In my own life, I always wish that someone would've told me that marriage would be the most challenging thing that I ever do. But, they didn't. And, I've just kind of had to figure that out by myself. I didn't realize when I walked down that aisle, that there would be an automatic war waged on my marriage. I had no idea that I was going to have to fight for the success of my marriage every single day, and I certainly was clueless about what unconditional love truly meant.
Beyond the shadow of a doubt, I know that the Lord ordained my marriage in His perfect timing. Brian and I had our first date on November 16, 2007 and we booked the church for our wedding on December 10, 2007. Talk about quick! And, this was not my customary way of doing things. I'm a planner by nature.
But then, when I was diagnosed with cancer less than 3 months after the wedding, I thought, "Aha! That's why the Lord had our relationship move so quickly. He knew that I needed my husband to get me through this." So, there has never been a question of whether or not Brian is the one for me. He is. I know that. He knows that.
But, even knowing that He is absolutely the one that the Lord prepared for me to marry is not always enough to make me happy. Can you imagine that?
Brian always talks about a comedian who used the phrase, "Happy wife, happy life." And now, Brian uses it with me on a regular basis.
Though the phrase is comical, and I'm sure it gets lots of laughs, it couldn't be farther from the truth. Because, here is the deal - there are undoubtedly going to be things in our lives that challenge our marriages. In a moment of challenge, we have two choices, we can either ignite or extinguish. We can ignite a small issue to create a much larger issue, resulting in conflict. Or, we can extinguish the issue, realizing that it's a fleeting matter, and avoid conflict.
My mind is just full of all of the things that are required to make a marriage thrive and survive in this world where it is acceptable to dismiss marriage like a bad habit. And, let me tell you, it's a lot of work! But, so worth it in the end when you have a marriage built on unconditional love and grace. What a picture of Christ's sacrifice for us.