Monday, April 16, 2012

I do.

So, starting this blog by saying, I definitely don't have this all figured out. Like....AT ALL. I'm not even sure if the conclusions and thoughts in my head are right. But this is kind of just something that I've been thinking a lot about :)

Marriage is something that's been on the forefront of my mind recently. Not necessarily in a "Oh goodness, I just can't wait to get married and find out my love story!" way....although it's definitely been that at times too :P More in This is kind of a serious thing...and something to put some serious thought into.

Marriage for me has always been something to work towards....and if I'm being honest, I've always kind of viewed it as a problem solver. As in, "well, yeah I get jealous when he talks to other girls now....but when we get married that won't be an issue anymore." I'm starting to realize that's not true. At all. And realizing that marriage isn't the finish line, that it isn't an absolute guarantee of your happy ending, is something that's made me think about everything ELSE related to marriage as well.

See, I've always viewed marriage as two halves of a whole coming together. The idea that somewhere out there in the world, there is this perfect Prince Charming that's just waiting for me, and as soon as I find him and we come together we will be this whole, complete, perfect pair that can ride off into the sunset and take on the world together.

Excuse me while I say, hahahahahahahaha!!! That's not how it works, silly little fairy tale in Bethany's mind.

These realizations are definitely a God thing....part of it is Impact 360 & the Womanhood Retreat's fault (thanks for that girls) and part of it is God dragging me into maturity through my walk with Him. But the realization that I've come to is.....

MARRIAGE is not 2 incomplete people coming together to form one complete person. and LOVE is not that overwhelming, impossible to understand feeling that washes over you when he smiles and your stomach drops and the butterflies start doing flips. 

Marriage is (or should be I guess) 2 complete, fulfilled by God people coming together to form a team. A partnership. With the ultimate purpose not fulfilling each other, not giving each other an identity, but glorifying GOD. And love isn't a feeling. What?! YEAH. That kind of threw me for a roller coaster loop. See, love is a commitment. Love is what kicks in when you don't LIKE the person, and you don't want to deal with them, but you're going to anyways because you've COMMITTED to this until death do you part. Now, I'm excited for the overwhelming feelings, and the butterflies, and the "I can't stop smiling because I'm so crazy about him" moments. But....I guess I just realized that when that goes AWAY, that doesn't mean that you don't love the person anymore. It just means that that's when love kicks in even more than before.

Because if you think about it, the overwhelming feelings and the butterflies and the stomach dropping is still kind of self centered. Because there's still a part of your mind that goes "gosh, that feels really good. I like that a lot." But love isn't about me, because most of the time it doesn't feel good. It's inconvenient, and it hurts, and it's late nights and tears and trusting God when you don't know WHAT'S going to happen or what the next morning brings. Love isn't fun, and it isn't easy. It's HARD. Because I'm not even IN a relationship, but just loving the incredible people that God has given me gets hard sometimes....and they're just my friends! 

This is starting to get super long, and it's basically me rambling so I should probably stop soon :P But I guess what kind of sparked this realization was me thinking about different relationships and that "oh I want to be around him constantly" feeling, and wondering if when that dies down a little bit, that means that love has died down a little bit. And I don't think it does. Because ultimately, I think women might be called to HAVE an identity outside of their husbands. Actually I know they do, because it's their identity in CHRIST that ultimately matters, not their identity in the man that they've married. So the absence of constantly wanting to be around that person doesn't mean that love is diminishing.....but it might mean the infatuation is. And all THAT means, is that the relationship grows in new & different ways. And it might get a little bit harder, but the commitment grows deeper.

And all of this is ALSO coming with the realization that I'm not as ready for this whole relationship, marriage, husband, family thing as I like to think I am :) Which isn't as much fun. But is also kind of encouraging, because I think God kind of chuckles and says "Annnd that's why we do this in MY timing...and not yours."

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