LIfe is interesting for me right now. I'm working 8 hours every day, newly married, and involved in ministry at church. I'm reading as much as I can, writing on a semi-regular basis, finding time to practice piano and study Greek from time to time. I'm busy, though hardly as busy as I could be. (That's intentional: Jaimie and I made a point to take the first year with a minimum of commitments so we can focus on learning to love each other well. It's a Biblical principle, in case you think I'm crazy.) It's an incredibly joyful season in my life. It's also proving to be a very challenging season.
Jaimie is going through a difficult season. I'm learning how to walk well with her in the midst of it. Marriage is, lest anyone deceive you into thinking otherwise, hard work. As men, we get to die for our wives as Christ died for the church. That's an every day task, sometimes an every hour task - not a when-I-feel-like-it task. It's certainly easy enough to say that I love Jaimie enough to die for her, but to actually do it every day takes the grace of God. It's more than I can do on my own. (I should note that I think she needs just as much of God's grace to walk through every day beside me!)
We've set up our house, and it's quickly become a home. More than merely a place to sleep, our apartment has become a place of rest. I can't express how much a blessing that is: I spent four years in the dorms at OU, and while they were fruitful and wonderful years, they were also long. OU was never home like this apartment is. There are a lot of reasons for that. My wife lives here with me, and a good family makes for a home very quickly indeed. It is ours; while we share walls with neighbors, we do not share bathrooms or living rooms or any personal space at all with them. We have spiritual authority here in a way that we did not in the dorms. So, we have a wonderful home.
I am learning a great deal right now. Much of God's sanctifying work in my life is through marriage and Jaimie; most of the rest is quiet, underlying growth I can feel the Spirit accomplishing. A little more each day, I learn to live with my eyes set on Christ and the gospel. He shows me my sin more clearly, and reminds me that He has delivered from darkness to His kingdom and His "redemption, the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1:13-14). I get to listen to a sermon every day on the way to and from work, and I've learned a lot from Godly preachers like John Piper and Matt Chandler. I've learned as lot, too, from Bruce Hess and Mark Robinson, who teach at Wildwood, and Dick Stewart, one of the elders there. I thank God for His work in our church, as I do for faithful friends that He's surrounded us with.
My heart is joyful and hopeful in this season, though sometimes troubled and tired as well. No circumstances are more powerful or stronger than our mighty God, and it is on Him, His love, His grace, His salvation that I am learning to lean. My own strength fails, but His mercies are new every morning and His love is steadfast and sure.