I’ve been married for one month and a half now, to an amazing man. We live in a lovely apartment in Geneva, which has been newly decorated with our own hands.
When I was thinking about writing a new article for my blog after a long time, the word came to my mind is “contentment”. This word properly sums up the greatest feeling I had during my newly-wedded life, as well as one of the most important lessons I’ve been learning throughout the years.
We had a most beautiful outdoor July wedding by a castle, beside a lovely little fenced pond in a garden. From there, you can gaze upon the Alps and Lake Geneva. We were blessed with a perfect weather after many days of gloom and rain. It was just like what we’d been praying for—- not too hot for my layered classic-look wedding dress nor for the guests’ suits and ties, not too cold either; no rain, and just enough sunshine.
We had our immediate family traveling all the way from China with us, as well as many friends and leaders from church and work. We made our vows to each other loud and clear before our pastor, friends and family, most of all, to God, under the warm sun. Many guests were touched with tears.
Dinner was just as lovely. Food and wine were amazing. We had some performances and games. Lots of laughers…
Which girl had not dreamed about her wedding day? A girl like me, who grew up reading so many fairy tales, had been dreaming about a gorgeous wedding since I was little. And when the day came, I only found everything I had dreamed of, and so much more beyond, had just become real before my own eyes, and I was right in the middle of it, experiencing it all. Just like the saying in Proverbs, “Desire fulfilled is the tree of life.” (13:12) More abundance of life, was what gushed out in me on that day. I felt deeply satisfied and inexpressibly grateful.
And the next day, my beloved husband and I were off for our honeymoon… in Santorini.:)
As I’m writing this piece, I took a moment closing my eyes, all I see is those colorful followers, blue sky, greens, castles, bright sunshine, beach, deep blue Mediterranean Sea, amazing food and the warmth of a lover.
I’m so glad that I have waited for this. I kept my faith and hope in God and waited with gratefulness.
I, had been single for most of my twenties. I met my husband after I turned 30, and got married at 32. From 22 to 29, I moved almost every year, sometime several times a year, from one city to another, one country to another. I didn’t own much stuff. I lived simple. For my life was full of travels, meeting new people and adjusting into new cultures. It was full and fun, most of the time. However, when I had to wait for the next flight alone, again, at an airport in a foreign country; or sleep on mattress in a new room, again, for a couple of months and then had to say goodbye to a people I just became familiar with… I felt the ache of loneness and the longings of “settling down” or “getting married ” running through my heart and mind more and more. It was hard, as I’m sure many single girls could relate to. I would cry sometimes, feeling the weight of those longings and desires almost unbearable. Some days, I would take a long walk in the woods, just to pray, pouring my heart and emotions to God, then surrender again to Him and His plans and timing, breathing and believing… Over time, I started to learn, in the comfort of the Father, what it meant to be content.
Paul said in the Book of Philippians, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (4:12, 13)
Yes, this is also what I have learnt in those years. I didn’t know when I would get married or if I would get married at all. I only knew the longing of being married and having a family sometimes was so real and strong that I had to go to God to get comfort and peace. No other things would do. And, in that small still voice, I knew I could always count on my Comforter, no matter what tomorrow brings. This faith brought me hope, joy and strength. Just like what Paul said, the secret of having contentment is, “through Him who gives me strength”.
My life now, as you can imagine, is quite different from before. I woke up every morning, to a man I deeply love and commit to, feeling truly happy. We cook most of the meals at home and enjoy a good glass of wine. Though it’s just the beginning of our marriage, he has enriched my life so much. Every day, there seems to be no room for loneliness. My heart is full. You might say: “Good on you! You’ve got everything you were longing for. Of course you are happy now. ”
Wait, I want tell you something. My heart is full today isn’t just because all the blessings I received; it’s because the lessons I have learnt from the years of being single. The leaning into God when I felt the pain, the crying out for His love and comfort and experiencing of His faithful response to me– all these have borne fruit today– the fruit of contentment. It’s a bit like the wine making process–the fragrance of a good wine will not come without years of pressuring and waiting.
Life is a win when we have a grateful heart no matter what we are facing. Contentment is knowing where we can always draw strength from and will be lack of nothing in any given situation.
I have to say, only faith on a solid foundation can give us that assurance. And that foundation is in Christ alone. Contentment is in Christ.
PS: You are welcome to watch Our Honeymoon Diving in Mediterranean Sea, Santorini. 🙂