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The Story of a Marriage.

I have finished Madeleine L’Engle’s “Two Part Invention.” The last chapter or so was finished while I was sitting on the bathroom floor, shower running, holding back tears. Madeleine and Hugh’s relationship was so beautiful. Not because they were romantics and ran around chirping about their love, but because it was so focused and so passionate towards each other.

It’s made me think about marriage. As a single 23 year old girl, I will admit that I think about marriage often, especially with so many people my age already married or about to be married. I’ve always had strange standards for a marriage. I want a marriage to be based first and foremost on logic and compatibility. Love and romance can come later. It is strange, and I expect that on the day I find someone who really knows, understands and believes the things I stand for.. then I will have found the man I am to marry.

There is too much emphasis put on the idea of romantic love. Songs, movies, books, TV shows.. it all displays this unrealistic, shallow love. Love that is embodied in flowers in a vase or cute notes tucked in briefcases or big sloppy kisses in public. Things that can be part of love, but are not the key components to it. Things that I worry have replaced real, genuine love.

The more I learn about myself, the more I realize that I don’t want to be married as a response to love. Which isn’t to say I want a marriage that is devoid of love; that is false, also. I want my marriage to reflect the following idea:

We glorify the Lord more as a unit than we ever could apart.

Nothing to do with infatuation or butterflies or things taht are earthly or temporary. All I want is to glorify my Lord in everything I do, whether it is brushing my teeth, vacuuming the carpet, or entering into a marriage. All done to glorify the Lord.

The Lord is the love of my life both mortally and eternally.

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Humanity

Yesterday I was driving home from Seattle, eager to get to little Hayden’s 5th birthday party. I stopped at Fred Meyer to get his gift and noticed a conveniently placed Taco Del Mar. I have two rewards cards from there, one has 8 stamps and the other has 4. Once you have 10 stamps, you get $5 off your purchase. Although Taco Del Mar sometimes makes me feel less than great, I decided to just redeem my punches and get a cheap meal.

I walked in, ordered my burrito, bought a drink to make it over $5 and handed the guy my cards. He punched one of them and gave them back. Not sure if he understood why I’d given him both, I said “Oh, I have 12 punches. I wanted to redeem them.” In broken english he began to tell me that he could not do that. So I asked why not. He didn’t really answer my question. I said “You can actually just have both of them.” Again he refused and said that I would have to take the cards to the original store to get them redeemed. “But they came from a variety of stores,” I argued.

A good four minutes later, I walked out of Taco Del Mar with 13 punches spread out over 2 cards and was nearly in tears. At first I was so upset because I was angry. I honestly was just trying to understand why in the world he couldn’t just combine the two. It frustrates me to not understand things. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks – I’d been a complete jerk. I was one of “those people”.. difficult, argumentative, and stubborn.

Sitting in my car, I realized how terrible I can be. Here I am, trying to live my life like Christ, to wholeheartedly be more like the Jesus I love and admire so much.. and yet living in me is still my awful humanity. Within me, I have the ability to be completely terrible to someone I don’t know.

I was ashamed and spent a few silent minutes in my car, expecting the Lord to strike my car with a lightning bolt or some other grand display of his wrath.

But luckily my God loves me and pours his grace on me. Then as I was driving I started to read Luke chapter 4. I know, dangerous. But I just felt drawn to. That chapter begins with Christ being tempted. It’s been swimming in my head the past 24 hours.

Tonight at church it hit me. Christ was human. I am human. There are times when I absolutely hate my humanity. The fact that I am human disgusts me and makes me feel wretched and worthless. At the very core of my being, I want nothing more than to be just like my precious Jesus. And tonight, upon realizing that Christ suffered through humanity as well, I realized that the very thing I was hating was the very thing that allowed Christ to be so much like me. Christ dealt with jerks. In love. Christ battled injustice. With love. Jesus Christ humbly wore my humanity so that in my moments of feeling like worthless scum, he could pull me close and say “I was there.” The very thing I had believed would turn God away from me was the very thing he used to grab me tighter.

tighter // stephanieorefice.net

This does not mean I will become complacent and fine with being so unlike Christ. It just allows me to not be so disgusted with myself that I try to deny myself the privilige of being loved by God.

Tonight at church after I realized this, I felt the Lord saying “be filled. let me pour myself on you, my little light.” It kept pounding in my heart over and over; “my little light, my little light, my little light.” So I sat. I did not sing. I did not stand. I sat and was filled. His little light.

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