I still can’t believe I’m married, let alone celebrating three months of marriage today! Never would I have imagined the story God has written for my life and/or the events leading up to October 25, 2020 (my wedding day). I met Matt (my husband) in September 2019 after only living in New Jersey for a month. After about two months of friendship and some fun dates, he asked me to be his girlfriend. And after eight months of being his girlfriend, he asked me to be his fiancé. After three months of being his fiance, I became his wife. I know many would say we are in our “honeymoon phase” of marriage, but truly, it’s been the sweetest three months of my life.
MARRIAGE IS A GIFT FROM GOD
I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get married and frankly there were times when I didn’t know if I even wanted to! Once I became a Christian at 24, I wanted to dedicate my life to telling others about the truth, hope, and freedom of Jesus. I thought a spouse could possibly be a distraction. BUT the more I learned about the covenant between God and His people, as well as the beauty and joy of marriage and family, there was a part of me that desired to have that. I grew up in a difficult home with multiple divorces and lots of instability. I hadn’t really experienced what a healthy marriage or family looked like until I started hanging out with families at my church. And after babysitting and dinners at these families’ houses, I knew I wanted those things and that they were good gifts from above. It’s so weird to think that nowadays if you’re a woman and desire a husband and children, it can be looked at as a “weakness” because we are supposed to be “strong, independent women who don’t need a man.” But why? Before I was a Christian, I used to buy into that narrative for a sense of identity and worth, but I was so wrong. I love having a husband and being his wife and cooking, cleaning, and serving him because I love him. He loves me SO WELL and my natural response is to do the same. He is my lover, my protector, and my best friend. He’s my partner in this life to help me, correct me, embrace me, and lead me. He is by far God’s greatest gift to me outside of salvation; marriage is such a gift.
Trust God with a future spouse
Thinking through these past three months, I’ve also been reflecting on the waiting/hoping for marriage season. I’d love to write more on singleness (stay tuned for future blog posts). But I’ll be real and say that it was a rollercoaster at times! FRIENDS, I didn’t meet Matt until I was 32!!! Which I know isn’t as old as I’m making it out to be, but when most of your friends around you are getting married and poppin’ out kids, it can be discouraging. However, I will say if I didn’t have those many (and I do mean many) years of singleness, I don’t think I’d be as close to Jesus as I am, or have as deep of an affection for His Word. Being single gives you a lot more freedom in stewardship of time (which can be good or bad). But during my single years, I am SO THANKFUL I gave much of my time to my church, education, family, friends, mentoring young women, leading Bible studies, mission trips, apologetics, etc. I really think the Lord used those areas to help in my sanctification (i.e. being made more into the image of Jesus). But do you know what else helped in my sanctification? Bad dates and failed relationships.
Let me tell you, dating kinda sucks in 2019+!!! If you’re reading this and have been married for 5+ years, you may not get what I mean. So let me explain – All the dating apps and websites, the wishy-washy, social-media infused dating experience can be just terrible. If you were sitting across from me on my couch right now, I’d have plenty of stories to tell you, just ask my friends Whitney or Taylor. BUT, to be an encouragement to any single friends reading this, there ARE incredible, godly men (and women) out there! They could be on the dating site, or they could be at your church, but they are there!! Since my job for literally 5 years was to meet people and still did not meet my spouse, I was pretty discouraged. Yes, I was on staff at a church and it was literally part of my job to meet new people at weekend services. For a while I struggled with “There really must be something wrong with me..” But then I would get the confusing question people asked me “How are you still single?” Which gave me some sense of relief that maybe I am normal and it wasn’t my fault. LOL (not joking) But after many heartbreaks and disappointments of falling in love with the idea of someone, I finally started to realize that the answer to how or why I was still single is: the sovereignty of God.
Proverbs 19:21 – Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
Proverbs 16:33 – The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.
Lamentations 3:37-38 – Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?
Matthew 10: 29-31 – Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Yes, I believe it was God’s gracious, loving, perfect plan that kept me spouse-less for all those years. He is my loving Father and no good thing does He withhold from me (Psalm 84:11), and the reality is, if I didn’t have it, it wasn’t a good thing for me at that time (no matter how much I thought otherwise). And although I think I stewarded much of my single years well, there were some very hard times when I felt deep despair and doubt. BUT God being richin mercy kept me close to Him (even when I didn’t feel Him at times). I love Ephesians 1:11-12: “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.”
So whether married, single, widowed, divorced, childless, or a house full of crazy children – TRUST IN THE LORD ALWAYS. Even when things feel horrendous and out of control and you want to give up, CLING TO THE GOSPEL. Jesus promised to never leave us nor forsake us and as women of the truth, we must trust in the truth of the gospel above everything else.