I have a dear friend who is wise and beautiful and thoughtful; she has a great sense of humor and a deep love for the Lord and she asked me recently how I navigated the shift in identity from single to married to having kids. It was a big and broad and heavy question, and I think I was equally surprised as she at what came to the surface.
I thought back to when I was newly married to an incredible man who loves Jesus, adores me, is faithful, hilarious and a trusted friend. Tears sprung to my eyes, and past the lump that rose in my throat, I spoke the first think that came to my mind… “I mourned.”
Not the loss of my independence or single-hood or dating or any of those things. I mourned the loss of time with Him. I missed Jesus. I missed how much of life was me and Him… those mornings when I would wake up next to no one and with nothing but a song in my heart and the Lord on my mind and my first words were out loud “Good morning, Jesus!” and I would bury my heart in my bible and fill my journal with letters to Him and life was sweet and seemingly simple.
And now I woke up to someone next to me who took my time and attention and thoughts and effort and service…. And none of that was bad. In fact, it was wonderful and just how it was supposed to be.
I just felt divided between two loves.
My first love is still the Lord. He is my refuge and my safe place and the one who knows my innermost thoughts. He calls out truth and crushes lies and challenges me to greater faithfulness. He is my comforter and counselor and source of peace.
And yet he has asked me to work all that out, to flesh it all out, with a man who I adore and who loves Him too.
No, this identity shift that occurred 8 years ago was not easy. For marriage has demanded much of me, exposed my selfishness, sifted out insecurity, illuminated idolatry, taught me my deep need for a savior, revealed that I don’t trust the Lord to the extent I thought I did. It has also made me more sacrificial, more patient, more gracious, more respectful, more trusting, more humble, and more sure of my worth. In short, it has made me more like Jesus and more in love with Jesus. And that, I would say, is good.