On the plane coming back from a great snowboarding spring break and finding a cute duplex in Maine, I was thinking about the sermon from the Ledyard church we attended and I was reviewing his 09-10 schedule (Chris will be out to sea for half of our first year) and wrote this in my journal.
"Soon I shall be his wife. I will be a strong wife. confident, courageous, sturdy, and unafraid. Loneliness will not intimidate me. It will be an opportunity. And when my darling comes home, I will be there for him to offer him the love and tenderness and encouragement and support and entertainment that he needs. I will be his wife. He will be my stronghold, my cornerstone. Christ will be our foundation. I messily sketched our marriage as little a solid structure with Christ as the foundation, me as the support and Chris as the roof and cornerstone between my columns. I will encourage him, I will not complain to or about him, i will not mock him or bring him down. I will not lie to or deceive him, I will be fully straightforward and honest with a love for Christ above us both and farthest above myself.
I had thought a lot about John 14 "Ask for anything IN MY NAME and I will give it." I wont go into the workings of the secong part of that sentence, but just that first part- what does "in His name" mean? It is not a phrase to tag onto a prayer. It is a life style. when I take my new name, it is not just something we say at the wedding or a new signature to practice, it is a lifestyle. Lord make me IN YOUR NAME. Oh God, I love you. You first loved me. The pastor was right this morning. You cannot talk about oneness in marriage until you talk (for a really long time (ha)) about oneness with God. I am longing to be "in Chris' name." I am going to take his name onto myself. When I relinquish myself and my own will and desire- like the Jone's binder says, I am letting my name go and also my pride and selfcenteredness and ambition.
The pastor also said this morning that, like with God, once I let go of myself (which I do not claim to have sufficiently done), it is not like my joy becomes irrelevant. It will be considered and cared for by the one whose name I take. Just as we, together, have taken Christ's name and Christ cares about our joy, I will take Chris's name and Chris will care for my joy. Sidenote: Christopher means "Christ bearer." I will bear the name of the bearer of Christ's name. Mr. and Mrs. Christopher- selfless as individuals for each other and selfless as a couple for God. Yes, I know that is not fully attainable. But the Jones to us to accept reality while still striving for the ideal.
Jesus is very concerned with our personal joy and fulfillment. When we give ourselves to Him and let Him care for us instead of looking after these concerns ourselves (aka sin), he will do so and the results will be far better than our own sillyface ideas. As I look to Chris, Chris will look to Christ (not that I am not also looking to Christ, because I am) and our marriage will make His joy complete and fulfill His purposes and He will in turn make our joy complete and we will be fulfilled with and by Him. John 15:11. I know that Chris is not perfect and I am so imperfect; the Jones said that we must recognize that two imperfect people cannot make a perfect marriage- it needs focus and reliance on God. And even as we aim to rely on God (the ideal), we still have to understand that that perfection, though it is possible and will be remarkable at times, is not realistically going to be the case all the time. I know.