March 30th, 2019 was by far one of the greatest days of my life and the most empty.
To preface the reader,
My husband is the greatest
Marriage is amazing (when used for God’s purpose)
God is to be praised for my heartache poured out below…
In the beginning of my engagement season, I knew my wedding day wasn’t going to be Pinterest-board worthy. I knew that it wouldn’t be my dream wedding and that I would be disappointed, regretful, and dissatisfied in the moment, but I would laugh later at the things that went “wrong” in my eyes. In the 5 months prior to my wedding day, I spent my time planning, preparing, praying, calling, questioning, booking, reading, seeking counsel, and waiting. I decided on details that I had to keep telling myself was for ONE DAY. Over and over I reminded myself of God’s promise that worldly joys are temporary, true satisfaction is in Christ alone, and the wedding was just the beginning of my marriage, not a happily ever after, roll the credits, type of ending.
The dress, the flowers, the food, the cake, the venue, and the man. It was exactly what I had hoped for and nothing I expected. I had just married my best friend! Yet leaving my wedding reception on the day I looked forward to for the majority of my life pinched me numb with a joy I had never felt before. Almost like when you’ve just scorched your tongue from coffee and continue to drink despite not being able to taste it.
Was I hungry? (I did only take a couple bites of my food. )
Was I tired? (I mean I had been awake since 5 am functioning on about 4 hours of sleep.)
Was it the reality that I was going to have to share a bathroom with a BOY for the rest of my life?
Whatever it was, it was a huge weight sitting in the pit of my stomach as I rode off into a cold, windy, overcast sunset.
March 30th, 2019 was by far one of the greatest days of my life and the most empty.
The Day After
Yet, on March 31st, 2019, our first official day as Mr. & Mrs. Allen, I sat across from my very best friend in the whole wide world and yet, felt all alone. All the attention Terence and I were receiving faded away and everything fell silent. No more bridal showers, brunches, or bachelorette parties, the countdown clock had run out. When it all boiled down it was just him and I. My life drastically changed in a matter of hours and the emotion I experienced jammed my thoughts and left me feeling dizzy. Good dizzy? Bad dizzy? Who knows? I would have been absolutely content with moving away and starting from scratch a whole new life with Terence, and to some extent, there WAS a new life awaiting me, just not the way I expected.
On top of this, I felt exposed. I was in a hotel, surrounded by strangers, and it felt like all eyes were on me. Like, “just married” was written on my forehead and empty cans were tied to my feet. The excitement of what happened the day before was slowly fading away and anxiety set in.
Was it everything I hoped it to be?
Did our guests enjoy themselves? (I really hope my polaroid guest book was successful.)
Did we get enough pictures?
Maybe I should have had the reception at a different location?
I was replaying over and over every moment and every decision that in my mind I could have made better. I was reanalyzing and reassessing every detail, rethinking all the ways the day could have been better, and ticked all the ways it went wrong. I was driving myself c r a z y… Unknowingly, I placed expectations on my wedding day that were revealed after the noise grew quiet.
It is so easy to get caught up in the glamour of a wedding, that we ignore the gunk marriage brings out
I’ve realized now, the wedding day is just what the enemy wanted me to focus on to disguise the BEGINNING as the END. In John 10:10, Jesus warns us that the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy and that only through being saved by Him, we have life and life abundantly. Satan’s intention was to distract me from the true joy that sat before me; from the true reason of why I now had two rings on my finger: Jesus’ love for Terence and I. God loves us so much He tied us to one another so that we would know His love in a deeper way. The picture that marriage portrays is a deep desire that Jesus has for us. As the Father is one with the Son, so two(male and female) become one; but it’s not God’s intention to make Terence and I a better couple…it’s to reveal the need of a love only supplied through the cross Jesus bore on our behalf.
God-ordained marriage is to be a sacrificial covenant between a man and a woman. To show the two the relationship between Jesus and the Church. That His gospel may be understood deeply by the two, that his glory may be displayed by the two, and that two sinners would pour out grace upon grace to one another from the source it flows abundantly from. His greatest commandments are the very foundation they are called to stand upon, to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love their neighbor, in this case spouse, more than themselves (Matt. 22:37).
