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This month's topic is "The Surprise of Christian Marriage." I spoke with German last evening about the topic, and we could both relate several times we had surprised each other early in our marriage, but not so many in the last few years. We wondered together if that is because of time, kids, busyness. But we concluded that, for us, it relates to two things---we are so comfortable together surprise is not always easy to achieve and (probably more importantly) he has learned that I'm not that fond of surprises. I like to be prepared. ;-)
But all that being said, marriage itself was a surprise for us. I never planned to get married. From a young age, I didn't expect to get married. The first time German heard me speak at a church function, my opening line was "I'm single by calling and by choice, and it is okay." (Obviously I was speaking at a Single Adult meeting.) When I rang my Dad to tell him I was getting married, his response was, "You're doing what?" It was unexpected. And I do believe that I was Single by calling for a season. The ministry that I was able to do during that time would not have been possible had I been married or even been looking to be married. But God had different plans for my late 20s and beyond and when I was 27 he surprised me with someone He intended to be my husband, and I to be his helpmate.
We've been surprised along the way with what God intended. Four months after we married, German took a new job across the country. It took months for me to be able to join him. He surprised us with the excitement we would feel at our first pregnancy...and the consequent grief we could endure at the loss of the pregnancy. He surprised us in how He could bond us together in that grief. He has surprised us with the ease we found the ex-Pat life, the ministry that has been here for both of us individually and together. He surprised us with two beautiful little girls who delight us and challenge us daily. As we sit here in anticipation of the next thing on the horizon we only know one thing...God already knows what it is and will delight and revealing the surprise to us in the right timing.
We do surprise one another, often quite successfully. A front yard filled with 30 pink flamingos and a billboard announcing my age on my 30th birthday was a definite surprise. Walking into his office filled with black balloons and baby pictures of himself (that he didn't even know we had) on his 40th birthday was a surprise. Unexpected flowers or a favorite meal. An hour of "freedom" from responsibilities to do whatever we please. These are things with which we are able to surprise each other. But in our Christian marriage, the surprises we love the most are the surprises that God gives us. It's been that way from the beginning of our blossoming friendship. We pray that it will be that way as we grow old together.
Marriage Monday is being hosted this week by Lynn at Unequal Marriage. Please join us there for more surprises.