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