And Every Day Until…
It is so easy to get caught up in the glamour of a wedding, that we ignore the gunk marriage brings out, especially the gunk it brought up from my own heart. My selfish desires and sinful ways are being broadcast live for Terence to see everyday. I would write them all out but ONLY Jesus got time for that… So to sum it up, I am a sinner with a heart condition only cured by the grace of Jesus Christ, not by “I dos” and a smooch. Being married to Terence has revealed that I need a Savior. I need Jesus to help me love him, and he needs Jesus to help him love me, not just in the beginning but every day that I wake up as Mrs. Allen. By relying on the Father, I relate to Terence knowing I can’t satisfy him.
The Father satisfies. Christ is the ultimate spouse, partner, protector, healer, and comforter. Terence can’t be the captor of my heart, but the reminder of who wove it together from the beginning. Despite our imperfect love for others, God will never leave us, nor forsake us. He doesn’t react out of defense when we get upset with Him, He sees all our flaws, failures, and farts and loves us still. He is gentle and assertive. He loves us perfectly even when we don’t understand what He’s doing. He sacrificed Someone He loved very much so that we would be with Him (John 3:16). He loves us BECAUSE He loves us. (No typo here, the reason God loves us is because He does!!) We don’t have to earn it, nor do we have to pay it back in full, it is freely given. Christ brought me into marriage to shine a light where it was dark. I am not meant to be independent nor dependent on Terence, but to look to the Father for help, in hurt, and for healing.
To the Soon-to-be Brides:
I pray that your day is magical, filled with a joy that only God can give through marriage, but I pray that you NEVER wish to go back to it. I pray that you look back at your wedding day and reminisce on the joy that God brought you two into, but most importantly the joy of marriage God will keep you two in. God will KEEP your marriage. God will SUSTAIN your marriage. God will be GLORIFIED through your marriage. God merely begins the work in you and your husband on your wedding day and He is faithful to see His work through. I pray He makes each day better than the day before, not because you play dress up, pamper yourself, or dance the night away; but because God, through His word, His holy teaching, is pruning and molding you to serve, honor, respect, and submit (yep I said it) to a man who leads, loves, cherishes, and who WILL grind your every gear. Only God, being rich in love and mercy, grants us the ability to humbly sacrifice our desires and wants for a man He’s called us to marry.
To all the Single Ladies:
If you believe anything, believe this, you are loved, cared for, and heard. You are wanted, cherished, and desired. Maybe not by an earthly man, but by a Perfect Man who laid His life down to meet all your needs.
I’m so so so sorry if you’ve ever felt that you’re on the clock to get married and your time is running out. I am so sorry if you’ve ever felt that marriage is something you have to attain. I am so sorry if you’ve ever felt that marriage is the end goal when in fact it is the beginning of something challenging and humbling. I’m especially sorry if you’ve felt that marriage is a place you’ll never be in, because that is not true. As cheesy as it sounds, you are right where God has you!
Through marriage God is teaching me to die to myself, to die to my wants, to die to my desires and cherish another human life more important than my own, and it is HARD. It’s not all roses as a wedding makes it seem. God is teaching me that my choices no longer, nor ever did, revolve around me, which I made them out to be in my single life. God has graciously opened my eyes to see that I desperately need Him in my marriage, in my job, with my friends, with my family, and ultimately my heart. That may not be the lesson He’s teaching you. You may be content exactly where you are and for that God has you in completely different circumstances, not good or bad, just different.
Hear me out, I believe God can use you in a greater way than He can use me. My time is divided in such a way that when I get home I can’t just leave the scraps of my day for Terence. It requires boundaries to be set in order to give him the same energy I would give any relationship, job, or, especially, my intimacy with God. From a different angle, I have to divide my time in more directions to cultivate and grow my marriage, that means less time with my family, friends, and my job. I can’t give my all to one place or else I’ll have nothing for Terence when I get home. If you believe anything, believe this, you are loved, cared for, and heard. You are wanted, cherished, and desired. Maybe not by an earthly man, but by a Perfect Man who laid His life down to meet all your needs.
With a year behind me, I definitely can’t consider myself “wise” when it comes to marriage, but I sure have felt pulled and stretched in ways I can’t deny. I wrote this mostly for my own heart and to have in writing a memory of God’s goodness to His relationship with me. I also wrote it for any reader to know that God satisfies any heart, in times of expected joy, unexpected sorrow, or the confused thing I had going on. Through and through God remains the constant source of life and He gives it abundantly.
Meet with Him, seek His glory, and share what He’s done through Jesus Christ YOUR Lord. May God bless you with Himself,