I have been thinking about starting a posting series on being a newlywed. I wasn't going to do it, but I was recently encouraged by a blogger that I have followed for a while to dive in, so I am. I think before I start talking about my life with Gus, I think it is important to share who I was before him.
I honestly don't remember what it felt like to be single, but I do know that I don't regret any of the time I spent single. I grew up in the church. I was always taught that there is an order to life. You graduate high school, date around, go to college, date around, then finally get married after graduating, and have babies. I however, skipped the dating part of that order. It's not that my parents didn't allow me to date, I just didn't have anyone around me really worth dating. I decided very early on (I think I was 12 or 13), that I was only going to date one person and get married. I wasn't going to put myself out there. I am a very passionate, all-or-nothing, type of person. When I go after something, I put my all into it. I knew myself, and I knew I could ruin myself in the dating scene, so I didn't date.
It was not easy, ever.
There were several insecurities, fears, doubts, etc. that were constantly pulling me in opposite directions. However, being single taught me that relationships were a gift, not just something that happen to those who are attractive enough to find someone just as attractive as them. I held on to dear life to the verse that says "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desire of your heart. Commit your ways to Him and He will do this." (Psalm 37:4, NIV)
It was the only thing I have ever really trusted God about whole heartedly. He definitely pulled through (as you know), and Gus was incredibly unexpected. When I met him I had gone through a whirlwind of trials at music school, and was doubting myself and my life. I was ready to pack my bags and go on a mission trip for the rest of my life (not kidding or exaggerating). I wanted the abundant life, even if it meant never getting married. At the time I met Gus I had no idea we would date. I just knew I thought he was the most attractive guy I had ever met, and totally out of my league.
A year and a half later we got married, which was awesome. I definitely did not date or get engaged the way I told everyone that I would, or the way I ever believed I would. I set my standards, expectations, and morals high, only to let them control me to the point that I am still crashing and burning daily.
Everyone will tell you to set your standards, goals, expectations and morals super high. Be above reproach, only settle for what is the best, etc. etc. I say that this is true and great, but only to a degree. I believe there is a healthy level of expectation, but you need to be expecting God will give you what He sees is best, not what you view as the best. Marriage is not about any type of fulfillment, it is about displaying the covenant Christ made for us. If you have set your standards and expectations in a high high place, they may be out of reach. Are you putting people in a box, not letting the Lord teach you things because you aren't meeting anyone perfect enough for you? Are you constantly fighting with him/her that you are in a relationship with, because he is not doing or saying what you see him doing and saying in your head? I would encourage you to commit those expectations to the Lord, instead of let them rip apart your life. I believe that although it was awesome for me to not date, I set my expectations way too high, because I believed I deserved a picture perfect life. Not that my life being married is not amazing, it just isn't always happy and pretty and filled with roses and chocolates. I want to share about newlywed life because I don't think the truth is being shared enough (in context of the grace of Jesus Christ), and I think setting expectations too high going into marriages is one of the main reasons marriages are failing so quickly in America. Praise the Lord that we have Him, and Gus and I don't ever need to worry about our marriage ever failing. I am very thankful for the gift of marriage Christ as given me. I hope you all feel blessed in your life, and stay tuned for more in this series.