Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How Marriage Stretched More Than Just My Waistline - Part of the What I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married Series

I’m not sure that every little girl has this dream, but I know I did. It involved the Cinderella dress, Prince Charming, love at first sight, and a happily ever after. It started about the time I was five and had two boyfriends in kindergarten. I peaked early, what can I say? Whether it was influenced by the beauty of the Disney princesses or by my parents’ own marriage, I cannot say. I just knew that my life plan was to finish high school and graduate college, at which time I would both find a job and get married.

Almost everything went according to plan . . . except the very last part. Let’s just say my dating life in high school was nonexistent, and college was a series of disappointments as I just desperately longed for love. While I would have loved to have hitched my wagon earlier in life, marriage would not be in God’s plan for me until after my second degree and third full-time, paying job. Instead of just out of college in my early twenties, I would be in my mid-thirties with a well-established life of my own. I owned a home and had a career, but now having finally met the man I would call my husband, I would be sharing those as I joined my life to his. 

To say that this was challenging is an understatement. To say that I have completely adjusted as we prepare to celebrate six years would be a lie. What I have learned is that if you are waiting to get married until you have found yourself and are ready, you are going to be in for a rude awakening. You will be constantly “finding yourself,” and you are never ready. Ever. Marriage has stretched me, and I don’t just mean my waistline!

My marriage continues to stretch me to let go of my hurts and insecurities
and grow in trust.
When I joined my life to my husband’s, it wasn’t just the shiny parts. When we became one flesh, we got all the deep, dark, dirty tidbits of each other too. If I can surrender and believe that the one God has joined me with loves me with His merciful love, then I allow God to work through our marriage to heal wounds and begin to make us whole. He gives us a partner who helps us lay down our burdens at the foot of the cross, or carries them there for us when it all gets to be too much.

Marriage continues to stretch me to love more selflessly.
I remember Fr. John Riccardo once saying that he thought he had the easier of the vocations in his priesthood – at least his involved only one selfish person. Marriage involves two. I remember within the first few weeks of being married after my husband had moved into “my” house, feeling like I was drowning in his stuff. His things were taking up my space. If that isn’t a recipe for disaster, I don’t know what is. While it is a perfectly normal part of the two becoming one (because it doesn’t just happen magically with fairy dust), I had to move quickly past it because there was little room for “mine” and “his,” if we were going to build an “ours.” Marriage has revealed those parts of me that grasp onto pride and selfishness. I am being refined and polished on my quest for sainthood. So is he.

Finally, marriage has stretched my imagination to dream bigger dreams.
I don’t dream just for me anymore. I dream for us, for our family, and that is more rewarding than going it alone. Once I learned to trust and let go of my selfish ambitions, coming together to dream with my husband has been a beautiful gift. No, we don’t know where God will lead us. We are pretty sure there will be suffering along the way. In the midst of that, though, to imagine the possibilities that might lie ahead given each of our gifts, given the gifts of our children, given our own ambitions being brought together in harmony – 
that is a pretty exhilarating ride!

While I don’t recommend putting off marriage because you are still getting ready for it, I know now that God’s timing is always perfect. It wasn’t me I found – it was Him. In my husband, I have found the one whom my soul loves. His unconditional love for me astounds me every day. We squabble, we brood, but at the end of the day we love with a love that is constantly stretching us (and hopefully leading us closer to sainthood).


Californian by birth.
Iowan at heart.
Texan by education.
Michigander by marriage.
Catholic convert from Hinduism.
Wife (to Tim),
Mother (of 2),
Daughter, & Disciple.

That's me in a nutshell! Better a nutshell than a nuthouse, right?
 If that doesn't scare you, stop by my place at The Pitter Patter Diaries.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful story. Marriage is definately about coming together and giving.


Thank you for stopping by. I love reading your thoughts! I respond mostly by e-mail so make sure you're not a no reply blogger!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...