Friday, October 17, 2008

Married Life and Living Free

It seems that married life really suits me. I am much more organized, a little more patient (with myself and others...), and it turns out that I am a pretty decent cook. I have had fun with the house-decorating, trying out new dishes, and just being a wife. It has been a blessing to have someone as fantastic as my husband physically there to support and encourage me everyday. I am learning a lot about myself and what it means to do life with another person. It has been much less difficult and dramatic than I thought it might be, given that I have been on my own for so long. I welcome the shared-space aspect and haven't found any quirks I cannot live with just yet. Some say that will come with time, but I choose to think differently.

Please don't get me wrong here. I am not idealizing marriage. There are and will be difficulties along the way. There is always a "rub" when you bring two people together in a relationship and/or marriage. I am well aware of this. But why must the bad always be elevated above the good? Seriously. When I told people I was getting married, the "good-natured" warnings and cautions started flying. I am told the same thing happens when you are expecting a child.

We have a tendency to emphasize the bad over the good in our society. This should not be so. When we find ourselves entering a new season in life (graduation, marriage, children, etc.), we ought to approach it with holy expectancy and joy. We should be ready to see and experience God in whatever is ahead of us. But instead, we go the other direction. We look forward in fear, worry, and anxiety. We start ourselves on this path and others help us with their red flags and warnings.

Why not instead look at the transitions in our lives and in the lives of those around us as opportunities to experience God? Why not surrender ourselves to the care of God and others who love us with complete trust and ready faith? Why not offer encouragement and prayers instead of horror stories and warnings when someone we love is approaching a transition we have already been through?

As Christians, we are to approach the journey of life with stillness and confidence in God (see Psalm 46:3-5, 10) and assurance that God will sustain and even strengthen us (see Habakkuk 3:19). We are to entrust ourselves to our communities and trust that they will also do their best to encourage us along the way (see Hebrews 10). We are to walk without fear and in freedom (see 1 John 4:7-18).

Jason and I have talked about this every step of the way. We understand that the warnings that people offer about marriage and parenthood and what-not are from a good place. But we refuse to give them a place in our marriage and life together. We choose instead to trust God and each other and not to worry about what is ahead. We choose to live in holy expectancy. We choose to live knowing that if and when difficult things come our way, our God, our families, and our friends will sustain us and bring us through. We choose to live free.

That's what this blog is supposed to be about anyway. The subtitle on this blog is "Reflections on Life, Faith, and Living Free." That is what it means to dance anyway - to trust, to abandon, to surrender, and to live. I choose to dance through marriage...and life in general!

5 comments:

ldck said...

Enjoyed this entry! With our anniversary yesterday this was a special read! Thanks.

Ben Witherington said...

Julie:

Our book The Living Legacy has emerged from the womb of the publisher and looks grand. There will be a booksigning at Joseph Beth in Lexington at 7 p.m. Nov. 10th, and really you should come and celebrate this with us. Shoot me an email at benw333@hotmail.com. I haven't heard from you for forever, so you must be one contented new bride :). I am truly happy for you.

Blessings

BW3

susan said...

You look stunning in your wedding dress! Your writing is beautiful, too.

jsw said...

Julie-

I love and miss you! Its so good to hear about your marriage and to read your writing. Keep finding time to blog.

Jessica said...

Hey Julie, it's Jessica Webster, I came across your blog from facebook, yes I guess im officially a stalker. I just wanted to say thanks for being honest about your new marriage! as an engaged person myself I understand how you must feel. I feel like so many people have told me how hard the first year is, that i'm starting to wonder if anyone really fels like marriage is good for them! Just thought you should know you brightened my pesimistic view...:) Hope you're doing well!!