If you’ve known me personally for more than five years, you know that my history and perspective when it comes to romantic relationships have both been quite . . . diverse. I’ve “been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt” in all sorts of unpleasant relational circumstances. I gradually learned to be (genuinely) content in whatever season God brought me to, but it was a roller coaster journey filled with the whole spectrum of joys and sorrows.
I can’t honestly say I’ve always enjoyed the ride.
I will never forget a time in particular where I experienced an emotionally traumatic breakup that really distorted how I viewed myself and my future in regards to marriage. There was one moment, specifically, where the guy told me that I would find someone else and be okay again, and I can vividly recall the tangible pain and disgust that filled my heart as I typed my response, which went something like: “You are delusional if you think I’ll go through this right now and then attempt to try again. It isn’t worth it.” I retained the spirit of that vow for a long time to come.
I don’t remember this experience in order to hold onto something of the past in an inappropriate sense, but instead to remind myself that I’m not as great at predicting the future of my life as I tend to think I am. And God astounds me in all the ways that He shows me this as time progresses and I look back at my past self with my head shaking.
Because exactly three years from the day when I sent such a bitter message in an attitude of sick certainty and determination, a different man messaged me on Facebook for the very first time.
I’ll become that man’s wife three months from now and will rejoice all over again in my fallibility and the sovereignty of God in gloriously shaming my self-determination.
He’s so infinitely good at making beauty from ashes. It’s a lesson I’ll always, always need to remember.
Human relationships are messy and marriage is far from being an exception to this. I was never wrong when I thought I would be hurt or failed again by a man I loved. But I was horribly wrong when I said it wasn’t worth it. This is especially true in regards to romance and marriage because what it hinges on isn’t the fulfillment of one individual – or even of two. It hinges on displaying the glory of God and the gospel of grace.
Devynn is my favorite man in all the world. He’s so insanely intelligent. He loves the Lord and values Scripture and cherishes the Church more than anything. He’s wonderfully quirky and weird in the best of ways. He’s wise and steady. He’s hilarious and helps me laugh at myself. He’s painfully honest. He’s so many things that I’ve desired and prayed for in a spouse and then many other things I didn’t even know I wanted or needed.
But one of the biggest reasons why our marriage will last a lifetime is because it isn’t dependent on those things. It will last because it’s based on Someone other than us, and something besides the extent to which we feel good or bad toward one another.
Devynn will always be my favorite man on earth not because he’s perfect or because I’m perfect (spoiler alert: we aren’t), but because when I become his wife I will vow with the strength endowed to me by God that I will intentionally think of him as the man I’ve chosen to favor, in spite of anything, for the rest of my days.
And it’ll be difficult for me to do. It’ll be difficult for him as well. But it will be worth it . . . because it will teach me – as it has already taught me in the beginning – that I am an incredibly fallible woman resting and rejoicing in the hands of an infallibly sovereign God.