years! So yeah, people were pumped.
Our second year of marriage was nice. The youth ministry was going well. We were starting to adjust to life away from family. We were making friends and getting settled. And most importantly, our family was growing!
But I will tell you that in year two, a storm was brewing. We were busy being blessed with good things, that we didn't see that God was preparing greater blessings through really hard things. Year two, 2004, was the calm before a major, major storm...