Today is our twelve year wedding anniversary. The love of my life – Jana Neree (Beal) Farley.
I have been reflecting a whole lot lately on our journey together. She always said that she knew that she would be a wife to a youth pastor. But I am convinced that description does her no justice. God tends to speak our language – using words that we can understand at the time that we are willing to listen. Because what I really see in my wife is the desire to love Christ, be the church, and live on the mission.
She has believed in our calling as leaders long before I ever did. She worked full-time while I was finishing school, putting up with the long nights while I studied Greek (or at least attempted to study Greek), and encouraging me during the times that doubted if and when we would ever enjoy our first pastoral position.
Jana was more than patient with me while we simultaneously learned what it meant to be youth pastors AND parents to toddlers during our time in Moses Lake. I watched her as she mentored female leaders and rediscovered her love for music.
The last six years have been the best yet. She is in her element. Jana does such a tremendous job of teaching our four children – in every area imaginable. Her ministry has had its ebbs and flows for sure. Different schedules and emphasis depending upon the season. She always has had a niche for using what she has to reach who she is with. Even now, she has built and strengthened relationships through such hobbies as scrapbooking and coffee.
She trusted me enough the last two and a half years to continue my education. Evening after evening of putting the children to bed and then allowing me hours of study time. My Masters degree was as much her accomplishment as it was mine. We learned a lot about our direction and dreams during those discussions. She was probably tired of hearing of my theories. And yet, she is determined to walk alongside me as they are realized.
So the children are getting older. Our roles are morphing. But I am excited to see what lies ahead. I know whatever it is, I will continue to be fascinated by my wife’s love for others. She is determined, no matter the cost, to show and share the love of Jesus with people.
I look forward to many more of these anniversaries. I love you, Jana.