This is the fifth instalment of six in my series telling my love story with my fiance Johnny. Read Part 1, “Meeting,” here, Part 2, “Dating,” here, Part 3, “Distance,” here, and Part 4, “Letters,” here.
Following the grandly miraculous healing that Jesus reigned in over my life has been a very great prevalence of what we shall call “unfinishedness.”
For about six months after that radical encounter with Jesus, I can say wholeheartedly that I did not operate in any disordered behaviours. I was a new creation. The reality of my life was in such synchronization with the Holy Spirit; I was praying constantly against the enemy, and the Lord was making me others-focused and driven by love and mercy.
This past summer and the semester apart before it, Johnny experienced a lot of hardship and strife himself that God used to challenge and change him in many ways that ultimately brought such glory to Jesus. But it was a difficult season. As I was on a “spiritual high,”– and, quite simply, a LIFE high– Johnny was struggling more overtly for the first time in our relationship.
I am SO grateful God has allowed these hardships to come to pass in both of our lives while we’ve been dating. In the almost-four-years we’ve spent together, we have endured A LOT… but none of it without God, without aiming to walk in step with Him and in alignment with His purposes for us as a couple.
And so I am reminded of something very important as I look back on it all; we are all unfinished until we meet Jesus face to face. Knowing that His kind of love and perfect grace dwell within us, though, and that we are called to die to sin and self and allow His Spirit to reign is such an exciting and wonderful Truth. And I am so excited about the calling on the rest of my life on this earth, and that it’s become aligned with Johnny’s.
Part of healing has been recognizing that. Recognizing grace and not perfection.
Recognizing the need for child-like faith; for belly-aching laughter; for suffering with Christ, too; for tough conversations amidst mostly wonderful ones.
Recognizing that my Father has PERFECT timing.
Part of healing has been entering into the uncomfortable reality that I my sinful nature sometimes does not want the things of Christ, and being vulnerable about that.
Part of healing has been sharing the yuckiest, most tearful, ugly and bottled up parts of me with the man who is going to be my husband, and realizing just how unconditionally he loves me… and how much MORE, then, our God loves me.
Loves you, reader (I sure hope you’re finding yourself in the mix here. I see your brokenness and Jesus does too).
And so much of this amazing thing called love makes me realize every day how aligned we are as humans in the seasons; the ups and downs; the process that makes us realize more each passing day how truly we NEED our Saviour.
And in the seasons, how fervently I believe THIS, because it’s my experience: God wants your marriage to be more in love and butterfly-filled with each passing day.
He WANTS the gushy mushy happy feelings and spontaneous kisses and romance between you two. The passion and chemistry. He CREATED it.
But my other big piece of advice? Don’t try to take the pen out of God’s hand. Let Him write for you. Believe He’s a better storyteller than you are. It’s not too difficult to comprehend that the God who created the moon and the stars and the hairs on your head knows better what your life should look like than you do.
And fall in love with Him. “Your marriage does not need you, it needs more of you looking like Jesus” (Pst. Mike Rutledge).
And in these past few years, I’ve met Johnny’s new friends from Winnipeg and he’s become closer with mine; I’ve graduated university and he’s almost finished; I’ve watched Johnny play varsity soccer in the states, for a team he holds captaincy and awards for. I’ve grown closer to his heart than any human heart in the world, and all of that closeness through Jesus, despite MILES of distance.
And all of that closeness the perfectly written story for what was coming next.