Tag Archives: Marriage

Girl Talk

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This following conversation needs little introduction.  It speaks for itself.

Stefani—so how are things going in the life of Mere?

Me—SO great! Life is beautiful.

Stefani—met your husband yet?

Me—oh… no. Thank you for the reminder though.  He does not seem to be anywhere in sight.

Stefani—All in due time my dear. He’s there; God sees him.

Me—I know. I am trying to rest in that and remember that I have not been left behind.  It’s just easier said than done.

Stefani—God is pruning him right now and kicking all of his annoying habits that He knows you wouldn’t put up with.

Me—I hope so. My boss told me the other day that “he is still baking; he’s just not done yet.”  To which I responded “well, can God just turn up the heat and burn his butt done?”

Stefani—Hey, just remember, even though a crock-pot takes longer to cook, the end result is always better.

Me—I hate crock-pots.

Stefani—He will be tender and spicy…

Me—Stef… did you just say equate my future husband to a tenderloin?

Stefani—Yep.

Me—Oh… ok.  

Could he be cuter?!

Advocating for Marriage

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I don’t know that I have ever “dedicated” a blog to a certain group of people, but there’s a first time for everything.  This blog is dedicated to all of you are married. If you are single, I’d love to know your thoughts and opinions of what is about to follow.

I have an incredible circle of girlfriends whom I “do life” with here in Colorado. We’re college grads, working professionals, self-declared hysterical, lovers of Jesus… and super single.  We range from mid to late twenties and have all been in our fair share of weddings as bridesmaids.  Here’s the catch– we’re all a little scared to get married.

Why? Well it’s surprisingly simple: married folk that we know, both young and old, often leave out the “pros” of this God-ordained institution, and instead dwell on the “cons.” 

“It’s a four letter word– w-o-r-k.”  “It’s not easy and it’s not always fun but your committed so you have to persevere through it.”  “There are so many things you can do when you are single that you can not when you are married. Go out while you still can! Live it up! Travel! Don’t rush it… trust me, forever is a long time.”

All reasons that would make a single man or woman think twice about entering into such a dreary and burdensome relationship, if you ask me. To be honest, these testimonies are all turn-offs to what, for so many us, we were made for.  My friends and I talk frequently about how  painfully aware we are (more so the older we get) of our intrinsic desire to be wives; to be help-mates to husbands that encourage, protect and lead us during our time on this side of heaven.

Is it not an incredibly romantic idea? Is it not lovely? Good? Pure? Holy? Honorable? YES.

What’s more, if I may so bold, it is a reflection of Christ’s relationship with His own bride, the Church. Us. To be married, if Christ be paramount in the life of the man and woman, is to know, understand, and see God in a new, clearer light of love, sacrifice, beauty, and intimacy.

Granted, I know (not from personal experience) that marriage will not look like, feel like, or sound like that on a daily basis. And that’s fine. That’s life. It leaves room for grace, forgiveness, patience, and a slew of other fruits of the Holy Spirit that resonate with us to draw us closer to the Father, and to your spouse. Right?

I mean, am I taking crazy pills?  Is there something that I am missing? I understand that you are pairing two fallen, sinful, deprave human beings together and asking them to be productive and fruitful, and that in and of itself presents a number of hiccups or speed bumps. But does it make impossible? Does it make it miserable? Does it make it not worth it?

I pray that, if you are married, you don’t hesitate to answer those questions. I hope that the answer is a quick “no.”

Here’s the thing– for us singles, we need to hear, see, and be encouraged to know that it is possible. It is worth it.  It is beautiful and lovely and blessed. Married men and women need to advocate for their marriages as well as the marriages of future generations.  Despite what you may think, we listen closely and carefully.  We are more attentive that we look, but we are paying attention to what you say about your marriage and how you say it.  And from you, we render our opinions on whether or not we can do it too. 

So if you are married– be grateful that you are and let us share in that joy with you.

If you are a single woman– you are not alone.

If you are single man– my number is … haha, kidding.

Healing in Hope

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Remember Abby, my roommate who is getting married this Friday? I was thinking about our dinner date last week and something that she said really resonated with me.  Something she said truly woke me up, got my attention, and made me think.  And by now, if you have read any other post, you know that I think best when I write. I have to tell you a little bit about her story in order to ger to mine.  So sit tight. Please.

Abby was engaged once before, a little over a year ago. She had the dress. Invitations. Flowers. Church. Date was set, arrangements were made, and she called it off.

She moved to Colorado, met some friends at work (enter your’s truly) and began a year long process of healing.  It was one of the most beautiful and painful things I have witnessed.  And I don’t know that anyone could have handled it with a firmer faith or a more gentle spirit.  In the 8 months that I lived with Abby, her heart was more brutally raw, vulnerable, and open to the Lord than I thought possible. 

I remember her telling me, distinctly “I don’t want to get married. I don’t need it the way I thought I did. It’s not who I am. I am a nomad, my heart is with the poor, the widows, the orphans… I want to be the hands, feet, and heart of Christ to the nations. I don’t want to get married.”

She had given up hope.  I didn’t know that at the time and I don’t think that she did either, but when we were eating sushi the other night, she told “I had given up hope and decided to be ok with it.”

Hmmm, that sounds oddly familiar. Why? Where have I heard that before?

Then I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection of a piece of glass. Oh yeah. There’s the girl that said that.

But the thing is, Abby is getting married this week.  And she only got engaged two weeks ago.  And before that she had only reconnected with this family friend 4 weeks prior. 

