Recently, Randy and I were part of a panel on stage at a conference, and the title of the segment was, Secrets That Lead to an Awesome Marriage. I saw those words and my knees went weak. How could I get up on stage and attempt to represent an awesome marriage. Sure, we are in a good place after 18 years, but it’s a day-to-day process and the barometer of how hot or cold our marriage runs fluctuates weekly, so to say it’s awesome seemed pretentious. I had to reconcile this in my head before I could attempt to share any secrets we may or may not have found along our merry marital way.
Then it hit me. Our marriage IS awesome. It is awesome in the same way that any mighty act of God is awesome.
We aren’t perfect. We’ve argued. We’ve raised our voices. I’ve cried. He’s been aloof. We’ve put our own needs above each others. We’ve hurt one another. We’ve been distant.
But we’ve also forgiven one another. We’ve encouraged one another. We’ve prayed together. We’ve gone on great adventures together. We’ve surprised each other. We’ve had movie-worthy romantic moments. We’ve built a life, a family, and a future together. We’ve never given up on one another.
I decided that day on stage that awesome does not mean perfect. Awesome means stepping back and beholding something that is beyond your doing. Awesome is acknowledging there is someone greater holding all things together. I decided to look at our marriage like I do rocket science.
*If you are a rocket scientist, you aren’t allowed to read the rest of this. Please exit stage left. But if you’re like me and don’t have a clue…enjoy!
I don’t get how rockets work. I don’t understand how something that huge gets off the ground. Sure, I could probably fool a five-year old into thinking I know what I’m talking about, but I don’t get it. You could give me all the parts and even a manual about thrust, ignition, lift, fuel, and gravity, but I couldn’t launch a rocket. In my hands, it would be a giant heap of useless metal. I also cannot tell you step by step how to have a great marriage. There is no single manual or lone method. But, what I can do is tell you in the moments when Randy and I both surrender our own will to the One who created us. When we put the plans and the pieces into the hands of the One who holds us. He takes all of that willingness and trust and teaches us how to be merciful like He is merciful, how to give like He gives, how to forgive like He forgives, and how to love one another like He loves us.
No. Randy and I alone in a marriage does not equal awesome, but allowing God to have His way in our relationship and then stepping back and looking at how far He has brought us and how much He has taught us . . . yeah, I can honestly say it’s pretty awesome.
I have an awesome marriage.
Just like my silly rocket science metaphor. In the hands of someone who knows what they are doing…the little parts and pieces, the fire and the fuel, the weight and the lift, it all comes together in a way that makes you stand back and say,
“Wow! THAT is AWESOME!”
So, yeah . . . in the same way any act of God is . . . my marriage is pretty stinkin’ awesome!