I’ve been thinking about marriage a lot lately. Our first child to reach adulthood, our son, was married two years ago. Then this past year our eldest daughter married. Almost as close to home…almost…we will attend our nephew’s wedding next month. Weddings are an awesome time to see the beauty of marriage in all its glory. But weddings are just a snapshot. Is it possible for such marital bliss to remain?

It doesn’t seem like it, does it? With celebrity marriages lasting months now (rather than the short number of years we used to expect) and the divorce rate in the church not being much better than the world’s, one would think this is an institution to be avoided at all cost. I mean who signs up to fail?

If you haven’t checked out this video of Ian and Larissa yet, I’d encourage you to. While it may not represent the norm, it certainly gives us something to aspire to…an example of the beauty and the mystery of marriage…a picture of selflessness…and a story that illustrates the things that matter most about marriage and relationships in general.

My wife and I celebrated our 25th anniversary this year and I’ve gotta say that it just keeps getting better. We are SO looking forward to the next 25. Things haven’t always been perfect but they’ve always made us better and stronger. We decided a long time ago to stay together no matter what and to work through any difficulties or even tragedies…together. When we made that decision it was pollyanna at her best. We had no idea how many curveballs life could throw or just how much it could sometimes hurt…or how much we could hurt each other. Financial calamities, unsought career changes, the loss of children, dangerous health concerns, heck, even deportation by foreign governments. Life is a roller coaster…full of peaks and valleys. In the end though, there is nothing sweeter and no moment more restful to my soul than walking that path with my soulmate, holding hands, snuggling together, and smiling at each other. I see that same joy and peace in Ian and Larissa against even more stark circumstances.

Yep, marriage is beautiful…and mysterious. Ian and Larissa reminded me of that today. May the Lord continue to bless their marriage…and ours.

Advertisements
sometimes, you have to wait

sometimes, you have to wait

I used to think I had a boring testimony. I grew up with wonderful, Christian parents. I walked the aisle when I was about 10 after having a strong call to missions. Unlike many of the people I knew from youth group, I never really wavered from my faith. I had doubts, sure, who doesn’t? But there’s never been a time I did not believe there was a God who cared about me. I didn’t rebel. I have often asked my parents what they DID to me to make me not want to be bad? They don’t know. I wish they did!

While Mr. V and I have never had tons of money, we’ve always had enough. We never went through a period where we had to eat ramen noodles. We’ve never argued significantly. While we went through a short period of infertility, it was not too awful. We’ve had a very happy five years and have a beautiful, healthy daughter.

At Thanksgiving, when Mr. V still had no job interviews lined up for January, I remember thinking, “Well, we’ve not had any hard times in our marriage so far. Maybe this is it.”

And it is.

Not that our marriage is not wonderful, but situationally it has just been a difficult nine months.

Mr. V applied for many college teaching positions–many much closer to our parents–and got not one interview. We felt so desperate. He then applied to many private high schools in Nashville. He had one interview. They hired someone else the next day.

But God had something better planned for us. Through the Southern Teachers Agency, a very prestigious school pursued him and hired him almost immediately (one MUCH better than the one he interviewed at here).

We had always assumed we would be moving after five years. And then we thought, hey, maybe we won’t have to! And then, ooh, yep, we do. So our house didn’t go on the market until the second week of June and Mr. V needed to be in Chattanooga middle of August.

Needless to say, it hasn’t sold. We’ve had a small handful of showings and nothing to show for it except a pretty clean house containing a lonely mother and her ten-month-old baby.

I want so, so badly for our house to sell so I can quit my job, go be a stay-at-home mom and freelancer, and be with Mr. V in Chattanooga. I let that get to me. A LOT! It’s a daily struggle to not whine continuously and wonder why on earth God would be “doing this to me.”

I can’t tell you how many Sunday School lessons and sermons I’ve heard on patience in the last few months. (This morning, visiting a church in Chattanooga, included.) And Mr. V and I believe it when God promises He will work all things for good. That He has a plan for us. That to Him, one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day.

We’re convinced that God will move me and Libbie to Chattanooga at the exact right time for His plan. Maybe there is a reason I need to be here. Maybe there is a reason I need to move there at some particular time. Either way, we are 100% sure God will allow it to happen in His time if we listen to His Word and obey. Bemoaning all the time I have to be apart from Mr. V does no good. I need to relish God’s plan and delight myself in Him.

Perhaps it’s all a big lesson in patience, faith, and God’s timing. Something I need to learn. And if this is the way for God to knock it into my thick head, I’m OK with that. Because I believe He loves me. Just like sometimes I need to tell Libbie “no” for her own good, sometimes He needs to say, “Not now, dear one. Wait.”

Originally published at Vanderbilt Wife