Hey, gals! My name is Nicole and I blog over at bloom. I'm so excited that Brittany invited me to share here at Happy is a Choice while she is away soaking up some wedding goodness this weekend. Speaking of... OUR GIRL IS ENGAGED! I'm so excited for you, Brittany, and I know that this next season of your life is going to be so sweet and I'm thrilled to get to watch as you learn, grow, and have the time of your life.
I became a bride-to-be on June 29, 2012, I was a bride on March 8, 2013, and began my first full day as a wife on March 9, 2013. It's crazy to think how much your life can change in just a matter of months. The Lord has worked in my life SO MUCH through these seasons and I am thankful for how I've been challenged and stretched. As Brittany begins her engagement journey I wanted to encourage her (and you!) with a few things that the Lord has been teaching me.
1. The love of a man is fantastic... the love of Jesus Christ cannot be challenged.
If I learned anything during my first few weeks of engagement I learned that having a ring on my left hand finger didn't solve the world's problems. I wasn't all of a sudden exempt from life's trials or free from the pressure our culture places on us. So many women feel that all their problems will be solved if they can just get a man. If they can just find someone to commit to forever. Is it wonderful? Absolutely. Have I had some of the best days of my life? No doubt. Was getting married the best thing that will ever happen to me? No, no, no. Man will always fail. We will always fall short. Because of sin, we'll never be perfect beings able to meet expectations all the time. If I place all my hope in my husband, I WILL be disappointed. But, the love of Jesus is so much different. I CAN place all my hope in Him because His love never fails. Yes, being married is one of the best earthly experiences I will ever have the privilege of knowing. BUT. Jesus is the only one who can truly fulfill us.
2. This season will pass.
I went through some really ugly days when we were dating. I was ready to be engaged, I was ready to plan a wedding, I was ready for the life-long commitment. I could be as impatient as a 2 year old child. The Lord really broke my heart over my attitude and started to work in my heart towards the end of our dating season. And then we got engaged. I was ready for the showers, I was ready for the engagement pictures, I was ready for the white dress. I tried my hardest not to wish the days away and by the grace of God I enjoyed our engagement more than I enjoyed some of our dating years. I was thankful. But, I still chose impatience some days and wished those precious engagement moments away. The wedding day came and went with hardly a blink and "all that I ever wanted" happened. I left our reception with a husband and I've slept right next to him every night since. Not long after we were married the reality of it all really started to sink in. I have wished so much away in the past... what do I wish away now? Our newlywed years? The first few years as parents? Life flashes by in a minute, ladies. Seasons come and seasons go and the Lord places us in each one for a specific reason. What will you do with that time? Will you serve Jesus or will you waste the opportunities He gives you? Some truths I have really struggled with these past few years.
Pray over your boyfriend, your fiancé, your husband. Pray for your relationship that it would be pure, Christ-honoring, and protected. I've been convicted lately that I don't pray over our marriage enough. What a precious, precious covenant we've entered into. I should be praying over it daily! I know that the Lord wants us to surrender every relationship under his Lordship and I know that He is satisfied when we are seeking Him daily. Pray, ladies, pray!
What a blessing these last few seasons have been in my life. The Lord has been faithful to show me my sin and pour out grace so that I could learn to to cling to Him a little more. Brittany, I am SO EXCITED for all the joy that is about to enter your life. Some of the most thrilling experiences are yet to come and it is going to be a sweet time for you, my friend.
I pray that no matter what season of life you find yourself in today that you would rest in the fact that Jesus is good and that He desires for you to seek Him above all else. If you're feeling let down, disappointed, or longing for more, know that your answers will be found in Jesus. Be encouraged, friends!
Thanks, Brittany, for having me! I can't wait to follow you along your engagement journey and watch as you learn what it means to become a wife! It my most exciting adventure yet, and I know you will agree! Thanks to YOU, Happy is a Choice readers, for allowing me to chat with you here today! Come visit me at bloom for our latest marriage adventure!
Nicole, knowing that I have a blogging friend who is desiring to have a Christ centered marriage who is walking along side of me with advice, wisdom, prayers and support means so much to me! Thanks for sharing with my lovely readers today!