Today is my one year anniversary! I can’t believe how quickly time flies.
I feel like I have learned so much about myself, Marc, and relationships in general. I can definitely say the transition from saangle (really single) to married has been fun, interesting, and tiring at times–but so worth it!
As Marc and I approach our one year anniversary, I thought I would share 12 lessons I’ve learned since I said–I do.
1. Don’t Force Love
Years before I got married, my friend Angela told me not to force a relationship with Ishmael for God would bless me with Isaac (Genesis 18:10-15). I always held this close to my heart because I knew there was a difference between a guy who was on the fence about me and a guy who would jump fences for me–the hard part was in the waiting.
2. Worth The Wait
Recently, I read a pretty powerful blog post entitled I Don’t Wait Anymore that got me thinking. Did I really believe when people told me that,
“God can’t bring a significant other into your life until you learn to find your satisfaction in Him.”
Maybe I did and maybe I didn’t.
What I do know is–during the 12 years, 10 months, and 24 days I was a single women–God met me over and over. Through the process I did learn a lot about God–and because of this I believe Marc was worth the wait!
3. God’s My #1
When a friend stopped by shortly after we got back from our honeymoon to drop off a CD with pictures from our wedding–I was puzzled why she left so quickly. A few days later, she told me that she was frustrated I was still in the honeymoon period–and doubly frustrated that she never really got to experience it. She also told me her husband said it’s because God had always been my #1, and I didn’t need a husband for that.
Wow! I don’t know if she knows, but I am so grateful she shared with me because I kept going back to that during the first few months of our marriage.
Yes! I had waited SO long for a husband, but like he said–God was and would always be my #1.
4. Love Grows
It was so much fun to re-read my journals during the months Marc and I were dated. After a few short weeks, I wrote this verse in my journal:
“The fruit of the Spirit is love” (Galatians 5:22a, NIV84).
God doesn’t us what we need until we need it–and He didn’t give me the gift of love for Marc until He brought Marc into my life!!
How cool is this?
5. There’s Grace For That
I knew there would be many times during that first year where Marc and I would need to give each other extra grace. It’s okay to give yourself permission while establishing new routines and a new way of life.
Thankfully, I was able to take the first year of marriage off from traveling and speaking, which was a blessing. I was afraid it might end my speaking (and writing) career, but it did not! In fact, I was able to finish my third published book for Harvest House Publishers—Forgiving Others Forgiving Me–in record timing. Also, the weekend after our first year anniversary–I am booked at back to back speaking events. To find out more about my speaking events or to book me to speak–click here.
6. Mood Swings Are Allowed
Finding and staying on the right birth control for my body was quite difficult. I’m so glad I didn’t get discouraged or give up because (see below)…
7. Sex Is Awesome
Contrary to popular belief–Christians can talk about sex. To read more of what I have written about sex, please click here.
One of my favorite Timothy Keller quotes comes from “The Meaning of Marriage” about sex. He says,
“One of the reasons we believe in our culture that sex should and always be the result of great passion is that so many people today have learned how to have sex outside of marriage, and this is a very different experience than having sex inside it.
But that meant that on our wedding night we were not in any position to try to impress or entice one another.
Frankly, that night I was clumsy and awkward and fell asleep anxious and discouraged. Sex was frustrating at first. It was the frustration of an artist who has in his head a picture or a story but lacks the skills to express it. However, we had fortunately not learned to use sex to impress, nor to mix the thrill of the dangerous and the forbidden with sexual stimulation and mistake it for love. With sex, we were trying to be vulnerable to each other, to give each other the gift of bare-faced rejoicing in one another, and to know the pleasure of giving one another pleasure. And as the weeks went by, and then the years, we did it better and better
The best sex makes you want to weep tears of joy, not bask in the glow of a good performance.”
8. Money Matters
Marc and I had many discussions about money before, during, and after we got married. We set a budget and stuck to it. It has certainly felt good to work towards paying off debt AND being able to go on vacation for our one year anniversary. In other words–budgeting is not impossible.
9. Friendships Change
10. Community Changes Too
Marc met me at a growth group I was leading for 20-somethings in a mega church. After marriage we suddenly felt out of place. Thankfully, through a chance encounter at the San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild, a new friend Rayni connected us to her church. We were able to stay there until we knew who we were as a couple, what we were looking for, and where God was leading us–together!
11. Trials Are Inevitable
Marc and I choose 1 Peter 4:12-13 as our wedding verse (see below). To find out why we didn’t choose the more popular love passage from 1 Corinthians 13–read my latest article on Start Marriage Right entitled A Couple That Prays Together.
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed (1 Peter 4:12-13, NIV84).
12. Celebrate Each Other
I used to be afraid that the guy God was saving for me wouldn’t be attracted to me and vise versa. WRONG.
Since we started dating to our one year anniversary Marc has gone out of his way to spoil me. Not only does he knows how to make me feel special, but he celebrates me and our relationship!
The best gift he ever gave me as an author was the book he wrote for my 29th birthday called the 29 Reasons I Love Renee. I thought I would surprise Marc with a list of 10 Things I Love About Him (pictured on the left).