Friday, February 10, 2017

Four Years

Our fourth year of marriage began roughly. Circumstances were such that we were inundated with many unexpected and difficult decisions. These things were taxing on each of us personally and even moreso on our marriage. There was a point when we just released our inability to change the circumstances, as well as our inability to alter our own hearts and mind towards each other. It felt like it put our lives on an unhappy and exhausted standstill. Then, spring unfolded and, with it, came a peace. A genuine peace. Not a temporary calm, but an assurance in our hearts that the trial we just walked through, as well as the many ones before that and the ones far off on the horizon, are given to serve us, to humble us, to change us. It is a frightening thing to be humbled and to face the reality that you can or will be changed. And, yet, that is the very thing our Creator comes to do. Not with rough hands and a grim demeanor, but He does so as a Father who beams with delight with just one glance at His children and then, patiently, gently, but reverently, begins the work of refining, which we, as most children do in the smallness of our minds, perceive as unfair, harsh, or controlling. But to receive His wisdom is the only path to lasting freedom and joy. Freedom is choosing to trust the finished work of Christ as presently and always relevant to every step of our human journey, and to trust Who God says He is and who He says we are (He names and gives us our identity), not who we or others think or say He is or as we regard ourselves. Those small, seemingly feeble steps and choices to trust Him do hurt. They hurt because to trust an invisible God was never meant to be easy for our human faculties. Yet, every weak step is rejoiced over by Him and He never ceases to lavish grace upon grace over us. That describes the months that followed our trials. Ever so slowly, His grace proved sufficient for us. And through that grace, Nolan and I found each other again in the simple, ordinary day-to-day activities of life. It was nothing grand or miraculous that occurred to reverse the shadowed moments to a suddenly light and sweet season. We have been blessed by being humbled and it has, surprisingly to us, all the more deepened our marital love, mutual respect, and care for each other.

It has always been my one passion and objective to be completely transparent about our marriage (in a respectful and discreet manner, of course). Inspired by other couples who have chosen to do the same, it's always been my heart to share not merely for the sake of sharing, but to allow the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be revealed in an ordinary and imperfect marriage. It is never my aim to be perceived or thought of as a couple who has "arrived" at a totally ideal, blissful, and easy marriage that somehow flows harmoniously all the time. Nolan and I are two strong-willed, fiery-spirited humans and what is ever harmonious about two human beings learning to become One in every aspect? I expect that we've yet to face our hardest trials. But, for now, here we are. We've reached the 4 year mark. Such a small number, but one brimming with experiences and learning. I thank my husband today for choosing me, not just on that glorious fairy-tale day four years ago, but now, this day, too.

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