The other day, I had the thought while brushing my teeth (this is optimal time for epiphanies) that if someone had told me about four years ago that I would end up going to college in New York City for three years, date my future husband who is ALSO my best friends’ older brother for the latter half of those years, and then get married, become an army wife, and move to North Carolina with him, then I probably would have entertained the thought for a moment, worried myself sick over how all of it would play out, and then would decide it was all nonsense and God had a different plan in mind. Surely.
But here I am. Oh, how small is my imagination.
And this shocking realization of how different life has turned out to be in the present time is not at all bad, no! But it is certainly perplexing. I feel like I started this blog to track my growth and adventures and such during college but now I’m not even in college…I’m a housewife living in North Carolina married to Jacob Brock!
Lord! How different are Your ways than my ways, and Your thoughts than my thoughts! You clearly know the plans You have for me, and they are far more than I could ever ask or imagine. (Isaiah 55:8-9, Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 3:19-20)
As if this newness needed further emphasis, about a week ago I was folding laundry and realized that a pair of my jeans had ripped in the washer, and another pair had been damaged by the detergent we’d bought. I only had two pairs of jeans, so I tossed the ripped pair and kept the damaged one. Jacob was watching me.
“We need to buy you new jeans,” he said.
I looked at him uncertainly.
“I’m not quite sure why you only have two pairs anyway,” he said. “So we really should get you new jeans.”
I frowned. He was being kind, saying it lovingly and without criticism, but I felt embarrassed.
“Jeans are expensive,” I said. “And I’m a college kid.”
“But you’re not a college kid anymore,” he said. “You’re someone’s wife.” He grinned. “You’re an army wife.”
So then, there’s all of these thoughts about my identity ultimately being in Christ, that, even though my relational status has changed, it does not mean my identity has changed. God will not see me as “Jacob’s wife” or “army wife,” but He will see me as His. Right. Sure. But I’m still a wife. Je suis une madame et pas une mademoiselle! I mean, even following Christ has taken on new meaning, particularly as I continue to consider and look to apply what God says via Paul in Ephesians, in Titus, and everywhere else depicting husband and wife as Christ and the Church. How deep does this picture go? How far does its meaning stretch? How thoroughly is Christ wanting us to apply this in our marriage? And what will my and Jacob’s relationship look like the more we understand this mystery?
Again, this isn’t bad…it’s just, wow! This is real, and God has really, actually put me here. He has really, actually given me to this man, and this man to me, and He has really put us in North Carolina, and we really are bound by the covenant of marriage, we really are living together, and learning how to follow Him together. Wow.
Thankfully, in the midst of all this, God reminds me that it all comes down to my following Him. He’ll take care of the rest.
“But this is totally different!” I think, “I mean, this isn’t Pratt. The people around me aren’t liberal college kids. I’m not single. I don’t live in the dorms with Bree anymore. I’m not leading a Bible study. I’m not going to the Shire on break…”
“And, ‘You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.’” (Hebrews 1:10-12)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:5-8)
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5)
So God has done this amazing thing where He’s totally provided for His kids through the writing of His Word. God is so generous. Not only has He loved and pursued us from before the beginning of time, and provided us the opportunity for salvation and reconciliation to glorious and eternally fulfilling fellowship with Him through the death of His Son, but He’s also made sure that all of what we would need to know about Him, about the world, and about ourselves was written down so that we wouldn’t be seeking Him blindly, without instruction, unequipped.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Okay, I feel like this is turning into a mess of spaghetti noodle thoughts mixed with a marinara rant of some sort.
Anyway…I’m learning yet again that God uses change to change us, both good and bad change, which, when you look at change as God making us more and more like Him, then there doesn’t seem to be much room left to classify any change as bad. Regardless of circumstance, location, status, occupation, anything, God has equipped us to adapt, to thrive under pressure and in tumult, and to find deep comfort in Him as difficulty arises.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
With that last verse, I’m certain we have yet to understand what it means to find comfort and strength in Christ when we are truly brought low, facing hunger, and in need. Paul’s circumstances were much less comfortable than ours presently. And yet the truth still rings clear: the strength of Christ transcends all phases of life, all trends and changes, all circumstances, which is the secret to facing all of these, even the transition from being a city college kid, to being an army wife.