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One day this woman will write a whole book about her life. You have NO IDEA how crazy and intense her upbringing was–and you wouldn’t know that if you met her, because her past is not her focus.
She has every right to be angry at God and at this world, and yet she isn’t.
She is one of the most genuine, loving, wise women I know, and even though we are so different* in so many ways, we also feel like we are soul sisters. If you ever get the opportunity to make her laugh (which isn’t difficult), the result is worth a listen.
Until you hear her chuckle, please read her words.
It was my senior year in college. Embracing a new journey at a leadership institute in Colorado, I was more excited about the mountain scenery than I was about the classes on marriage and family. Nonetheless, I knew God had directed me to take a semester away from my university studies to attend.
At that point in my life, I was deeply immersed in a life of church and ministry. Serving faithfully throughout high school and college, I took every Spring Break to plan and help lead a mission trip. God was the center of my world, and anyone looking at me from the outside would think I had it all together.
My first day in marriage class was a breeze. I tuned out nearly everything that was being discussed and sincerely felt bad for my female friends who expressed they wanted to get a “Mrs.” degree before college ended.
I thought my dreams, goals, and aspirations were much more “God-centered” than that.
I had convinced myself I was going to be the female version of the Apostle Paul (minus the killing of Christians part). At the ripe age of 21, I had experienced enough pain from broken marriages, seeing affairs, witnessing domestic abuse, etc., that marriage was not a risk I was willing to take. Not only that, but I did not see any up-side to making a lifelong commitment to another broken, sinful human being.
As I begrudgingly completed the homework assignments for marriage class, my professors would encourage me, and tell me how I would make a great wife someday. Their patience and kindness began to show me the staleness of my heart. Surely it was in in vain I had kept my heart pure.
Reading Scripture and for the first time truly comprehending God’s design for marriage helped me to understand why my parents’ divorce hurt me so much. It helped me understand how a person abusing their spouse is not reflective of Christ’s love for the church. It helped me grasp why the fear of abandonment was still paralyzing to me.
The “marriage” I was rejecting was not God’s script for marriage at all.
As I encountered this intersection in my walk with God, I found myself needing to make a decision. Was I going to continue to let my past dictate my future? Would I continue living out of fear, instead of hoping for something better than my parents had? Would I allow my heart to remain paralyzed? And, most importantly, did I want to discover God’s desires for me in this area? Would I acknowledge that being married is, indeed, a “God-centered” way of life?
I am still very much in the thick of this process.
God has been gracious to show me that His love is perfect, and He has demonstrated repeatedly that He promises to never leave me. That is His plan for marriage as a holy institution, and if He wills it for me, for my marriage. This journey has been painful, excruciating at times, but it will be worth it.
When God promises to give us the desires of our hearts, I want those to be His desires for me.
So yes, while I promote marriage around the world, I am also working on believing it for myself. I’m thankful for God’s grace and patience as He continues to reveal His truth about marriage. I may have started out as a “difficult student,” but I don’t give up easily.
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