Monday, July 7, 2014
Why Marriage Does Not Mean My Life is Over
I do not wish to start an argument or step on any toes here. I do not need to justify my joy in finding my husband that God created for me at a ‘young’ age. But I do want to write a few thoughts out, so that I can fully explain my reaction to the assumption that marriage is ‘settling’ and that this ‘settling’ is a bad thing. These thoughts have been running through my head for the past year because of various conversations.
I am a Christian. A true Jesus follower, who reads the Bible and tries to live by it, with the help of the Holy Spirit. My Bible tells me that marriage brings challenges. That I must not idolize my husband and that having a husband does not change the fact that God is the number 1 priority in my life.
I also read that my purpose in life is to glorify and serve God. If I choose to have a husband on this earth, I must continue in my purpose to glorify and serve God. Husbands do not change this purpose.
Tripp and I were created separately by God but with the purpose of being united together as one with Him. I truly believe this. When we both came to this realization (at different times might I add), we prayed together and separately, we asked friends to pray, we discussed with our most trusted friends and our families and we decided to become one through a God-ordained marriage. This decision was not made lightly. We did not rush but we also knew it was not right to wait. We both knew we were made specifically for each other. I was made to be Tripp’s helper and Tripp was made to lead me as God leads him. We were both made to glorify and serve God in all that we do, including in our marriage. Why put off God’s perfect plan? We wanted to please Him and it pleased Him to join us together as one, in the order and timing He planned for us.
Marriage is not easy and ours is nowhere near perfect. We are not constantly happy. But honestly, our happiness should not be the goal of our marriage. Serving God, finding joy in all situations, glorifying God, these are the goals of everything in life, including marriage. We don’t have everything figured out and there are some issues we struggle with. But these trials are filled with blessings and we both understand that our happiness is an earthly, temporary emotion. We must instead focus on finding God’s joy and feeling His peace in every situation.
Soon after marriage, we made the decision to buy a house. Again, this decision was not made lightly and was not rushed. We prayed, talked to trusted friends and family, etc. God led us to the perfect house and allowed for the process to finish smoothly and right within our budget. That was not an earthly phenomenon; that was God-ordained. Buying a house does not mean we can never, ever travel anywhere ever again. Getting married does not mean we can never, ever travel again. It just means that we have a partner to travel with and a place to call home when we are ready to rest and feel a sense of stability. Tripp and I both value a sense of stability.
I have been to various parts of Texas, Utah, Idaho, California, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Kentucky, and Canada. I have visited New York City, New Orleans, Yellowstone park, Biloxi Mississippi, Chicago. I have been to Africa. Tripp has traveled as well. God opened an opportunity for Tripp to teach in Andrews. He opened up an opportunity for us to buy a house in Murphy. We feel a sense of peace and belonging in this area. I feel there is a bigger purpose He is preparing me for in this area, while I am also finding smaller ways to serve and grow right now. I want to have a family in the near future and I want to raise them in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. Of all of the places I have visited and lived in, this is the place that feels like home.
In all of this, my happiness is not the goal of the decisions being made. I did not get married to be happy. I did not buy a house to be happy. I am prayerfully making these big (and small) decisions so that God will lead me to the places He wants me to be and to fulfill the purposes He has for me. My life is not my own. I am God’s creation and servant. I may not always remember this, but it is always true.
Nothing Without Him