marriage

26 Too Many

Time has both been passing in colossal month sized chunks and has stopped completely.

We have less than a month to go until we begin this journey called marriage. Less than a month, friends! I can’t believe it. There’s been a lot of time this summer to reflect and think about all of the change occurring. I’m so thankful to have the chance to throw myself into the thrill of creation and writing from 8-5 everyday at my internship, or I’d probably just sit around daydreaming 24/7. (The internship is going swell, but that’s a whole other post!)

I remember being warned by a friend in the period of extreme character growth post-engagement that she has seen nervous brides and she has seen confident ones. She meant this as a word of caution against throwing myself into a marriage I wasn’t prepared for. Honestly, I wasn’t prepared to be a wife. I’m still not. Nobody ever completely is. But what I am prepared for? Figuring it out with the best partner I could have asked for. We’re 26 days out, and that’s 26 days too many in my book. I am so entirely, completely ready to say yes to this man. I’m so ready to say yes on August 6th, and every day after.

With all of this reflection time, I’ve had time to think about what I didn’t know I needed. I don’t have the man of my dreams–that man wasn’t real. That man was basically just a perfected version of myself. I have something so, so much better. I have a man with all of the things that I didn’t know I needed. God tends to work like that. I’m so glad he does.

I read this great quote in  Sacred Marriage that “If you want to be free to serve Jesus, there’s no question—stay single. Marriage takes a lot of time. But if you want to become more like Jesus, I can’t imagine any better thing to do than to get married. Being married forces you to face some character issues you’d never have to face otherwise.” How cool is that? I’ve really been reflecting on the whole concept of what marriage is really about. It made me really notice some things. Here are some things I wanted and scored the jackpot in, and a whole bunch that I never knew I needed:

1.) Gentleness.

Caleb embodies a gentle heart. He is always slow to anger, and he treats me with the utmost care, even when I am not being gentle with myself. He always chooses grace over hustle. He’s forgiving and kind. I respect his gentleness so much, as this isn’t exactly my greatest virtue.

2.) Loyalty.

Caleb is loyal. Fiercely loyal. That loyalty extends to his actions. If he calls you a friend and you need him, he’s there. He is one of the most giving people with his time that I have ever met. I too often give a phone call when a friend just really needs a hug. He has taught me what loving loyalty looks like.

3.) The Wisdom to See.

Caleb understands the beauty of the small things. It’s hard to make him happier than when he’s drinking a coke on a sunny porch. Usually while he’s on said porch, I’m trying to plan my day in five minute increments/ re-organize everything I own/ conquer the world. God made the little things too, and Caleb helps me to notice them.

4.) Intellect.

Caleb is one of the most intelligent people I have ever met. We just had a conversation about how both of us feel closest when tackling an intellectual issue as a team. He’ll see holes in my logic, and I’ll point out the other angles he isn’t seeing. That may be weird, but it is the best. To be able to banter back and forth for hours is amazing. He is truly a partner.

4.) Priorities.

Too often, I am guilty of judging the value of each day purely on how much I get done. I can only see the measurable actions of each day. If left unchecked, this can make others feel like numbers and little output machines instead of people. Caleb places the value of a conversation over a stack of laundry. He has a grounding presence that can settle a room.

5.) Spontaneity.

Caleb is, in the best way possible, fun. If you ask me to go to lunch and don’t give me a 24 hour window to mentally prepare myself, I’m out. Caleb goes with the flow and doesn’t mind last minute plans. He’s always taking opportunities for adventures as they come. This spontaneity combined with his intellect makes him one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.

I’m not writing this to tell people marriage is the highest ideal to aspire to in life, because it’s not. Everyone has a different path, and different timing to take that path with. You are already whole. This list is really only scratching the surface, but I made it a) because I might explode if I can’t share how lovely my fiancé is and b) as a nice little reminder of what happens when you let go of your control and self-made list of perfection. God knew exactly what I needed and when I needed it, and that is so, SO cool.

26 days. Yay!

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