Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Grant and Michelle: Marriage over Money

Grant Hoffecker and Michelle Ji are engaged to be married on June 11th.
Both Grant and Michelle have been very involved in Cru since they were freshman. (Grant actually put his faith in Jesus during his freshman year.)  They started dating at the end of that year and got engaged last spring.  God has used them to lead Community Groups, and mentor younger students throughout their time here at Cornell.  Michelle is a part of our Yellowstone Summer Project tradition; she went on that mission trip back in 2013.  Since that time she has helped others to catch a vision for summer missions with Cru!

Michelle is a pretty quiet and reserved person generally, but ever since her freshman year she has been able to express herself and bless others by playing guitar.  Whether she was playing a comedic ballad with some of the other ladies or helping accompany our praise band, her talent's were enjoyed by others.  Grant is known for his sincerity and  helpful spirit.   Grant is a guy who loves his friends family well.  During the past couple of years he would bring his Dad out to our February retreat which was really cool.
Last Spring's Engagement was an incredible celebration for friends and family!
As a couple, Grant and Michelle have set a great example.  Starting out as friends, they moved into their dating adventure with a zeal to keep Christ at the center.   With the help of friends, they have fought hard at every turn to seek God and walk in ways that glorify him.  This past fall they navigated a  pretty significant challenge in a way that encourages the heck out of me!
Grant interned at Linkedin last summer and when they offered to give him a full time job after graduation, he gladly accepted it.  After they honeymoon, Grant and Michelle will start their new life together in San Francisco. Then, during the fall, Michelle was offered a job with Apple in the Bay Area.  What a great opportunity!  Apple is a cool company, the pay was good and the location was right on!  Everything seemed to be coming together perfectly!  But when the details of the job were revealed, things got messy.  The job that Michelle was offered would require her to travel to Asia for about 30% of the year.  Almost every month she would be gone for days and days at a time.

Michelle and Grant began to pray and deliberate.  Yes, working for Apple was a "good career move."  Yes, the pay was good.  But what about those really important things besides career and money?  Was this a good job for marriage health?  Is the nature of this job worth sacrificing so much relational time for?  Was it a good idea to have a job that required a husband and wife to be separated for almost a third of the year?  Would it be wise to have that kind of a job during the first year of marriage while trying to establish a strong healthy foundation for the future?

Grant and Michelle are driven by a vision to have a strong Jesus-centered marriage; a marriage where they love each other well and a marriage that can be used by God to bless others.  Grant and Michelle want to help each other to flourish as disciples of Christ and they hope that as a couple they can help others to see and understand the gospel.  Having that kind of marriage is actually quite difficult!  It takes a great deal of faith fueled hard work!

Many people thought that Michelle should take the job.  Most Cornell students in her position would definitely have taken the job!   There is no doubt it would have been good for their financial future.  The truth is, they could be more "rich" if Michelle said yes to Apple!  But the reality is that life is about more than just money or a career!   Grant and Michelle made a decision that would better serve their relational future: Michelle turned down the job!

The decision to not take the job at Apple was not easy.    It was -and continues to be scary to have said "no" to such a reputable job.  Although Michelle has applied for some other jobs, nothing has panned out yet, and the waiting has been extremely nerve wracking!!  It's easy to wonder whether or not they made the "right" decision.

I personally think they made a great decision!   I love their faith and conviction!  Grant and Michelle want to have a marriage that is healthy and strong in love. They want to be a couple who together, live out the stuff Paul was talking about in Ephesians chapter 5;  Paul explained that marriage is ultimately about Christ and the Church.  A God-centered marriage gives the world a picture of the good news that Jesus Christ loves his people with an awesome and magnificent love!    In order to cultivate that kind of marriage, you've got to be together!   Many people are all too willing to sacrifice relational flourishing for financial gains; they literally prioritize money over marriage.  But Grant and Michelle chose otherwise.

Grant and Michelle are trusting God with their future.  I'm certain God will provide a job for Michelle, and looking back, there will be no regrets!

February Retreat.  Grant's dad, Grant and Joshua Tai out at the Tenwood Lodge.  

No comments:

Post a Comment