God's Way Are Not My Ways (On Ten Years of Marriage)

People say “time flies when you are having fun,”—so we must have had the most fun of all these last ten years. In one sense, it seems like yesterday. But in another sense, it’s hard to remember my life before Daniel was in it (and I lived 25 years before he was in it!). But if I could think of one verse to capture our life these last ten years it would be Isaiah 55:8:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
 neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.

I had a lot of plans for marriage when I walked down the aisle to Daniel ten years ago today. Not very many of them came to fruition. A lot of them went in the completely opposite direction. But God ways are not my ways 

I used to tell my students (back when I taught high school) that making a list of qualities about a potential spouse is fine, but it won’t tell you the most important stuff—like who the person you marry will become. Or how you will change. Or how you will both respond to what life throws at you. Marriage has taught me again and again that God’s ways are not my ways.

When we had our first major fight on our honeymoon (I tried to get out of a moving car because I was so mad), God’s ways were not my ways. 

When our first year continued to be incredibly hard, God’s ways were not my ways. 

When we lost first baby, had premature twins, lost another baby, and then had repeat pregnancy difficulty, God’s ways were not my ways. 

When Daniel changed careers (from full-time vocational ministry to business), God’s ways were not my ways.

When we couldn’t get pregnant, God’s ways were not my ways. 

When the communication was difficult and the feelings ebbed and flowed, God’s ways were not my ways.

We’ve had anniversaries filled with joy, but if we are honest, we’ve had a whole lot of anniversaries where we felt pretty indifferent towards each other. But God’s ways are not are ways. 

And then there have been seasons of laughter, enjoyment, shared commitment to the gifts God has given one another, the joyful exhaustion of parenting, and the nights on the couch watching television that remind me over and over again that the work it takes to build a marriage is worth it. God’s ways are not my ways, but his ways are better. Sure, it’s been hard. But it has also been really great. It’s been lonely, but it’s been a life spent with my best friend. It’s been trying, but it’s been freeing. It’s been sad, but it’s been fun. Jen Pollock Michel talks about the paradox that is the Christian life, and marriage is full of paradox too. No one’s life works out exactly like they want it to. We are all forced to wrestle with God’s ways being different than our own, but I am glad that God gave me Daniel to wrestle alongside me. And in a lot of ways, we are just getting started.

Ten years in, and I pray for many more. God’s ways are not my ways. And I’m so thankful for that, because then I wouldn’t have this life. Happy anniversary, babe. May the Lord give us many decades more.