Our whole lives we’re sold “happily ever after”, time and time again.
In the movies. On TV. On Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube.
I’ve heard talk about Prince Charming, “The One”, my “soul mate”. Even in church, I’ve been told that God is designing the PERFECT man for me. That there is ONE out there who will complete me.
And while I’ve always rolled my eyes at these concepts, I failed to realize how much they were etching their way into my thoughts and heart.
I’ve been in a relationship with Jeremiah for 15 months. And I’ve known I wanted to spend my life with him for 6. We’ve navigated the highs and lows of dating. We’ve stumbled and struggled…a lot. We’ve had great victories and highs. We’ve cried some, laughed often, bickered more, and smiled the most. We’ve supported one another in the struggles of building our careers. We’ve each seen financial blessings at times and we’ve each been broke-as-a-joke at times. We’ve been faithfully committed to one another and held one another accountable to purity. We’ve wrestled conviction and repented openly to one another. We’ve praised and worshipped together, we’ve struggled and sinned together, we’ve crawled back to the foot of the cross together. We’ve fallen in love with one another’s families, we’ve wasted days away dreaming of our own future family. We’ve worked out together, vegged out together, and rocked out together. We’ve worked through book studies with one another, traveled with one another, been beyond annoyed with one another. We’ve comforted one another, danced with one another, and respected one another. We’ve navigated through this past year and ultimately, every day, chosen to grow in love with each other.
And yet when Jeremiah took a knee and asked me to be his wife, I immediately doubted my answer.
I know I’m not the only girl in the world who has cried tears of joy with a new ring on her finger while wrestling the overwhelming weight of the “yes” that just escaped her lips. I know I’m not the only girl who’s mind began spinning when the hypothetical dreams became the reality of the moment. I know I’m not the only girl who wondered why her “fairy tale” moment wasn’t as ridiculously blissful and simple as the 400,000 movies made it seem. And I know I’m not the only girl who has ever felt guilty for even harboring this range of emotion.
But the fact of that matter is that as soon as the boyfriend I cherish became the fiancé I promise to cherish for the REST OF MY LIFE, my human nature began to doubt. And I began to realize how much my mind and heart had been crafted by the world, rather than the Word.
You see, the world says there is a soul mate. The world says there is a Prince Charming. The world says there is a PERFECT PERSON for you out there and if you find him, you will live happily ever after. If you marry the wrong one, it’s not the end of the world, you can just divorce him and continue the hunt for the man made JUST for you. The man who will always make you happy. But if you want the least amount of hassle possible, make sure you find the perfect one the first time around.
The world says the person should be perfect for YOU. The ring should be perfect for YOU. The proposal should be perfect for YOU. The wedding should be perfect for YOU. And the Pinterest world will certainly praise YOU. (If you manage to host the perfect barn wedding, that is.)
But the WORD says it has nothing to do with you. The Word says the covenant of marriage has everything to do with God. The Word says the journey of navigating a lifetime promise has everything to do with Jesus. And the only thing perfect for YOU in the equation is grace.
You see, my mind doubted because I was weighed down with the fear of making the wrong choice. Maybe Jeremiah wasn’t “The One”. How would I know for sure? There are things we disagree on. There are things about him that don’t always make me happy. It’s been a challenge, at times, loving him. And I KNOW it’s been a challenge for him to love me. Maybe we’re just compatible and I’m making the wrong decision. How do I know, for sure, that he is my soul mate?!
But maybe we’ve got it all backwards. Marriage is a covenant–a promise–to God that you vow to love another like Christ first loved us. In the most intimate, challenging, all-inclusive way. A vow to become one flesh with another person. To serve them and selflessly love them as Christ served and selflessly loved us to the cross. To carry their burdens. To take the lashes of their shortcomings. To bear the taunting of their sins and struggles. To put them before yourself to the point of brokenness, so that we can ultimately rise, just as our King did, in love. With a greater understanding of the magnitude of the Gospel. With a greater appreciation for the power of what Jesus did on our behalf.
Marriage is a taste. A tiny, intimate taste, of God’s love for us. It is a promise that is not taken lightly because, ultimately, it is a promise to accept another and love another like God loves us, daily. It is nothing we can even come close to doing on our own. And THAT is the joy of saying “yes” to the proposal. Not that we have found the “perfect person”, but that we are a step closer to drawing back a layer and getting to see God’s perfect love played out in a beautiful way in our lives.
I am excited about marrying Jeremiah because he is NOT the perfect man for me. And I am NOT the perfect woman for him. But we are both committed to following the PERFECT King who showed us the perfect example of how to love.
It is overwhelming, to me, that God would allow me–messy, baggage-carrying, selfish, emotional me–to have the honor and privilege of loving and caring for His sweet child, Jeremiah. I know that the minute I believe I’m capable of selflessly and unconditionally loving J, I will fail. But it brings the sweetest joy to my heart to know that I don’t have to go at it alone. That God is with me. God is with us. And through Him, all things are possible.
“Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible. But with God all things are possible.” -Matthew 19:26
P.s. That’s my long-winded way of excitedly sharing…We’re engaged! Haha. PUMPED!
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