After a brief hiatus due to getting married, I’m back, I’m inspired, and I’m excited to share the things that God has been speaking in the past month through the wedding, traveling in Mexico, and easing into this new normal of marriage.
Life hit hard for Lauren and I immediately upon arriving back home from the honeymoon. We landed in Atlanta after an almost 5 hour flight from Cabo, turned our phones on for the first time in almost 11 days and the voicemails and texts started flooding in: our marriage license was filled out incorrectly, there were lapses on bills that had been forgotten in the madness of a wedding and being out of the country, work stuff loomed; on and on.
In dealing with these things, I realized something: it’s a joy to work through life’s issues with my wife. The spirit of adventure and excitement that comes during a wedding doesn’t stop just because all of the guests have left and we’re back home. The adventure persists throughout the marriage, at least it should.
The process of becoming sanctified into your marriage isn’t necessarily easy (well…some parts are pretty easy, if you catch my drift), but it’s exciting. It’s an adventure.
The day we returned, I was listening to Lauren on the phone sorting out our marriage license snafu, and I realized how exciting life like this was going to be. There’s excitement in the process of learning somebody that deeply and intimately to work through life together.
I think God feels this way about our spiritual process and relationship with Him. It’s a constant adventure.
It’s freeing to know that even working through the junk, God’s just enjoying the ride with us. It clears out the shame and guilt of our screw ups and makes room for the grace that lifts us up out of those places.
If I mess up with my wife, I feel bad because she’s the recipient of some undesirable consequence as a result of something stupid that I did, but I feel simultaneously inspired and excited that my stupidity isn’t permanent and that I’ll have another opportunity to succeed at something I struggled with before. We’re learning each other and melding together as we go through the evolution of two becoming one.
The other day, I was trying to do something for Lauren and I failed. In the moment, I felt defeated; I felt like I’d failed as her husband. Then, calm and loving as could be, she just looked at me and said, “Come here, let’s try this a different way…”
My failure didn’t cross her mind, what did cross her mind was that when I saw a setback, she saw a process of learning, a progression.
That’s what conviction and repentance looks like. It’s not particularly comfortable, but it’s simultaneously inspiring and exciting. The process is exhilarating. Repentance is a physical manifestation of the spiritual realization that is conviction. Conviction inspires us to rise up out of something, and its that physical, “rising up” that is repentance.
The single hyper-crucial component of this equation is commitment. My wife isn’t going anywhere when I screw up so that takes my fear off of the table. When fear is off the table so is a lot of the shame and guilt that accompanies screwing up because those things are bred by fear. When there’s commitment, the only route that makes sense is motivation to rise up.
If you’ve made a choice for Jesus, fear isn’t even an option. The only option is process, evolution, transformation.
There’s no such thing as screwing up, only a process of learning.
Don’t mishear my words and think that making mistakes perpetually or ignoring them altogether is ok. That is, in fact, a screw up; that’s not transformation, that’s an abuse of grace. I’m saying that when we’re motivated to improve, everything is a learning experience; even our mistakes.
If we related to God this way it would unlock a different revelation than most are used to: the aspect that God isn’t disappointed, He’s just elated that we’ve chosen to go on this ride with Him.