I still remember four years ago kneeling on the hard wood of my bedroom, praying diligently for my future. I was learning to love and accept myself as a true daughter of Christ, a woman who was fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator of the Universe.
I prayed for my husband. I felt his presence as I talked with God. I wondered what he was doing that very second. I wondered what his name was.
I do not believe that Matt and I were made solely for one another. I believe we were made to crave a Savior, to proclaim the glory of our God and make disciples of our friends. I believe that God crossed our paths and set us aside for one another so that we could work together toward a goal and stand firm as a unit in a world so full of disasters aiming to tear us down.
We are coming up on one year of marriage. Time has flown. We have grown in so many ways; I can’t begin to describe them all. We have found that life moves fast and life goes on. That we are carnal beings and will let our loved ones down. That we will never meet the deep soul needs of our partner, or anyone, for that matter. Our anchor is Jesus Christ, we have a hope in him that stabilizes our souls. We fail but our Father forgives us. We fail each other but we forgive each other.
When Matt and I decided to get married we took it seriously. We wanted to know the hard stuff and asked for realistic advice. Sometimes I regretted it – engagement is such a happy time in a woman’s life and you don’t want it stained by words like marriage is a lot of work or call me in 10 years and we’ll see if you’re happy. (These are real things I heard on a consistent basis. I am very surprised I made it the alter. Must have been the promise of cake and champagne).
I learned so much about Matt during the time of our engagement. We had been together for over two years but as we prepared for marriage I viewed him in a completely different light. He was vulnerable. He was becoming a leader. He was scared and strong and handsome all in one. I remember having so many thoughts that I had to write them down. I have never shared them with anyone until now.
January 26, 2015
I get to know him in a way no other person does
I am learning firsthand about grace and mercy. I need to be Jesus to him — show him I love him despite his sin. His sin does not define him just as mine does not define me. His trust in Jesus defines his life and his relationship with me
I am his closest asset on Earth. His person. The one he can trust with anything. Thankful I am privileged to be that
Let go and allow him to lead me. Point him to the cross in the way I treat him, respect him, and honor him. Build him up the way Jesus builds us.
(Y’all, this one is still tough for me… letting go is hard but so necessary).
Support the work the Lord is doing in his life. Have insight in recognizing divine appointments in his life.
LOVE him. Always. No grudges. Let go of it all. This will be a daily, monthly, yearly struggle. I can’t do it alone. Remember why we are together — to get closer to God and make Him known to the world. Use the gift of marriage to do this.
First priority is to use our marriage as a tool in worship and glorifying the Lord. He blesses us THROUGH that. We shouldn’t seek out blessing simply because we’re married. It comes through service to one another and to God.
I penned those thoughts 7 months before our wedding. I still read them frequently and remember how eloquently the Lord was speaking to me then. How He was shaping me for now.
When I prayed for my husband four years ago, my husband did not know the Lord. He and I had never formally met. He was longing for answers and struggling with so many questions that made him feel more lost than ever. I was alone in a college town living out a lukewarm faith and wearing very thin. Something had to give. God was preparing my heart for more. Jesus saved my husband on July 28th, 2012. Two weeks later we met and a month later I was his girlfriend.
Matt and I were given the gift of marriage. We are better together, truly. I have had to sacrifice many selfish desires in order to make our relationship work and I know that is God teaching me to let go. He uses Matt to show me my depravity but also uses Matt to echo my salvation. Our Father has a funny way of working things out. I don’t know why I’m ever surprised. God reminds us so many times of his sovereignty yet we somehow keep forgetting.
I say all of this not as a testament to our relationship. Much of our life is just a story. It will all be forgotten and filed away some day with a few pictures attached. I write these things for myself, to honor my growth. I write these things for you, so that you can learn to honor your season as well. The story of the Meades is just beginning.
Matthew Luke, you are my best friend. My helper, my love, my spell checker, my running partner, my taste tester, my handyman, my favorite DJ. There is no other person on this planet I would rather do life with. Thank you for leading me to the cross and washing my feet along the way. I promise to always be your biggest fan and to never watch our Netflix shows alone.
Happy Anniversary, I love you.
“Two are better than one, because they have good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Keep writing. Keep the faith. Keep loving with the love of Christ Jesus.
…and come watercolor with me. Jackie B.