Growing up, I was not a girly girl (even now, I barely deserve that title – though I do love twirly skirts ).
I didn’t wear make-up till I was 15, I bought my first hair-straightener in college and had my very first pedicure…4 months ago.
(However, my whole life I’ve loved lip gloss. Gosh, I love that stuff. Or, more accurately lip-smackers. Remember THESE? I think at one point I owned about 30 of these bad boys. Ahh, be still my beating heart. I. must. order. the. party. pack. now.)
Needless to say, I was also not one of those girls who thought much about my wedding day – the dress, the flowers, the vows, the colors. I had a vague idea that October would a nice month to marry in and that I liked red-headed men.
Find red-headed man to wed? Check .
Something else I never considered was how this season of life would feel.
The rightness of it, the joy of it, the peace of it. The fight for authenticity, purity and intimacy. The anticipation of life together, the excitement over future plans. The last ten months (and today marks ten months of “official” togetherness!) have been filled with a thousand joys.
Thinking about the whirl of emotions I felt when the man I love got down on one knee and asked me, me, to be his wife still moves me.
In him I have a friend first.
A man who prays for me every day, rubs my back while I wash dishes, patiently re-arranges the living room furniture for the twelfth time and saves me from camel crickets. I know the intimacy between us will only deepen as we finish out the last two months of engagement and start our married life together. Life. Singular – oneness. How beautiful.
What I definitely did not expect to feel in this season was fear.
I think it’s normal in a way - it’s the fear of losing someone I love so dearly. Tom fills the corners of my life with love, grace and healing. He’s the man I’m on the brink of committing the rest of my earthly life too.
Yet, it still surprised me.
I’m just not normally afraid of things. Part of this is probably happy oblivion and part of it is personality but, when I think of losing Tom or future children, my heart freezes up and fear nearly overwhelms me.
The greater the love, the greater the loss, the greater the grief.
My instinct is to recoil. Hide. Take Tom and live in a cave (because, you know, caves are natural barriers to all harm). Instead, I am called to love more, not less – to trust, to delight in grace and find courage in Christ. All things I wrote about here.
Over the past few weeks I’ve felt the Lord freeing from some of the fear – granting me the grace, even now when I’m not experiencing a loss, to remember his promises. To focus on his power in the daytime so I’ll have it in the nighttime.
Last week we met up with friends preparing to go overseas. They have several young children and are pregnant with twins. Yet, they’re going. I admire their faith – they know this is the call of God and they’re stepping out in obedience.
I asked her how she found the courage, fought the fear of loss, and she simply said;
I considered the consequences of not going.
That shook me.
How selfish to put my love for Tom above the eternal souls of men and woman, above the call of Christ on our lives.
This past Sunday Tom & I attended a Keith & Kristyn Getty concert. They’re Irish hymnwriters whose music is such a blessing. One line of their song “Still my Soul” brought me great comfort;
“God is at your side, no longer dread the fires of unexpected sorrow”.
The unexpectedness of loss is the hardest part. I don’t know how many years Tom and I will have, if there will even be children, what missions and ministry will look like. In those uncertainties I’m learning to cling to what I DO know.
Christ’s grace is sufficient.
Even if there comes a day when Tom is no longer by my side I will not walk alone.
I want to hold all this love with open hands.
God gives and, in his sovereign plans that I don’t always (rarely?) understand, sometimes he takes away. Whatever my lot, I want to honestly be able to say, it is well with my soul. I don’t know that I’m there yet – but I have the desire to be, which itself is grace.
Here’s the song I mentioned, from the Getty’s, it’s been on repeat for me since Sunday.
I hope it blesses you too!