On this Monday in mid-August I am relishing time with my family in the mountains of California. We’ve gathered our growing family— fifteen of us now— in a rare moment to focus just on each other. Allison, a member of the team that creates this blog, agreed to write this week’s post Her story is as unusual as her life: occasionally glamorous and exciting, often times lonely, rarely what she’d planned. She is learning, along with all of us, what it means to put her hope wholly in God.
From My Heart,
I sit here across from a handsome tattooed man at our hand-me-down dining table, and am faced with the task of trying to sum up the millions of life lessons I've already learned since saying, "I do."
Where do I begin?
How can I possibly begin to explain to you how this gentle yet rugged man can melt me with a few guitar chords and his raspy voice?
Will I be able to explain to you how my heart sinks every time we pull up to the airport?
Or how my butterflies flare up every time I return to pick him up outside of baggage claim?
How week after week of saying goodbye never gets easier, and how each time he returns from a trip I am equally as nervous and excited to see him as I was the last time. Is it possible to sum up the stretching that took place as I moved across the country with this man?
Can I properly portray our odd lifestyle in just one short blog?
Well... here goes nothin'...
Making the decision to marry Nick was the easy part. There was not a doubt in my mind I was ready to marry this man. It was the calling that came with being his wife that held some weighty requirements. He had been preparing the field, tilling the grounds of his music career in Nasvhille, TN for three years, and upon saying our vows, I promised to join him in making our home there as a couple.
Leaving all I'd ever known behind in Portland, I climbed shakily into that ten foot Budget truck heading east 2300 miles to my new home. I remember looking in the side mirror as my family waved goodbye, running through my list of fears and what if's. Then looking to my left at my steady driver, I took a deep breath and smiled. God had called me to this life, and I was ready for it to begin.
We arrived in the southern June humidity, unloaded our truck, and then Nick left straight to the studio to record their new album. He's part of a Christian rock band called Kutless, and our honeymoon had just clipped into their studio time. It was "hello new town, new house, new friends," and "bye bye husband!" Not forever, but definitely often. While learning how to live with my new roommate, I was also having to say goodbye to him every few days for days and weeks at a time.
Our foundation for communication was built on choppy cell service, busy dressing rooms, and sorting through disagreements in the back of a crowded tour bus. With no guarantees of finishing conversations, we very quickly learned that relying on "ideal conditions" was never going to be an option for our marriage's success. Every band wife would agree that the following feaux gospel quote is most true: "Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not break."
My most remembered application of this quote happened this past November, when Nick and I decided to move back to Portland. The month had a daunting tour schedule, leaving me to pack a bulk of the house alone and complete any finishing touches on our home before heading west. As expected, I became overwhelmed with anxiety both physically and mentally. My to do list's were a mile long, and all the while I was left missing my husband. With Nick in Norway nine hours ahead of me, our communication was minimal. I felt like I was being choked, and thought (foolishly) that I wouldn't be able to survive that week without Nick. Boy, what a dangerous place I had come to. It was then that I realized the place of idolship I had placed Nick in. His absence that week felt like devesation, but God was using it to help me to lean more heavily on Him, the One who holds ALL things together.
I spent that week pouring my heart out to Jesus, and was delightfully enveloped and filled with love and the strength I needed for that week of packing. Nick was no where in sight, and I MADE IT! Would the packing have been easier with him there? Absolutely! However, I would have never learned that valuable life lesson of trust and sufficiency in God alone.
I am so grateful.
For me it's taken having a husband who is away two thirds of the year to realize my need to depend solely on Jesus for my joy and strength.
Maybe for some of you single girls, it's been the challenge of simply being single that's urged you into romance with your Maker.
For the mamas up nursing in the middle of the night, it's Jesus who's there calming your weary heart.
For the widow, or divorcee, it's the hurts and loss that brings you to Jesus' feet.
Our life is anything but ordinary, but after two years, I feel like I've learned to love it. It has taught me so much about myself and my relationship with God. Things I would have never learned otherwise. I've learned that we live in a world of uncertain circumstances. Things to wait for, people to miss, hearts that break, worries to combat, but the truth that rings through to our weary souls is that God is, and always will be sufficient for us.
He is the only answer to our trials. The refuge we need to run to first amidst fires and storms.
If I've learned anything in my not-so-normal marriage to this musician husband of mine, it's that he is not the answer to my problems.
Ladies, I truly believe that what we would define as "lack" in our lives, is actually a space that God wants to fill. I want to challenge you (and myself) to know that no matter what status you hold, married, single, divorced, you are not lacking. When we seek fulfillment from the desires of our flesh, we will always be left wanting (yes, even with a husband), but with Jesus you are FULL, lacking nothing.
Even the most adventorous and exciting life with my husband has had it's challenges, but the times that we soar the most is when Jesus is on the throne of our hearts.
"Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33