I have a list of potential Mantra Monday topics on my computer and I usually decide which one is next based on whatever was really relevant and on my mind the previous week (or that morning that I’m writing! haha). But this weekend I honestly wasn’t sure what I was going to write about for today’s post. I have been so mentally drained that I kind of really didn’t have time to think deeply about anything (that’s how I come up with these posts… lol). All of my life-changing deep thinking I usually do in the shower or on long car rides has been short this week. But this past Sunday I met with one of my 2015 couples, Michael & Leah, and it was like a sign from God about what I needed to share with people and be open about this week. You see, Leah has been going through a certain season in her life this year, one where God has been teaching her just how perfect His timing is and how we need to trust him through EVERYTHING. Even when we don’t want to be patient and we just want to kick and scream and do things our way and the way we think is best or the perfect plan we have planned out for the next 20 years of our lives. What’s crazy is that God has been teaching ME this lesson this year, too… and Leah and I have been soulmates of a sort these past few months in particular with this hard lesson we’re learning. I didn’t really have this on my mind when I pulled up to meet Leah and Michael for their engagement session. But throughout the couple hours we spent together, Leah kept bringing up “God’s timing.” It was like a little alarm going off for my heart, reminding me exactly what I needed to be reminded of. Isn’t God just wonderfully ANNOYING like that sometimes?! ;) As always, I feel the need to be a little more open… and share my story on a bit of a deeper level with how this is applying to my life right now. Maybe you might even be able to guess… it’s a pretty popular question in my life right now… :)
Almost every day I am asked, “So, when are you guys getting married?!” Sometimes it’s not that straightforward. Sometimes it’s more of a… “So, have you guys started to talk about marriage?” There’s the even more subtle, “HAVE YOU GUYS GONE TO LOOK AT RINGS YET??” or my personal favorite, “WOW!! 5 years and still no ring???” (-Actual statement made, more than once, and the first time by a Disney World cast member :) I’m thinking we could have gotten at LEAST two free trips to Disney after THAT comment…) It’s a pretty popular topic. And I mean, I don’t blame anyone. Shoot, I started talking to Justin about marriage a few weeks into our relationship… in the Christian dating world, you don’t date for fun, you date for one purpose and one purpose only: to lead to marriage. So obviously it’s been on my mind as well. Part of it’s our fault for starting our relationship so young with no possibility of getting married for at least 5 years (apparently). But while some people wonder, “What’s the hold up?” other people wonder why we would get married so young (as in the next few years). And I have no responses or answers to these prompts/questions/interrogations. I don’t know. I don’t know when we’ll get married. In order to get married, we have to be able to live and support ourselves in Nothern Virginia… and with a $1,500 monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment that’s just a big LOL right now. We can’t even begin to fathom being financially ready for a life together. We could get married right now and we would be just fine. We would get by. But neither of us want to just “get by” right now. We’re both living at home and trying to save the majority of our paychecks so that when the time comes to get engaged, we’ll have some money in the bank to start planning a wedding (and paying for it… yikes). And hopefully some money to start a life together… it’s hard. It’s really, really hard to be a young couple these days. I meet girls younger than me who are married and I immediately ask “HOW?!?!” Usually they’re not living around here… and if they are, they’re both working full-time and barely making end’s meet. It’s rough!!! And it’s scary. But this is where the whole “God’s timing” thing comes in. Because if I tried to plan everything out, I would fail… and I would fail miserably. Because I just Dont. Know. what life is going to look like next year, or the year after that, or five years after that. There’s no way of knowing! We shouldn’t rush into marriage just because we want to live together, but we also can’t keep still for much longer. There’s only so long you can maintain a relationship that honors God before having to take the next step and get married. Relationships are meant to grow and move towards a common goal… marriage, kids, retirement. There’s always a new season around the bend and a new goal to work towards together. So yes, it’s hard to feel like we’re stuck in long-term relationship limbo and it’s easy to feel like we’re going to be stuck here forever. But this year I’ve had this new peace in my heart about everything and I just know things are going to work out in perfect time according to God’s PERFECT plan.
I was actually second shooting at a wedding last month and I remember taking a picture of the bride and groom’s first dance together and just feeling this pain in my heart and tears came to my eyes. I remember thinking Why, God? Why can’t we have this? What’s wrong with us? What are we missing? What am I doing wrong that I can’t have this one thing that I want more than anything in the world? Why can everyone else have it but we can’t? Why can’t I love Justin as deeply as I want to love him? Why can’t I make the commitment to him I want to make? And as I was asking God all these questions (more like angrily interrogating God about these things), He stopped me and said, “Megan, your day is going to come, and it’s going to be beautiful.” He literally said that to me. In the middle of a wedding day. And then I really did start crying. I felt so reassured and I was so relieved to hear that from the one being that loves me more than any human ever could. He calmed the pain in my heart and it was honestly like a seal on my heart. A promise, a kiss to drive out my greatest fears, my fears of not being good enough, not being lovable, not matching up to the standard of what a wife should be. It was an unexplainable peace, one that fulfills me now and reveals itself in the form of a smile on my face when people ask me when we’ll be getting married. What used to be a painful question is now one that I respond to almost with a sense of apathy. Almost like… it’ll happen when it happens. Just keep focusing on your mission and your life’s purpose right now and God will take care of all the other details. I’m not yet being called to be a wife, and that’s okay. That will come in its own time… everything will be orchestrated at the right time, and my story, OUR story, our struggles during the wait are going to minister to others in ways we’ll never fully know. “Even what the enemy means for evil, you turn it for our good.” (-Literally the radio right now. I’m not even kidding.) “There are rubies in your time of waiting” was something I was told at the Delight retreat this past April and it has been a repeating mantra in my mind throughout the year. The wait has felt absolutely miserable at times but I just know in my heart of hearts that it’s going to make marriage that much sweeter and that much more worth it when we do get there… whenever that may be, in God’s perfect timing.