The table bore witness to our whispers and yells. It caught my nervous tears and reached up to feel the grasp of forgiving and loving hands filled with warmth, hope, and trust. Our goals and dreams were established, not in stone but our hearts desire could easily compare. Nearly six months prior he had grasped my hand the same way, promising for better or for worse - richer or poorer. He is a planner, analytical, and thorough; I am the complete opposite - a dreamer. Time ticked by as we met over and over again on how to do this - make this marriage work. Somehow we had to combine goals, merge them into one - a dreamer and a goal keeper... one.
Expectations shattered into a million shards before us, leaving some wounds that would create beautiful scars. Three years and three months after our hearts bonded over the setting of the "goal contract" we checked the last off our list. The list consisting of both of us graduating from college, becoming debt free, buying a home, and then a "new-to-us-keep-for-a-long-time" vehicle.
As we walked arm-in-arm away from the dealership my heart danced for joy and my head ran wild in panic. We made it! Wait... what's next?
He wore his handsome confident smile as my eyes met his face because he knows me so well. He knows what I am thinking. He is like that, you see, he is always one step ahead of my constant desire to jump forward without looking at where I will land. His smile calms me, grounds me, quiets my soul. I trust him and know that he lives to please God. This does not make me a weak woman, no - it makes me stronger and more confident in the life that is before us... better or worse - richer or poorer.
This gift of goal reaching is beautiful. This gift of marriage, of being one with someone else and taking the clay from one heart adding the water from the other in order to mold the two hearts into one. This takes sacrifice. This is covered with God. Yes, the submitting, the encouraging, the forgiveness - the constant forgiveness. The I'm sorries - the humility. It's God. He teaches us in this, in these difficult tear wrenching, teeth gritting moments to find grace dust it off and behold it as a gift to the other. In the joyful, high-five, shut up and kiss me moments... and in the I'm sorry - you're forgiven ones as well, God is teaching, building, scraping, refining, reforming, and creating us to be more like him.
This is a gift.
For this we are thankful.
This is God in us.
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2
"As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance." 1 Peter 1:14