“…and what have you done? Another year over…” John LennonThis Christmas life is very different. Last year was a blur that I barely remember. Lots of things had changed, and they made room for “life as we know it”. My home had been sold and by Halloween I was 31 and living at home again. My pride was dented to say the very least!
I knew God was doing something. I remember telling someone that God needed to move me into a place where I was under authority, a covering. I needed to learn to live with other people, with a family, again before going to the next level. I just didn’t expect it would happen so fast.
My brother Steve and I had shared a house for a long time and though we are very close we didn’t share our lives. We had separate existences, spent time in separate spaces, ate separate food, had totally separate schedules. Our lives didn’t depend on one another. Living in my mother’s house…it’s been a strange mix of living “in” a family and observing one from the outside. It’s been…well… educational.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”
I love what he says just before that…in verses 9 and 10 he says this, “For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.” THEN he says “When I was a child…” Marriage, family, relationships, people, God…all these things look different from a child’s perspective. We see much, we are affected by much, we may even see much more than we’re supposed to – but we can only understand in part.
God is so much smarter than me! Huge revelation and big disappointment to those that think I’m a genius, I know…but HE knew what this year would bring…and He KNEW that I would need to see a family life from the outside AND the inside…and He knew that I would figure out what He was doing.
He needed me to stop seeing things in part and to understand that marriage is not easy…it’s not like the movies, Cinderella, you don’t get pretty shoes and live in a castle (much to my disappointment, after all I do love pretty shoes). He needed me to learn how much I have to learn!
He gave me a pre-premarital immersion…because I understand things differently. He knows what it takes for me to “get it”…I need to see it, watch it, observe it…I don’t ask questions, I don’t take it apart…I watch it work. Ultimately, that’s what I’ve been doing this year, watching a marriage work…maybe even more than one.
This way, when an unexpected email suggesting I try something new came along, I was curious to find out how this part of God’s plan would work out. When EH suitors passed by and were simply less than the best, no damage was done. When all the pieces fell into place and I began to think and understand less like a child and when “perfection” came and the “imperfect disappeared” everything became easy…even if it’s really the hardest thing I’ll ever do.
God makes marriage-esque covenants with all those who trust Him. How powerful are His words to Joshua! “I will not leave you nor forsake you…Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” That’s in essence what we say when we marry, isn’t it? I mean, more than, “love, honor, cherish” (or obey…or whatever). What we really say and mean is “Don’t be afraid, I’m on your side and I’m not going to leave you.”
And somehow…none of this had anything to do with Christmas…go figure.