Our first year certainly did not look like I thought it might, but to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. A lot of people have asked me how the first year was, and I knew the typical answer…it was hard or difficult, but for me that didn’t seem to capture the journey of the past twelve months. I gave a simple answer, “it’s been different but I’ve loved every minute of it.” I spent a lot of time last weekend reflecting back on what this year really has been like and what expectations I had for it. I had the expectation of it being challenging and that in part was because that is what everyone said, but also because when you think about living together with another person not everything is going to be smooth sailing.
Kyle and I’s relationship has moved at a whirlwind pace; dating after just a few months of knowing each other, engaged seven months later and married two days shy of our one year dating anniversary. With that in mind it never occurred to me that I never really waited for anything. I mean, I waited for him and am thankful I did, but within our relationship everything came quickly. Just over a year married now, I have realized that I struggle with contentment…and not just contentment with stuff, but contentment with timing. Prior to being married, I used to think that I was a person who was content with what I had. I never saw myself as someone who struggled with wanting the next best thing, or in a perpetual state of want. Want not need is an important distinction. I could not have been more blind to my sin. The more I think about how I have lived my life and the things I have desired, I have always struggled to be content and as I grow older the things I desire simply grow with me. On a side note, Kyle is a very practical person, not cheap, but practical in his constant asking of ‘do we really need this or that?” I used to be very good at defending any purchase I made because it was only about me, I never had to answer to anyone about my finances, but now I do and now defending is much more difficult.
None of the things I want are bad in and of themselves; however, when they begin causing arguments and stealing your peace they are higher on the priority list than they should be. I’ve tried justifying it by telling myself that they are just goals for the future or that it’s my Type A personality trying to plan the future when in the end any justification is merely an excuse for not wanting to deal with the real issue.
When I originally wrote this post we had an old car that we shared. Well, that car just died last week and did not help my discontentment with a vehicle especially since we had just bought a new vehicle and we were going to finally have two vehicles. We are now down to one vehicle again and it seems as if God is constantly hammering contentment into me. Currently, Kyle and I rent a basement suite – an awesome one. We love it, yet there is this constant battle in my mind that tells me that we need to own a place of our own. That some how achieving this goal will certify me as a responsible adult even though there is no need for us to buy at the moment. As the months have passed the novelty of ‘playing house’ has worn off and sharing a car become inconvenient at times, I find myself wishing things were different, we should just buy a second vehicle, but that was based more on need and less on want. Yet even with that I cannot yield to my selfish desires of wanting a big, seven seater, SUV for a family that isn’t even here yet. Speaking of a family, that too has become an issue of discontentment. When you’re dating everyone asks when you’re getting engaged. When you are engaged everyone wants to know the wedding date. And when you are married the only question left is when kids are coming, and this one caught me off guard. Not that people would just ask, but how much time it would consume in my own mind as I thought about it day in and day out. Kyle and I both want a family and sooner than later, but there are some things that need to be thought out before we just forever change our lives. That doesn’t make me want kids any less, in fact I am realizing more how much my heartbeat is to care for a family. It does mean that to do this responsibly my wants have to take a back seat to what God has put in front of Kyle and I right now. There are a lot of things that need to change before that happens and all of them can be accomplished if we simply lay down our desires and start to manage our lives better with God at the top. It sounds simple but days can easily go by where we haven’t even stopped to acknowledge that He’s there. I am quick to plan, plan the immediate and the distant future but I constantly fail at asking God what His plan is for my life, for Kyle’s life and for our marriage. How is it that we can best honour Him through everything we do? He hasn’t given me blunt instructions but I do know that my current attitude of constantly comparing us and our marriage to others and desiring material things is not it. I believe that before any of my ‘wants’ will come to pass God is teaching me to be content in Him. Not in what things He has given or even whom He has given me, but in the beauty of who He is; His grace, mercy and His immense presence.