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In Sickness and in Health

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A month ago, Paul Park asked me if I would write a post about marriage for this week; I was immediately confused. Would that be weird? And what would I possibly have to say after just two weeks of being married? All that aside, I said what most people would say to their boss; I said, "yes."

Phil and I got married two weeks ago, and it truly was a wonderful day. We set out on the road trip we had been waiting a year to go on, the Tuesday after our wedding. Working full time, going to school, and planning a wedding had been our lives for the last year, and we were looking forward to this blissful rest that was to be our honeymoon. However, God had a different story waiting for us; one that was definitely not the story that we had been expecting.

Phil's "cold" that he had for the last week and a half got severely worse while we were in Oregon, and after a few slightly traumatic experiences, we decided to go to a clinic where they told him that he had strep throat. Now that we had a diagnosis, I was relieved that things could get back to normal and maybe I would get some of the "rest" that I had been looking for and thought that I deserved; maybe I wouldn't have to take care of him so much and do so much. His illness continued and he was definitely not well, but we finished out the trip anyways.

When we got home I was exhausted and just wanted to enjoy the last few days of being off before returning to work. Unfortunately, Phil started picking up more strange symptoms and getting even more ill. Last Saturday, our last day off, we decided that we had had enough and decided to go to the hospital. After a series of unfortunate events, many tests, and seven hours of waiting, it was decided that Phil had mono; and this is what he had had all along. All that was left to do was for us to go home and let Phil rest until the illness fully passed.

There's a little honeymoon drama for you. What is the point of all of this? Why am I telling you this? Well, I am writing all of this to share with you the huge lesson about marriage that I believe God has been teaching me over these last few weeks.

As Christians, and as the church, we are the bride of Christ; we are taught to love the Lord with all our hearts and minds and strength, and we are also taught to serve and sacrifice our lives to the Lord. David teaches us in 1 Chronicles that giving to the Lord must cost us something, for if it doesn't, then what is it worth? David states, "I will not sacrifice something that costs me nothing;" a powerful, perspective changing statement.

You see, Phil and my relationship has been pretty amazing as a whole. Yes, we have been through trials and we have made tough decisions, but loving Phil has always been simple; it has been a joy. However, these past two weeks--the ones that were supposed to be my rest, my bliss, my relaxation, my respite--were trying. These weeks tested my patience and my selflessness. I have been physically and emotionally exhausted and so frustrated with God that my only break this year was spent having poor sleeps, worrying, making phone calls, etc. But then I realized, Phil is now my husband, and if he is now to love me like Christ loves the church, then why should I not sacrifice myself like the church sacrifices for the Lord? This is the cost that David talks about. If I cannot love Phil with my whole heart and life in the difficult times, then I do not deserve to love him in the times when everything is "butterflies and roses."

Our honeymoon ended up costing me my rest and relaxation, but I have learned that the time has been more fulfilling than I ever could have anticipated. I have felt so close to the Lord and to our community, and I have learned an incredible lesson about love and sacrifice. Loving Phil should cost me something so that it can truly mean something; so that our relationship can reflect the beauty of the love that the Lord has for us--His people; His church.

Praise be to God, and his overwhelming grace for His children.

Posted by Mary Grierson