It’s been almost 7 months. And so fresh yet so natural. I know to those in the 20 year plus category, 7 months is like pocket change. But this has been a whirlwind of 7 months for us; beautiful peace and wonderful excitement at the same time.
God has been reminding me almost daily that this life we are making together and this love we share is a gift. I attended a woman’s event last night where the speaker talked of her pastor husband’s death 9 years ago. How she was alone, stripped of title, responsibility, life partner, purpose. In her story, she rose above her grief and now God is using her to minister to other ministry wives all over the country. She talked of life interruptions that come our way and send us on another life trajectory.
Sometimes in those story times my fleshly heart begins to panic. Oh no! What’s going to happen to me? To us? When? Then that gentle, quiet Love reminds me: enjoy the here, savor the now, cherish the present. I have my love with me to walk through life. Don’t ruin the now by wallowing in the “what if’s”. Whatever God allows is for His ultimate glory.
Last Sunday, Pastor talked about God’s glory. He debunked the idea that while Jesus was on the cross “He was thinking of you”. While it may not be entirely untrue, it is ever so narcissistic for us to think. He died for HIS glory so that those of us who would believe would glorify Him with our lives, to bring HIM glory knowing we did and deserved nothing. It was all His grace. I left that day feeling full, knowing IT WASN’T ABOUT ME.
This is also what gospel marriage is about. I am free to surrender in our marriage, sacrificially serving my husband the way the Church would serve Christ, making much of Him and not ourselves.
These last few months of marriage have often drug my ugly selfishness out. When I am emotional, I cry and I don’t know why, and I just want the hug of my momma and the laugh of my daddy. It’s hard to explain feelings to the young man placed as the head of your home. I say I can’t explain why I was mad we couldn’t eat out at Chili’s on Sunday, why I was mad that I was late to work and I didn’t like my outfit. Well, maybe I can, selfishness.
Yet he still washes dishes, he still makes my coffee, he still loves to hold me, he still surprises me with a date night. Serving me the way Christ served the Church. And when I find joy in folding his clothes, making dinner for the two of us, scrubbing the bathroom, picking up my clothes at night because I have a bad habit of leaving them out and he likes them put away, that is love, that is the gospel, that is sacrifice and joy. Love both ways.
Surrender of self is such a funny thing. When I give up on my selfishness and realize that God is out to make much of HIM, He knows that by surrender, I will be filled. This is pictured in a gospel marriage. And when those sad stories come I will learn to savor the here and now all the more, knowing that whatever comes in this life is for God’s ultimate glory. I will look at the little selfless things we do for each other daily as blessings of love and grace. And I will pray that it screams the gospel to the world.