Whether you're single, married, or raising kids, it's time to toss out your timeline for trust in God's one-of-a-kind plan for your life! As we continue learning what God has to say about our seasons of relationships this February, we're grateful for the Schuler family from our Morris County Campus. Gillian & Jason Schuler met at the young age of 22, and now celebrate 17 years of marriage. They are the proud parents of two amazing kids: 11-year-old Samuel and 9-year-old Sophia. Check out our chat with Gillian below!
HOW DID YOU & JASON MEET?
Gillian: We met doing ministry together on a 5-month mission trip in Canada. Our program had a "no dating" policy - which was actually great because God gave us space to get to know each other as friends in a group setting first. Both of us ended up staying with the program after it was over, this time as staff - and while the staff still had the same no dating policy, our leaders decided to bend the rule for us! Only 5 months later we were engaged. We got married that same year.
HOW HAVE YOU SEEN GOD AT WORK IN THE SEASONS OF YOUR MARRIAGE?
Gillian: One notable time when God really moved in our marriage took place about 6 years in. Our son Samuel had just been born, the economy made a turn and we both ended up losing our jobs. While this was a stretching season, we look back now and know that it really was an amazing time for each of our relationships with God, and with each other. This financially challenging season of our lives also pushed us to take a leap of faith to begin our own production company, which we still run today. We had visions of pursuing this dream together eventually, but during this time, God gave us the perfect opportunity to go for it!
HOW HAVE YOU SEEN GOD AT WORK IN PARENTHOOD?
Gillian: They say that in marriage, iron sharpens iron... but parenting does this even more! It's not like you're working with adults who know to give and take in their relationships. Kids can have big personalities, but they're also SO lavish with their love! Through all the challenges, the joys of parenthood are just so incredible - to watch your children grow and develop from tiny things when they are little is just amazing.
WHAT IS ONE NOTABLE CHALLENGE OF PARENTHOOD?
Our kiddos are still young, so there has not been any monumental, big challenge that stands out yet... but I will say, parenting really helps you see the patience that you lack and gives you opportunities to then grow that patience. Helping your kids navigate through friendships and difficult situations for them can be challenging as a parent because, when your kids are unhappy, you feel that. However, as a parent, you need to give kids the freedom of choice to make their own decisions...and that can be hard! It's easy to want to control everything so they don't get hurt, but that's not life. It's not how they grow into healthy adults. So, sometimes you have to just help your kids by supporting them whether they fly or fail.
If you're a parent like Gillian and Jason, know that we want to support you! That's why in Liquid Family, we partner with parents to help kids develop a faith that sticks. To learn more about Liquid Family, click here. We've loved learning together this February, and we look forward to the epic conclusion of our First Comes Love series this Sunday - for service times & locations, click here!