Here’s why freedom is over-rated

A friend texted four days before our mid-July wedding, teasing good-naturedly: “Enjoy your last few days of freedom!”


Photo by Aditya Saxena on Unsplash

Back when I first considered dating and remarriage, people who know and love me cautioned: “You’ve been traveling and coming and going as you please. Getting married would tie you down.”

Fast forward a couple years. I met and married Dan, who couldn’t be a better fit for me in so many ways.

Living in his house now, the weirdest thing is this: several times I’ve caught myself thinking, “It’s 7:30. I need to think about gathering my things and heading home. No wait … I am home. I get to stay!”

And what a freeing thing that is.

Dan and I have discussed how the world sometimes sees marriage as a restricting institution. And yet for us it’s been liberating in so many ways:

Fellow adventurer. As a widow, I ventured out alone. Hiking tall mountain trails. Road trips across multiple states. A cruise to Alaska. A flight across the pond to join up with fellow trekkers in the Swiss Alps.

But oh, how much more fun and freeing to set off on an adventure with a husband as we share in the planning and companionship.

Head cheerleader. My daughter texted after I decided to never date again, encouraging me not to shut down my heart:

I think God is going to surprise you with someone completely unexpected. He’ll be the one saying, “Let’s go on an adventure!” And you won’t be able to keep up.  He’ll push you to become even better at what you want to do — writing, speaking, etc.

Dan is that person. He’s my head cheerleader—as I am his—urging, inspiring, emboldening each other to pursue the things we were created to do.

And there is much freedom in that.

Fully known. My new husband accepts me for exactly who I am — quirks and all.

He’s endured my overly-organized ways and my de-cluttering tendencies (although I promised not to touch his garage or shop).

He’s seen me frustrated, at peace, stressed, deeply content. He’s experienced my quiet … and my non-stop talking, not to mention my Chai tea addiction.

And he accepts and loves me exactly as I am.

Do you know how liberating it is to be fully known and fully loved?

What if?

As we pursue important things—like, building relationships, starting a family, or chasing down a more meaningful life—hard and holy times will walk hand-in-hand with us. Guaranteed.

The pursuit of anything worthwhile invites moments of slammed-shut doors, of frustration and hopelessness, of coming to the end of our ropes.

But just as surely as there will be those challenging moments, the freedom of inspiration and green lights and purposefulness will also show up.

This from an ancient proverb:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. — Ecclesiastes 3:1

This is the season for Dan and me to walk in the freedom of partnering together in doing good and making a difference while we still have the time.


Garden therapy … or feeding the critters?


Can we find things to be grateful for anyway?


  1. Sarah Cassidy

    My heart is so delighted and happy, reading this, Marlys. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you, Sarah! I hope all is well with you and Cancer Hope Network. How lovely that the mission of CHN and its phone-based peer support for cancer patients and caregivers hasn’t been diverted due to COVID-19.

  2. Larry Hess

    Your blog inspires my wife and I Marlys. In this time of craziness we all need a bit of well grounded logic. Thank you, thank you!

  3. Congratulations on your marriage to Dan!

  4. Barbara

    Resting in the arms of unconditional love IS freeing! Blessings to you and Dan as you move forward together into adventure after adventure!

  5. Deborah Smith

    So glad that you have found your new “cheerleader” and partner. God bless both of you in this journey.

  6. Nancy Whitlatch

    I couldn’t see you not wanting to share your enthusiasm for life with another. Yours is a wonderful story of faith and hope!

  7. Fawn

    Thank you Dan for letting Marlys be Marlys, we would of missed her writings so much. Looking forward to your new adventure and Gods blessings you two.


  8. Chris Youngblood

    Thanks Marlys for sharing your wisdom and insight, it’s very inspirational. Love you.

  9. Pat

    Such an amazing story of pure love. Life is a journey, congratulations & many blessings to the two of you‼️

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