Writing this blog was tough. Not because I don’t have much to say, but I have so much to say.
Some of our single friends have asked us, “what is something you can teach us about marriage?” Ryan and I look at each other with this puzzled look on our faces. We’ve only been married for a little over a year, and we feel we haven’t even scratched the surface of physical, emotional, intellectual and most important, spiritual intimacy.
I think it’s safe to say that the closer two people become, intimacy (in general) becomes more complex. You find more skeletons in each other’s closets, more sad corners in the dark places of our hearts, and more empty spaces we each lack where we are crying out for healing and comfort. True intimacy becomes beautifully messy.
Our first year was very hard and tearfully emotional for both of us. We had to deal with some unique painful things that were done to us individually. It was hard to put God first. If I am completely honest, I was very angry with God personally. My faith was more challenged in marriage than it has ever been in the last 8 years of being a believer in the gospel and the cross of Jesus. I can’t say too much of what happened to protect the privacy of others (unless I get permission to share in the future), but it really was tough.
Our first 4 months was our opposite shifts, I was working mostly 8-12 hour night shifts at the hospital, and Ryan had his full time day job. Our shifts were so opposite that one time I was getting off a morning bus at 7:45 after my night shift – the same bus Ryan was catching, quickly gave him a kiss, and sent him off for his day job. It was rough.
Then, I had the opportunity to work in a school with regular full-time hours, working one on one with an incredible boy. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. But looking back now, I see God’s remarkable hand on this job. It is so evident. This job changed my life. It made an extraordinary difference in my faith.
I remember one time, I was feeling very emotionally weak. This was in the middle of the hardship Ryan and I were enduring and experiencing, back in October. At school, I was briefly talking to the boy (I work with) about the ordinary school day, and then he said to me randomly, “Bonnie, I’ve been learning to boast in my weaknesses, because when I am weak, then Jesus makes me strong”. My jaw dropped, remembering a similar verse in the bible, which says:
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
After that day, my prayers changed. My heart changed.
I started crying out to God in a more desperate tone. I started praying desperate prayers, in my weakness, “I’m weak and I can’t go on like this, Lord. Please be my strength! I want your healing power in my life. I was your power to rest upon me!”
You know what happened? God started healing my broken heart. God started giving Ryan and I more healing. God gave us people to talk to, and resources to go marital counselling together. Jesus started to work on my bitter heart towards friends who didn’t understand. I started forgiving them. But admittedly, it was hard.
Fast forward to now, Ryan and I are only in our first year of marriage, but after a very hard year, God showed us that He was for us, and He was always protecting our marriage. He protected our marriage from enemies of all kinds. He became our strength in our young marriage.
God used so many people. From the old, to the young, the newly weds to the 30+ years married, our families, and to everyone else in between. We needed all kinds of people to help, speak into, and love us deeply.
I boast in my weakness of the hurt, and anger, not to gloat and mope… but bring glory to Jesus because He has faithfully walked with me and continually gives me supernatural strength to overcome, forgive and to grow as a Christian, trusting in God’s plan for my life – no matter the hardships.
I will always love you forever. Through the tears, the arguments, the miscommunications, and the times where we struggle to communicate, and the times where we cry out to God to help us… I’ll always love you. Marriage is forever, and you are my forever husband, and friend. I thank God for keeping us, protecting us, and helping us, not only in our marriage, but in our dating and engaged relationship.
I’m sorry for my mistakes and my screw-ups. I know I’m not always led by the Holy Spirit. I thank God He is always intervening for us, and convicting me when I’m being lousy.
I’ll always love you. I’m so thankful for all our car rides, beat-boxing duets, pizza and movies nights, trips together, ice-cream dates, morning trips driving me to work, adventures and laughter together.
I’m yours forever.
Thank you for loving me in my weakness, like how Christ loves the church when she is weak. For through it all, it has made me a stronger, braver and wiser woman clinging to Jesus like never before.
All Glory to God.
Happy one year anniversary babe!