How I Stopped Worrying about Marriage

Firstly, thank you so much everyone who has commented on my posts about cold feet and dreading my wedding. Your support has overwhelmed me and helped me more than I can say. Thank you!

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So, how am I feeling about my marriage now? Nervous, I am almost 2 months away (I am sure that’s normal!), but I am also feeling peaceful, because I saw where my problems where coming from. For my best effort at describing this I would ask you to read this post here (puppets) if you haven’t already, I’d let things in my life lie dormant in me, ready and waiting to take control of my emotions and sabotage my life.

My first piece of advice if you are worrying over something – go back and pray about things in your past. Don’t dwell or chew over things, but quickly and calmly give them over to God again, let Him cut the ties from your past. Leave them with Him there.

Stop thinking what you are thinking and think about what God says. Seriously, even if you don’t agree with what the bible is saying think about it anyway. Whether or not you understand God is always right. Here’s my example – “Rejoice in the Lord always” I find this hard, confusing and it feels a bit fake – but when I think about the verse and mull it over in my mind it seems to settle my emotions down – so even without agreement God is working through His word. Amazing!

When you know what God wants you to do don’t doubt it – just trust Him and move towards doing it. I took a lot of time to pray and think about if marriage was the right way for me to go at this time in my life and He said yes, strongly, clearly and peacefully. I then started re-evaluating my decisions and that’s where my problems came. Once God says something to you – don’t let the doubts play havoc with your mind!

So here I am calm, peaceful and excited about my marriage! Good bye cold feet 🙂

Anyway, the main point of this post is to say thank you to all of you who took the time to comment, contact me and pray for me. It has been amazing and helped me so much!

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Cold Feet

I think it is now time to admit that I have a serious case of cold feet. I get married in 3 months and I am freaked out. A while ago I was worried, now I am petrified (read more here).

Suddenly after all this peaceful time of being engaged and working towards a new life together I am itching to run as fast as I can in the other direction. Molehills, which my rose tinted glasses were hiding, have now turned into mountains eclipsing my view of this wedding; all I can see are faults, my faults and his faults.

I see the look of doubt in people’s eyes as they watch my reaction to marriage, I’ve heard it so many times that I “must be so excited!?!”

But what if I’m not?

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What if I dread the thought of being tied to a man who can hurt me so badly? What if I am walking into marriage out of obedience to God and not out of the rush of young love? Does that make our relationship doomed to fail?

My past and my present seem blurry and I simply can’t tell if my feelings are rational or irrational.

How does someone without a clear example of how a relationship should work know when they themselves are in a good one?

When does the memory of abuse stop shaping the life that you are now trying to live?

How do you find a voice in a relationship when you don’t know if you are imagining the problems that you have?

And yet I will trust in His unfailing love, I will love because He first love me.

Jesus is my answer, Jesus is my hope.

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Anyone else get the Wedding Jitters?

Ok, so I have 3 months and 2 days until my wedding day……. I have this massive mixed up knot in my stomach pretty much every time I think about it. My dreams are filling up with invites still not sent, the fact that we still don’t (and may not) have a place to live and pretty much anything wedding related that could go wrong.

When we got engaged I was Ecstatic! It felt so right, so peaceful, so calm. We had started organising early and everything was falling into place. 6 months, 3 hospital trips and dodgy lease paperwork later we are not in the same place. Things are HECTIC! More to the point I am hectic!

So my question to all you experienced bloggers out there is,

Is this normal???

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I guess the spiral of my thoughts goes like this… Oh no we haven’t sent out the invites yet… What if people don’t turn up?…. Wow money is tight since he hasn’t been working, what if we can’t afford any furniture/food/fees and we end up miserably married?……. Things are looking dodgy with our flat, what if we have to live with my parents for a while? That will put a strain on our relationship!….. We haven’t had any fun quality time throughout this illness, what if when we get married we stop connecting??? What if we aren’t right for each other? Should we even get married when things are so up in the air??? End rant.

Anyway, the sensible part of me knows this is probably normal, I love him, he loves me, we are VERY different but most of the time it works great. But there is the nagging, cold feet inducing worry that maybe we are getting this wrong.

This evening we are being sat down by our pastor to take a marriage test. I kid you not, a marriage test – we pass all is well, we fail and it’s no wedding for us, we can’t be married in our Church.

Scary.

There is no way we can revise, no way of cheating (not that I looked into that or anything…. cough), and in the uncertain words of our pastor we should “pass with flying colours – or I hope so at least”. Hmmm, that’s encouraging!

In the meantime, people, can you help me?!?

Is this Normal?

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When Breaking up is the Best thing to do – Part 2

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Ok, so the way I left this yesterday was that me and my fiance had just broken up, I was heart broken and utterly confused, yet what I couldn’t see at the time was that this was the best thing to have happened to us. To read a bit more have a click here.

