This week is Christmas week. We are spending it with Clay’s family. This will be the first Christmas I have not spent with my family in all my 30 years of life.
It’s a bittersweet thing bringing two people together – both good and bad, happy and sad. I am overjoyed to be engaged to this wonderful man, I am so grateful he has a loving and welcoming family here in LA, and I can’t wait to become a Collier. Yet at the same time, my heart is heavy to not be with my own family on Christmas Day, to not go to church with them on Christmas Eve, to not be able to give my sweet nephews Christmas hugs and hear their squeals of delight that “Santa is coming!”
Life is full of the bittersweet. This side of heaven nothing will be perfect. There will always be positive things and negative things in all things in our lives. My mom wrote me the sweetest birthday note this year. In it she said this:
“… I forgot that with the new, old things must pass!… So, although I am sad, I will rejoice in this new season…”
In order to make room for the new in our lives, we must get rid of the old – whether that’s actual stuff in our homes (I have been doing a lot of that lately in preparation for Clay to move in when we are married), emotional stuff like relationships, or how we spend our time, we cannot expect God to bless us with more if we are not prepared to move some things to make space for them.
In marriage there will be much that is bittersweet. There will be much compromise. We will split holidays between families. And that is most certainly bittersweet. But I welcome all those bittersweet feelings – the ones I have in this season now and those I know will come in the future – as Clay and I “tangle” our lives as he calls it.
“Ah my deare angrie Lord,
Since thou dost love yet strike;
Cast down yet help afford;
Sure I will do the like.
I will complain, yet praise;
I will bewail, approve:
And all my sowre-sweet dayes
I will lament, and love.”
– George Herbert, “Bitter-Sweet”
And all my sour-sweet days I will lament, and love. What a beautiful prayer of the heart. What a beautiful prayer for marriage.