First thing in the morning when I go to wipe the sleep from my tired eyes, when I close the bathroom door behind me, when I’m driving or on the computer, these are just a few of the many times I catch myself staring at the new sparkly ring sitting perfectly on my left hand.
I've been engaged for just a little over a month and there’s a lingering sense of awe and disbelief every time I notice my hands throughout the day or catch glimpses of them in the mirror and there’s a diamond sparkling back at me. Disbelief and amazement.
Now, I know this post already sounds like more insensitive gushing over a very special season that falls hard on tender longings to those of you wishing for something similar yourself, or maybe for those of you deeply wounded and calloused by divorce or broken relationships and disillusioned with the whole marriage thing. You’re in the thick of it and what you’re facing everyday doesn't come close to glamorous. This post might sound more like naive and ridiculous high-pitched squealing that you just can’t stomach, but I promise you it’s not going to be that kind of post. I think we can do better than shutting each other out because what others have to say might cause us to wince, bringing us close to the sore and bruised parts of our lives. I think we can be the kind of women and the kind of community that no matter our differences in age, season of life, and woundedness can listen well to one another.
See, while this new season of engagement is totally magical, absolutely wonderful, and full of fluttery, gives-you-goosebumps kind of stuff, it can also be really really difficult. At least it has been for me.
Navigating this phase of our relationship has felt a bit like learning how to walk, like a baby foal trying to use its legs for the first time. We’re wobbly and fumbly and stumbling every couple of steps.
It’s been a lot of tears, silent car rides, and Yellowtail cabernet sauvignon by the liter.
It feels like we’re preparing to build a house - dreaming up our future and what life will look like in this new house, where we’ll sleep and pray and eat and listen and all the makings of a cozy home.
So as we ready ourselves and look forward to what’s to come, we've been forced to take a good, hard, critical look at our foundation. The closer we look, the more cracks and chips and faults we’re finding.
I know that’s a popular metaphor, but it’s our real life.
Cracks in how we respond to each other in the midst of unveiling insecurities. Cracks in how I lash out when I’m feeling exposed, out of control, and uncomfortable. Chips that look selfish and unappreciative.
So before we start putting up walls and tiling a roof, we’re doing the laborious emotional work of digging up and hauling out the old cracked and chipped foundation that won’t hold up a home and a life.
We've taken up the task of leveling land and laying new concrete, of re-doing hard conversations, acknowledging our sin, letting the deepest levels of ourselves be known by the other.
Last weekend in service I was reassured of this:
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” - Matthew 7:24-27 ESV
Gosh, I love that. I love that picture of Jesus as our rock, as our foundation. Gritty, withstanding, steady.
Matthew 7 reminds me that the work is worth it. And when the flood comes, and the winds blow, and life beats on the walls of my marriage, it won’t fall.
So while this gutting and re-laying of our foundation may be painful and strenuous, it beats having to tear up a whole house years from now to get down to the foundation we knew had faults and built on anyway.
The work is worth it.
Now when I look down at my hands, I see more than just a pretty, sparkly piece of jewelry.
I see grit. I see guts. I see sturdy. I see hope.
Lindsey Williams works as a Student Ministries Intern at Flatirons. She is passionate about sharing the better life Jesus offers us with teenagers. She’s a sucker for teen fiction, believes margaritas have healing powers, and is a lover of the written word.