Photography: Blake Verdoorn
Besides being from my long-haired, brunette days, this photo was from our 1 year anniversary session – almost a year ago. Since then we’ve joined a church, started new positions at work, and are about to move into our 3rd apartment (I have a problem). We’ve travelled a bunch, booked even more flights, and have come up with some big dreams. We’ve grown a lot as a couple – through fights, through jam sessions in the car, through little spats caused by bad driving, and of course through too many pizza date nights.
A lot can change in a year. We all know this. We can even anticipate this to be true…every.single.year. As true as that is, the ways you grow and things you learn always seem to come as a surprise. That’s been happening to me this year and is still something I’m working through. To give some background, my faith grew so much in our first year of marriage. My life finally had some consistency, we were settled, and I felt like I could breathe: everything was how it was supposed to be after years of prayer and planning. I firmly believe that in your first year of marriage, you either grow a lot closer or a lot farther from the Lord. The first year is A LOT. Everything is new. In our first year, we were literally learning how to be adults and how to love someone like a married person. It was really tough at times, but mainly really sweet. We grew up together in that first year and it grew us so much closer.
Around our one year anniversary, I felt this burning inside of me, like an unsettled craving. Stability provides great strength for me personally, I don’t do well without it. Now that my life had more stability, I knew that the one thing I wanted most was intimacy with God. I tapped into that craving in the first year of our marriage and by the time we started year two, I needed more. I’m the type of person that loves themes, so for 2017 my theme is “Enrich”. By the time we get to 2018, I want to look back on my year and see that I’ve spent intentional time enriching my relationships and my passions. The number focus of that is my relationship with the Lord.
Well, like He does, God has taken my theme and multiplied it by 1000. He was like, “Oh you’re trying to grow? Let’s do this, sister.” He’s revealed things in me that I’ve never been able to see before. One of the biggest things is that I’ve been really struggling with being faithless. Now, when you’re actively pursuing God, in community with great Godly people, and writing multiple times a week for a faith-based blog, you don’t assume you’re lacking trust in God. When God started revealing this to me, I sort of pushed it away and blamed my lack of discernment for it. Again, like He does, He’s made Himself very clear.
I want you to know two things about that paragraph:
a.) God hasn’t revealed this to me through crazy, terrible circumstances. He’s actually been really gracious and tender about it all.
b.) I’m not living out a classic Christian song about someone who is “going through the motions,” but not living life closely to God.
The life of a believer is funny that way because even through consistent (and genuine) communication with God and lots of conversation with community, I’ve still been missing something. I’ve realized that I sometimes really struggle with believing God is going to do things He says He’ll do. That’s like Christian 101. Stuff with work, with my relationships, with my dreams, with the future – it’s hard for me to believe that it was work out for good. Faithless. Not 100% of the time. Not even 50% of the time, but enough to know that I’m a big ole work in progress. Enough to know that I’ve been struggling with thinking that my timing would be a lot better than God’s. That I would rather choose my timing and cheapen God’s glory.
You know what else that is? IMPATIENCE.
My impatience in what I thought should happen – as righteous as it may be – IS STILL IMPATIENCE. I need to scream this to myself – and maybe to some of you. You might not NEED to be married right now, you might not NEED to have a house right now, and you might not NEED to see that one, big amazing dream come true.
But even still, we need to have FAITH that God’s got this. Taking care of His children is His thing, y’all. So that’s my confession to you. Maybe you’re like me – maybe you don’t get angry when someone almost hits your car and maybe you couldn’t care less about waiting in long lines – but goodness when it comes to “righteous” dreams, you can’t wait much longer at all.
God’s doing a big work in me. This year has changed everything in the best way possible. I’ve got a lot of work to do, but wow, working with God is just so, so sweet.
Wait we must. Trust we must. May God have all the glory.
“So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.” Isaiah 30:18 (NLT)