I am writing today in my own little home, husband working in the next room over, surrounded by the abundant blessings we have been given. I don’t have to look far to find them. Just a glance down reveals evidence of our most prized blessing, our precious little one making his/her presence quite known in my swelling womb.
How much can change in a few months.
The woman who was used to working two jobs, volunteering for everything, getting away with sleeping the bare minimum, never home, doing all the things, and who was more firmly independent than she realized . . . well, she feels like a distant memory. Gone forever. In her place is a woman who is always tired and nauseous, has limited energy, thinks all food is yucky, is hopelessly emotional, considers having husband fed and dishes washed quite the accomplishment, and who is quickly learning to depend on her husband.
Granted, that’s mostly caused by said little blessing growing within. Turns out, my baby forgot about the whole “morning sickness ends and energy comes back” in the second trimester thing. And apparently wants lots of space in there, by the looks of me.
But, gone too is the woman who walked down the aisle, not so long ago. That day was magical, dreamy, so different from what I’d envisioned and yet so perfect. I thought I had a pretty realistic view, going into this whole marriage thing. And yet, just a few months in, already I can look back and smile at the naiveté of that radiant but idealistic bride.
Living together is different than spending time together at your family’s house. Having to make dinner every night has a different ring to it than getting to make him a special dinner here and there. Practicing submission and respect isn’t as simple as it seems. Working out financial decisions is somehow harder than talking about how you might handle finances. Sharing literally everything isn’t quite as romantic as it sounds (turns out, there’s more than one aspect of sleeping together, you have to share the covers and the bed all night too and not push each other off or steal all the blankets, lol).
It’s the little things, of course. It’s always the little things.
For you see, that bride who so joyfully made her vows while the sun broke through the clouds on that windy, stormy evening? There were a few other things she didn’t know.
She didn’t know how sweet it would be to wake up to her husband every day, and get to cuddle close to him. She didn’t know how the words “I love you” could only grow dearer. She didn’t know how special every kiss-for-no-reason could be. She didn’t know how even the simplest dinner, shared together in your own cozy house, could be better than the fanciest restaurant. She didn’t know how gracious and kind her husband could be when she was falling apart. She didn’t know how safe she was to be vulnerable. She didn’t know how necessary communication was nor what sweet intimacy it would lead to. She didn’t know how much her husband would love her changing figure from his child growing within her womb (even if she did have to laughingly tell him that since she got pregnant on their honeymoon, he would only ever have the body of the woman he married for a few weeks before it was forever changed).
Marriage is sweet, so much sweeter than I could have guessed.
I haven’t any grand words of wisdom. I’ve hesitated even to write on this blog lately. Marriage and motherhood are gifts and yet neither is easy. I feel fully unworthy of the blessings and wholly inadequate for the responsibilities. Plus, pregnancy fog is real, and I never feel 100% awake.
I also know that speaking of either aspect can be rather hard for my single friends to hear. I remember so well the difficulty of wanting to celebrate with my married friends, and yet wondering when/if it would ever be my turn to partake in that sort of bliss. Along with hearing them talk about the challenges of marriage and motherhood, and wanting to say “but at least you have a husband/baby; I wish so much that I could have those challenges too”.
We’re irrational creatures, we humans, perhaps especially the female ones. Here I am, having what I longed for, and as it turns out, the struggles of before are still present, just in a new set of circumstances. Everybody told me that before, but still, it is different to experience yourself than it is to hear of another’s experience.
So I’m not going to slip into any long lectures. I feel fully out of my league. I don’t know how to do this thing called life, especially life as a wife and mother. These last 9 months or so, since I started dating my now-husband, have only shown me how much more I have to learn, how greatly sanctification is needed in my life, how very needy of God’s grace I really am.
Circumstances change. The entire world feels uncertain right now. But for those of us who are in Christ, our foundation hasn’t changed. “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable” (Is. 40:28). From everlasting to everlasting, He is God (Ps. 90:2). He is a God “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ps. 86:15). “This God – His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him (Ps. 18:30).
I don’t know what changes you’re currently experiencing, or what changes your heart is deeply longing for. I don’t know what may be making you feel out of your league today. I don’t have any solutions – but I know the One who does. And so I will close this little “life update” post with the reminder that I have been preaching to myself for years that I have never needed more than now. Look to Him and be radiant, knowing that it is only His grace that will set free you from shame and equip you to live for His glory. Pursue Christ. Remember the truth of the gospel.
I love this little song, so simple and yet it reminds me of what I so easily forget: “Holy God in love became Perfect Man to bear my blame, on the cross He took my sin, by His death I live again.” (“The Gospel Song” by Sovereign Grace Music).
We never outgrow the Gospel. Always it is by the finished work on the cross that I stand righteous in His sight, never by my own works. Always it is by His death that I live again, and “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” (Gal. 2:20-21)
Let’s stay planted there, shall we?