Tuesday, October 1, 2013

We Made It!

September. The official first month of my favorite season, the bane of school children, and the month that everything changed.

When I say that everything changed, I don't mean that almost everything changed, or that it was a big change in my life, but no big deal, no I mean quite literally that absolutely everything in my life changed. I'm telling you, NOTHING about Texas is the same as North Carolina, especially the BBQ.

Now as I reach the one year mark, I wanted to take some time and reflect upon my first year of married life. 

First of all, I still miss home. In fact, I think I miss it more now than I did when I first moved here. I miss it more now, because looking back on the year I can see how uninvolved I am now in my parents lives, my brothers and my best friend's life. I miss it more now, because I can appreciate now what I had because I no longer have it. I think I will always miss home. I'm just a sentimental person, and our family is so close, it is hard to realize that their lives are no longer a part of mine. It's part of life though isn't it? I have to leave my family and cleave to my husband as we form our own home and our own family.

Our own family. That has been the biggest struggle of this year. My husband and I have hit the one year mark of our marriage, and the dreaded one year without conception mark. It is painful, even now, to think about it, and to write about it. Never did I think that I would ever face this predicament. God has seen us through. I have had some very sad days, and a very heavy heart, but still God is good. He has a reason for withholding conception, and we just have to trust Him completely.

I have learned many lessons this year, through this trial, but also just in general:

Lesson 1: 
 I have learned, this year, that trusting, hoping, and having faith does not necessarily mean happiness. I can trust, and have faith, and still be sad, still ache, still long and yearn. If I let those emotions turn into anger, bitterness, and cynicism, then my heart is sinful.

OH! How I want a child of my own! But OH, how much more I want God. Sometimes it's the most painful things in your life that drive you to Him.

Lesson 2:
Never have I seen how much I need Him more than I have this year. Never have I so often faced my weaknesses and my sins.
And the more clearly you can see the depths of your sin, the more clearly you will see the glory in the cross! 

Lesson 3:
I have learned this year just how selfish I can be, and just how ungrateful I can be. Gratefulness is and contentedness were hard lessons to learn. But not so hard when you see what wonderful blessings you have. Speaking of blessings....my sister and her husband and their children.


Living down the street from Evangeline has been just a blessing and a gift. God knew I would need some family to get me through the loneliness of moving to a new town and marrying my complete opposite. He knew I would need children, almost like my own, to comfort me through the difficulties of infertility. He knows all my needs, and how graciously He has provided. I have enjoyed my sister and her children so very much, and it has been the perfect comfort for me through some hard times.

My quiet time has been so important. I am so thankful that we have had a solid routine this year and that together we were able to read through the entire Bible. I could not persevere through change, conflict, and waiting without God's word reminding me that He is good, He is faithful, He loves me, and He is ENOUGH.

My husband is the greatest blessing of all. He is patient, so so patient. He is kind and understanding. He is tender. He has been there to listen, to hold me, to scratch my back in the middle of the night and to correct my bad behavior and praise the good. He has challenged me, and he has not coddled me in my sin. He has had high expectations of me and has made me see Christ more clearly. 

If I have learned anything this year, it's that my husband is an ever present, tangible reminder of the gospel. The more I get to know him, the more I am assured that I not only married the right person, but was given a gift beyond all expectations, that I can never deserve. He may be quiet and understated, but he has more passion for the gospel than anyone I've ever known. And so I celebrate. I celebrate the day that this amazing man kissed me on the lips for the first time, and made me his own. How proud I am to be his. How glad I am to belong. How blessed I am to spend my life serving Bruce.

I leave you with one piece of advice to engaged or newlywed girls:
TAKE ALL THOSE SILLY EXPECTATIONS INGRAINED INTO YOUR PSYCHE BY ROMANTIC BOOKS AND MOVIES AND THROW THEM IN THE GARBAGE! He's not going to read you poetry by firelight or save your life in the rain, but he will take out the trash, and he will stay up at night and listen to you, and he will hold you while you cry, and he will dance with you even when everything in him loathes it. Being married is the best. Enjoy it!