Marriage exists to “Magnify the TRUTH and WORTH and BEAUTY and GREATNESS of our God.” -John Piper
I’ve learned, more than anything, that God is for me. That He is for us. That He gives grace and it is to be accepted freely. I’ve learned that your marriage is never too new or too young to experience a trial and hard decisions. When trials come our way, it is okay to give yourself grace. His plans are not our plans and we can trust Him. Always.
Let me just tell you…our marriage started off as a whirlwind. I soon found out that working full time and going to grad school most nights + Luke going to school every day + newly married + studying all the time + just life = one crazy stressed Caroline with lots of tears. Thankfully, Luke is a picture of calm in 99.9% of situations, so he helps balance out the crazy. But truthfully, I had been struggling for several months prior to getting married about if it was the right time for grad school for me or if I was even pursuing the right career altogether, but thought I was too busy to really make myself think about it and didn’t want to face the unknown.
Well, it all came crashing down on me rather quickly and so the first two months of our marriage consisted of me working through pride and fear and self-worth concerning my commitments and career path and it was painful. I was begging God to make it clear to me what I should do, but most days I was trying to survive the crazy schedule and my prayers were more like cries. I felt like I had brought Luke into the most horrible situation upon being newly married and like I was failing at everything a wife should embody and I was just struggling, for real. All I can say is there is something about feeling about as low as it gets and hearing your husband pray over you when you are too much of a blubbering mess to do it yourself that is just beautiful. And that it was most days were…messy.
I remember one night in April going on a walk with Luke and as I remained silent, my heart felt hard. I guess you could say I was having a bit of a pity party. In my despair, Luke reminded me that although we were facing some difficult decisions and although everything had seemed so hard lately, we are so incredibly blessed and loved by a perfect Father. He began to list all of the blessings we have in our life, both tangible and intangible, and at the end he said – “But most of all, I am so grateful for you. I thank God for you. I am so blessed to be your husband and I will never stop loving you.”
I remember it being the most real and genuine and pure statement and in that moment, my heart began to soften before the Lord. I felt the absolute weight of Jesus’ love for me because I was experiencing it on a smaller scale right in front of me, in my sweet Luke. That was when I knew that I had not been trusting Jesus wholeheartedly and it was time to take a step of faith into the unknown. My plans were about to change.
Yes, these six months have been anything but expected. After much prayer and encouragement from Luke, my family, my fellow students at school, and a strong prompting from the Lord, I decided to take a step away from school and give myself a chance to experience life without being a student. I am learning to give myself grace, trusting Jesus for the step right in front of me.
I have learned it is okay to step away from something that is good and stepping away doesn’t change the fact that it was indeed good and meant for a time. My year in my counseling graduate program was just wonderful. I met some pretty amazing people whose hearts for others and the Lord are astounding, I learned a lot about myself and others, and it lead me to the place where I now am – investing in my marriage, new relationships, and my current job that I am learning to love. I am still struggling with rerouting my once so thought-out plans, but the Lord speaks truth into my heart every day in the form of His Word – His plans are to give me a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11), many are my plans but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails (Proverbs 16:9). I remind myself daily to delight in the Lord as he gives me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4). It is these truths that God has etched on my heart these past 6 months and I can say, with no hesitation, that even the difficult days were and are a gift of His grace.
So here I am, six months into this beautiful journey called marriage, and I am overwhelmed with thankfulness and a deeper love than I thought possible for my precious husband, who has seen me through it all.
Thank you, Luke, for reminding me of God’s goodness and grace every day and encouraging me to walk in it. For watching Fixer Upper with me. For filling up my water cup every night. For turning on the sound machine when we forget and I don’t want to get out of the bed. For cooking 90% of our meals like a champ. For loving pizza as much as I do. For washing my hair with water from my parent’s house when the well water was ruining my hair until we got a filter (and boiling it so it wouldn’t be freezing/ lol #diva).
For listening to me. For cherishing me. For being mine.
I am so grateful for you. I thank God for you. I am so blessed to be your wife and I will never stop loving you.
Here’s to a thousand more months!