I was heart-broken because I loved him, but also because he had become so strongly linked to my future, my hope and my healing. I had so many hopes pinned on him, he was “The Perfect Christian Guy” after all.

I was so sure this was the will of God for me, that when it fell through I, and my faith was left in tatters.

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When Breaking up is the Best Thing to do

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Today I found myself texting a friend saying that all good couples break up at some point! She had just got back together with her ex, who is a great guy and I am so happy for them!

It got me thinking about how breaking up with my fiancé was the best thing we ever did.

Firstly, don’t worry, we are obviously back together – hurrah! But we probably wouldn’t be planning our wedding in September if we hadn’t broken up. Let me tell you why…

We met when he came to my hometown to do a years internship as a youth worker. It wasn’t really love at first sight at all, we worked together at lots of youth groups, I found he brought out my fun side and taught me how to celebrate life, I introduced him to “deep conversations” and he found that sometimes, only sometimes mind, he enjoyed them. Soon enough we fell in love with no clue the other felt the same (although apparently everyone else did!).

The only problem was that he had signed up to do mission work in South Africa in a few months time, and had no plans to come back to my home town. I was devastated to be honest, and prayed and prayed and kept trying to stop feeling things for him.

Then, on a sunny barbecue and football filled day (England vs Germany in the World Cup…. Not a great match but you can’t have everything!) he told me he’d fallen a little bit in love with me, that he knew we’d be far away from each other but he’d rather miss me as a girlfriend than miss me for no reason at all. It was amazing!

We gave the long distance thing a try, and anyone who’s been there knows it. Is. Not. Fun. It’s horrible, sad and so hard to do.

We lasted out the year apart, barely scraping through. He became ill with a parasite and I had started wallowing in self pity over being stuck at home in a horrible situation. We fought and fought and I cried and he distanced himself.

It was not the kind of relationship that was pleasing God, each other or ourselves. There was only one thing to do and that was to break up.

I have to say it wasn’t my choice. I was heart broken, absolutely crushed and at the time I thought it was the worst thing to happen to me for a long time.

I was wrong, it turned out to be the best thing to happen, we had gotten things all wrong at the start and needed to refocus everything.

To find out how we worked things out you’ll have to read my next post because it’s just too much for one sitting!

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Self Help is No Help at All

Self Help is no Help at All.

“Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?” The Message Matthew 16:24-26

This sounds like an extreme statement – OF COURSE WE NEED TO HELP OURSELVES! How else will we will be able to help people like Jesus said? How else will we have energy for Church work if we don’t look after ourselves? True points but the focus is off.

Even when we work as a Christian all day, working for others, caring for people, we can still have the focus on ourselves. We decide when we will help and who and which hour-long church activity to help out with. Is this letting Jesus lead? It sounds pretty planned.

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I’m sure Jesus loves that we incorporate help into our routines, and it’s an essential part of holding a church or community together, but what about the unexpected interruptions when people need help. What about when the deep relationships we are making with people take more from us than we think wise to give?

That’s when self-help is no help at all; we need to show self-sacrifice – that’s what Jesus did and that’s what He asks for.

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.” The Message Matthew 5:7

Jesus tells us an upside down God’s kingdom rule that works in our lives as Christians. When we wear ourselves out by personally loving someone, when we show self-sacrifice and care for others; God will care for us and He will give back far more than we gave out to those we helped.

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Respecting someone Does Not make you a Doormat

Firstly, let me tell you, I once WAS a doormat, I know what it means to be a doormat and I am not a doormat now. A doormat knows they are being abused and they let it happen out of fear, low self-esteem and sometimes just for the attention they get from the abuser (that was my experience anyway, and I know that this is by no means true for everyone).

I have changed so much since those years of being controlled, manipulated and choosing not to fight back. Being an emotional doormat is an awful place to be, and I think the term doormat isn’t the most sensitive way of describing it either if I’m honest!

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What I have the main problem with, however, is when I am called a doormat for making a conscious decision to do things my fiance’s way.

I agree that in some of these situations he is not “right”, and his course of action is certainly not the way I would do something, but instead of moaning, pouting and shouting like my friends tell me to, I do something else. I go along with his decision (without complaining!). If there comes a time when I’ve explained my reasoning and it’s still important to him, I do what he’s asking me to do, I stand up for him when others criticize him and I trust that if it’s important to him then there’s a reason he’s making this call.

He is an amazing man who loves me so well, and for me a massive part of returning that love is respecting the wisdom he has; even when I don’t agree.

This has happened about 3 times in our whole 3 years together, because he wants my opinion and wants to make me happy so most of the time we do end up agreeing. Living this way makes me happy, because it’s my decision and my way of showing love – It does not make me a doormat.

A doormat has no choice who’s shoes are wiped on it, a doormat has no mind. The way I live might mean that I end up with the dirt of someone else’s decision clogging up my life – but that is because I’m choosing to let it be there.

I’m no doormat when I’m chosing to wash his feet – I’m being a follower of Jesus.

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