Friday, June 20, 2008

10 Months Married!!!!!

Okay I’m a few days early… we’ll be 10 months married on June 25, but close enough right? So 10 months in, what have I learned, how have I changed, how has my love for my husband changed?

What have I learned?
-I’m not nearly as selfless as I thought, and am actually a pretty stinking selfish person
-I’m not nearly as good at serving others, encouraging others, and sharing as I thought
I really need the Lord and am so glad for His sacrifice, grace, love, mercy and forgiveness!!!!

I love how marriage is a chance to truly mimic God’s character to the one that we are closest with. To show unconditional love, faithfulness, forgiveness, grace, mercy, dying to self, and service to someone else even when they may be not doing the same for us. (admit it… we’re not perfect, we all have our moments where we can be a little hard to love). I’m looking forward to years of learning to submit my flesh to the Spirit to truly reflect that character to my husband (I’ll admit, I miss many opportunities currently). Marriage is definitely a purification process, at least if you allow it to be.

I’ve learned a lot about communication and healthy conflict within the dynamics of a relationship. I’ve learned that my husband needs encouragement from me and praise (which I’m not naturally so good at). I’ve learned that marriage is wonderful! That I love having a best friend and teammate to share everything with!

How have I changed?
-The single Shannon is gone, I have become one with my husband and that has changed of lot of who I was in my former self. God has miraculously knit me and Jeremy together and I have started to like things that he likes and vice versa, we share more of the same points of view and just feel like a unified unit instead of two individuals.
-I have grown closer to the Lord. The intricacy, intimacy, and trials of marriage can either push couples to the feet of their King for dependence and guidance or send them running away as they try to figure out how to make things work on their own and tackle marriage their way. Jeremy and I are absolutely focused on doing marriage God’s way, keeping Him in the center, and honoring Him through our marriage. In experiencing unconditional love from Jeremy and the character of God coming through in our marriage, I have come in know God in a whole new way. Jeremy is not only my best friend, but my spiritual partner. I love our conversations when we discuss spiritual things from the Kingdom of God, to the life and ways of Jesus and so on. Jeremy has a way of challenging me to think for myself and not just believe or recite what others tell me, but to really challenge things. Thank you for your time building into and discipling your wife darling!

How has my love for Jeremy changed?
-The first Bible study that I ever did was Falling in Love with Jesus by Dee Brestin and Kathy Troccoli. In the study it talked about three stages of our love with the Lord, and I think this apply to romantic relationships in marriage as well. For today’s purposes I’m going to talk about these stages as relating to dating/ marriage relationships, maybe one day I’ll do another blog on the actual study and relating these stages to our relationship with the Lord.

-Stage 1 First Love- This is the ooh ahh gone goo goo stage. There’s a girl in my Saturday morning girl’s group who has been out with a guy a couple times and she comes to group Saturday mornings with a perma grin on her face because she is just smitten over this guy. That is first love. You know when you can’t get enough of the person, you want to spend all of your time with them and you don’t really know each other yet so you have so much to talk about in person or over the phone. The conversation is endless as you are exploring who the other person is. (I remember the days where Jeremy and I would talk until 2 am and then I would still get up and go to work at 6 am the next morning… and we did this several nights a week).

-Stage 2 Wilderness Love- This stage may overlap some with stage 1 or 3 at times, but for the most part you are out in the wilderness. You have left the initial “exciting” period but haven’t quite made it into the comfortable, secure place yet. You may be experience conflict, boredom, change and adaptation as your relationship transforms and adjusts.

-Stage 3 Invincible Love- This is the secure stage of unconditional love. Where you can tell your partner ANYTHING, where you can truly be yourself, no matter who that is, in every sense of the good, bad and ugly and know that they still love you. You have security, healthy communication, healthy conflict, and a dynamic relationship that adjusts overtime as you two do. Your relationship has persevered through the trials of the wilderness and endured the storms and now you know that you are both committed and going to be there no matter what gets thrown your way.

I don’t know exactly when it happened, but I do know that Jeremy and I have crossed the line into invincible love. I’m sure it’s one of those things that if you don’t continue to invest in or work on you could be back in the wilderness before you know it, so I don’t want to get to cocky or carried away. I’m just happy that we’ve made it this far, and that I have a teammate who I love more and more each day and that both of us are absolutely dedicated and invested in making our marriage blossom.

As much as we all love to hear the captivating Jerry McGuire line “You complete me…” and then ooh and ahh afterwards that’s just bad theology. I was single, I was lost, I was saved, and I was complete in the Lord. I will say that Jeremy does make me a better person, that I do serve God better as a married couple than I did as a single, and that Jeremy pushes me towards Christ in ways that I hadn’t been pushed as a single (I had no idea of how much selfishes I was capable of and needed to lay before my King).

Baby I love you, you are an amazing man of God, and I’m so thrilled about spending the rest of our lives together!


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