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For Your Marriage

Brooke and Tim are high school sweethearts who grew up in Southeastern Virginia. They were married in June 2017 and blog about marriage preparation and the joys - and challenges - of newlywed life.

Relying on God in the Homestretch

Tim and I have eagerly been counting down the days until our wedding day since–well, honestly, since we got engaged. Over the past few weeks, though, our sense of excitement and anticipation has been even more heightened as we approached the 1-month mark. We couldn’t wait till we could start counting in weeks instead of months. Everything seemed to be falling into place too–the wedding details were being finalized, we were finishing up marriage prep, our registry gifts were coming in, we had just booked our honeymoon and Tim was about to move into our new apartment in just a few short days after the beginning of June. Everything felt calm and comfortable, blissful even, as we settled into the homestretch.

God often has a way of shaking things up though, a way of rattling our comfort levels and reawakening a need that we didn’t know we had. Just a week before Tim was supposed to move into our new apartment, he got a call for an interview for a new job. This new job would not only be great for Tim, but it would be such a blessing for us and for the beginning of our married life together. As of now, Tim and I will be living in a location that is in the middle of both of our workplaces and about an hour drive each way for both of us, if not more. It would also put us much further away from family and friends than we would like to be. While we have tried to be as optimistic as possible about this, and have prayed for God to give us the grace to be at peace with wherever He has called us to be, we have been well aware of the practical challenges that our first year of marriage would entail: long work hours, long commutes, tired spouses–all away from a support system.

But the job Timmy is interviewing for would be much different. The proposed location would allow us to move to a different city that would shorten both our commutes to half an hour and put us much closer to family and friends. In ways that would take both of my hands to count, Tim getting this job would be a blessing. A huge problem, though, is that our new lease was going to start before we would know whether or not he got the job. So we prayed, and prayed some more, and decided to take a leap of faith and back out of the rental agreement we currently had. This meant a lost deposit, more money on rent for Timmy to stay in his place for one more month, and a giant question mark on what our next move is. But we felt God calling us to trust Him and we knew we had to take a chance on this.

So as of right now, we are 28 days out from our wedding, with no plan on where we are moving, and a lot of uncertainty about whether or not this job is going to pan out, and pan out in time. The past few days I have struggled to understand God’s plan – I’ve joked to friends that this is either God really coming through for us at the last minute and showering us with grace and blessings that we weren’t even bold enough to ask for, or it is God just having one great big laugh at our expense as we live in a state of constant limbo. Obviously, I can’t actually believe it is the latter, or my belief in who God is would have to be much different.

I know God is good. I know God is faithful. I know that His promises are perfect and that He does not abandon His children. Knowing that He is the God I believe in, one who loves us and will take care of us, I have to believe that no matter what happens, it will be okay and God will use all things to work for our good. I have to believe that His ways are better than my ways and that His plan will ultimately end up much better than anything I could have come up with.

A question still remains in my heart though: “If this doesn’t work out, then was the point of it all? What was the point in giving our hearts the room to hope and dream about the first year of marriage that seems as though, at least practically, it would be 1000 times better for us and easier on us? What was the point of making our lives so unsure in the last 30 days before the wedding? Doesn’t God know that we have enough stress on us already? What was the point in us giving up a secure place to live and losing money that we don’t have extra of to lose?”

The answer, I think, is spiritual boot camp. Even if this doesn’t work out, and we need to readjust to the idea of our original plan with all its challenges, we will be different at the end of it. Already, just in this past week, God has been using this situation to pour grace out upon us and shape us more into the persons we are meant to be when we say our vows 28 days from now. I think God knew that in order for our hearts to be reawakened to His presence and love, to our need for Him, to our need for prayer and for grace, He was going to have to shake things up for us. While our prayer life has been steady throughout our engagement, it hasn’t had the sense of depth and urgency as it has had the past few days. This situation has restored a vulnerability and reliance between us and God that God must have known we would need as we entered the last few weeks of our marriage preparation.

As hard as a “no” would be in this situation, I am clinging to the deep gratitude I have that God has used this situation to bring us back to Him. Renewing our relationship with Him is truly the best gift He could have given us during the homestretch.