When I was a little girl, I always dreamed of one thing. Not my career, not my wedding day. My marriage. I would play pretend as Arial–only after she was married to prince Eric. I would lay awake at night imagining what my life would be like when a man committed to loving me forever would lay by my side.
I don’t exactly know why my infatuation with this way of life was so strong. All I know is that it was real. The only thing I can think of is that The Lord was preparing my heart to be stolen at a very young age. He was preparing me to be involved in a real, raw relationship at the same time as most (and myself) were learning how to make their way through college courses.
Today, I am learning to do life with another, and it is definitely not always easy. But I can genuinely say that The Lord has been preparing me for this kind of community since day one. So here it is. Marriage. A little of the “good,” a little of the “bad,” and a lot of the beautiful.
- I have someone to share my life of superhero TV shows with.
- I have a constant cuddle buddy.
- He makes me feel funny when I’m for sure not.
- His love for driving outweighs my hatred for it.
- There is double the laundry to do.
- I have to remind him of lots and lots of things.
- Every decision made must be done with someone else in mind.
- My next life move will be determined by him.
My initial inclination is to look at these and other aspects of my new married life and define them by my own comfort. You see, it is so natural that I have love for having a best friend by my side always. It makes sense that I enjoy having an encourager and a chauffeur and a warming spirit to hold me through the good and bad moments alike.
It also makes sense that I become annoyed I by having to do double the laundry twice as often. It makes sense that I dislike having to work my schedule around him or having to move away from my home because of his job or that I have to remind him things I think he should already know. My inclination is to dislike what is uncomfortable. My sin nature tells me that these things are not natural. I am young. Should I not spend time chasing my own aspirations?
But when I put away these notions, I come to a stark realization: Both the good and the bad make this journey far more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.
It only proves the point that The Lord has been showing me so vividly in the last few months. We are created for community. Let me be clear. Community does not always look like a marriage. I do believe that God prepared me for this relationship so specifically, but that does not mean that it is what He is preparing everyone for in this moment. Community can look like family, friends, co-workers, and for followers of Jesus, the Church. By doing life with others, others we recognize are not perfect, we are so much more inclined to put our trust in the only One who truly is perfect.
There are two truths we have to hold fast to in the relationships we hold.
- He/She is not going to complete me.
- This relationship will be used to refine me.
Doing life with someone does not mean weighing the best and worst parts to figure out if it’s something worth our time. It is looking at these two aspects and recognizing that no matter how amazing or hard this relationship may be, it is being beautifully used to strengthen our own walks. Yes, there is more laundry to do, but it is teaching me humility in the minor tasks. Yes, I have to help him in areas he falls short, but what I reminder that I too, and more often, fall short. Yes, I have to put my own plans and desires on the back burner, but I also get to see someone the love of my life thrive.
None of these things are of my own doing, but of my Savior’s provision. And through all the trials marriage my bring, God has been so faithful to show me what He is doing in both Austin’s life, my life, and our life together.