As she recounted the most insane, God-ordained and orchestrated love story I have ever heard, she looked at me with her perfect smile, signature giggle, and said “Mere,  I had given up hope and God still granted me the desires of my heart. In fact, turns out, I didn’t even know what my desires were.  I walked away from who I really was because it was easier and He found me anyways.  Mere, you have to hope. Please hope.”

Pause.

The girl who’s faith had helped to shape mine over the course of a monumental 8 month period of my life just openly admitted to me that she had given up hope on her God. My God.  I nearly choked on my Unagi. 

Let me unpack why that statement simultaneously humbled and encouraged me. 

It humbled me because I realized how small I had made my God. I had put the Creator of the universe in a very compact box.  Who am I to say to Yahweh, “You know what, your timing seems to be off, so rather than wait on you, pray, “keep the faith” and persevere, I’ve decided to just let go of that little dream.  No worries, I’ll let it fade and fizzle, along with a large portion of my heart. I’ll just get some cats and we’ll call it even.”

As if the desires of my heart are my own anyway!  Abby made a point (somewhat sternly, halfway leaned across the table) to remind me that the desires of my heart, those things I long for, wait on, and hope for are not things I came up with on my own.  Those things that I subconsciously think about and feel stirring in my soul were strategically and specifically placed there, like notes to be played. And the Meistro that has written the symphony of my days will, like any great composer, orchestrate each instrument, person, circumstance, and season, to create a melody that brings glory, praise and honor to Himself.  And, I hope, that He includes a harmony. An accompaniment that enhances my song.

Ok, that metaphor totally took over and I nearly lost my original train of thought… CHOO CHOO!

Bottom line: to give up hope, is to give up faith. 

The next day, I was sitting at my desk where I have posted numerous note cards with bible verses on them. I have posted them there in case of a mental breakdown, emotional meltdown, or quarter-life crisis attack while I’m at work.  Otherwise, I don’t really glance up to read them. But today, I did and this is what I read:

Now faith is what we hope for, the evidence of things unseen.

It was like God said, “Hey idiot, whom I love, you can not have one without the other. They are spiritual Siamese twins.  To hope in me is to have faith in who I am and what I am doing. To have faith in Me is to trust me. Do you hope for something from someone you do not trust?.”

So, I’m hoping. Not just for marriage, but for life in general. I know I talk about marriage and relationships a lot. I’m not obsessed, I promise.  It’s just what seems to be surrounding me right now.  But really, I could apply it to any other area of my life: Where I am in my career, where I am in my relationship with Christ, my health and maturity holistically.  I want to hope for God’s best in every area of my life because I’m starting to get the feeling that He is waiting to rain down blessing, I need only believe enough to ask with faith, in hope.

Dear Abby…

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Me & Abby... 2 girls from TX, living in CO. We still don't fit in.

Me & Abby... 2 girls from TX, living in CO. We still don't fit in.

 Meet Abby Steiger, the soon-to-be Abby Denestch.  We met a little over a year ago when we both moved to Colorado Springs on a whim to work at Compassion International. She’s from Texas. I’m from Texas. She didn’t know anyone. I didn’t know anyone. We became fast friends and then, roommates.

 Abby is unlike anyone I have ever met and I truly believe that our meeting and living together (for the longest & shortest 8 months of my life) was divine intervention. I know that’s a big statement, so I don’t use it lightly.  And as she embarks on a huge new and beautiful chapter in her life, I would like to take the opportunity to pay her a proper tribute of love and appreciation.

 

Abby lives out-loud a faith, fervency, and love for Christ that I haven’t heard in anyone else before.  Her faith is the kind that makes you wonder if you have any at all. It’s so big, so strong, so steady, and so openly raw and transparent that you can’t help but be inspired and encouraged.  She has a fearless faith. A true rarity.

Her fervency for the Word is a hunger, a desperation that doesn’t need dire circumstances in order to be initiated, and is an absolutely all-consuming necessity to her every breath. If this sounds exaggerated, I dare you to meet her and in less than 5 minutes she will undoubtedly quoted scripture to you, most likely without even knowing it. It is just a part of who she is; it is an uncontrollable overflow of her soul, which she bares unashamedly and without apology.

And as for her love for Christ, His universal church, His body of believers, and the life that He has called us to lead, Abby is on the front lines. She is the “William Wallace” of the faith crusade around the world.  Spiritually, she’s nine feet tall and can shoot lightning-bolts from her “ars.” (If you haven’t seen Braveheart, you won’t appreciate that).    I have never met someone who has such a living, breathing, burning desire to see the Great commission fulfilled; to see people from every tribe, nation, and tongue declare the name of the Lord.  And I have never met anyone who feels such a desperate need to be among them, living with them in utter poverty, so that she may love them with the richness of Christ.

More than all of these qualities, more than all these extraordinary ways that she has challenged me, encouraged me, and showed me the life that is there to be taken hold of, she has loved me with the love of God that is more gracious, more compassionate, and more beautiful than I thought it could be. Not because I don’t believe what I read in the Bible, but because I didn’t know how to accept it. I didn’t know how to receive the Lord’s love, nor did I know how to love myself.  But Abby showed me daily what that looked like, and I am truly forever changed.

So Abby, my precious friend, as you embark onto the fantastic chapter of marriage (to a really good-looking guy… way to go), know that I am so grateful to have met you and lived life with you. I owe the best year of my life to you. Because of you, I know the Lord in a way that I have been looking to find Him for so long. Because of you, I live and walk in a power and freedom that I never thought possible.

I love you Abby.