planning your marriage while planning your wedding: week 7 “in the unideal”

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I’m an idealist. I’m a dreamer. I’m a perfectionist. I conjure up in my mind exactly how I want my life and experiences in it to go, but they often don’t work out as planned. Here are a few examples:

I planned to get engaged and smile beaming to all whose path I crossed, elated at the fulfillment of my long-awaited desire for a godly companion… Instead, I had surgery mere days later and was not only unable to smile but confined to my couch for days and weeks.

I planned to celebrate Christmas with my family the weekend prior as we are spending Christmas in LA with Clay’s family this year… Instead, I will be under anesthesia as I undergo yet another surgery on my mouth.

I planned to celebrate my 30th birthday with my fiancé by my side and friends all around, laughing and smiling without a care in the world… Instead I will be again unable to smile as normal in the days of recovery following surgery.

Life has a funny way of throwing wrenches into our plans. Our idealistic dreams of perfection are all too often replaced by unideal and imperfect realities. 

I have spent much time wallowing in unhappiness over the last couple of months despite this season being so full of joy. I have felt almost bipolar with my emotions, both elated to be engaged and incredibly sad in the midst of all that I didn’t foresee and cannot control.

Thankfully my fiancé sweetly and patiently reminds me of the goodness that lies in even these most unideal of times. He helps me to keep things into perspective. He helps me to remember that I have it pretty good, that we have it pretty good, and that these trials “don’t get to steal the day.”

In marriage, and in parenthood, I know that often – probably way more than I would ever like to imagine – things will not go according to plan. I know our marriage will never be the perfectly ideal dream I have in my mind. I know it will be an unideal and imperfect one at times. Yet I also know that any disappointed or trial I face in it – anything we face together in it – doesn’t get to steal the day. It doesn’t get to steal our joy. It doesn’t get to win.

Christ has conquered all. He has overcome every trial, heartache, and disappointing shattered dream that we will ever face (John 16:33). And in Him we have joy. We can find that joy. We can choose that joy. Even in the unideal.


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