“Are you happy?,” asked Mae over Gtalk. It didn’t surprise me anymore because that’s normally how we would start our conversations—like we’re in the middle of it. Then she would follow it up with, “So how’s your heart?” or “How’s married life?”
Although M seems to ask me the very same questions, like, everyday, I like how she makes me stop for a moment to self-reflect and appreciate life’s simple joys.
This morning when she asked me if I was happy, I realized that I haven’t really been sad in a long time. Sure, I’ve felt a lot of negative emotions—tired, drained, frustrated, stressed out, burned out, discouraged, unappreciated, tired, tired, tired—but looking back, sadness is not one of them. Whatever my circumstances are, I’ve found that there’s this inner joy and peace that’s taken residence in my heart. And that’s saying a lot because if you knew me when I was younger, you know how my over-thinking would often end up in sudden bouts of depression. More so, if you followed my blog when I was younger, you know that I blogged a lot about my frustrations and self-inflicted loneliness too.
But something about getting married changed that side of me.
You see, I happened to have married a very happy person. :) Sure, David can be too happy sometimes it drains all the energy out of me lol. But mostly his very optimistic and happy disposition in life is so contagious it balances out my melancholy side. It’s a real blessing how our personalities balance each other out in so many ways; and how, rather than feeling “stuck” in a long-term commitment, I feel like I’ve become a better, less uptight, and happier version of myself.
I know for a fact that the thought of marriage sometimes makes single and independent women worry about losing their freedom and flexibility. I should know, I was a single person not too long ago. I know how it feels, not wanting to lose control of your schedule, your plans, your dreams. You want to be able to do what you want to do, go where we want to go, and not feel “stuck” in one place. You want to be free to hop from one job to another and search for that one thing that will make you happy. You want to experiment, to try and fail, and then try again. And yes, singlehood does give you all of that freedom.
But in the past 6 months, I realized that there’s also this whole new level of freedom that comes with submitting your life to someone and allowing him to take the lead. And it’s not a romantic thing to do, really. In fact, it’s mind blowing for a woman and a control-freak (yes, me) to allow another human being to, not just have an opinion in your life, but have the last say in your decision-making. And yet, being a wife now, I find myself appreciating more and more this beautiful gift of marriage that God has so profoundly designed. More importantly, I find myself learning (in small doses each day) to let go and to trust more.
I happened to be given the opportunity the past two weeks to share what God has taught me about marriage—first to a bunch of young people at Lifextreme, and last weekend to a group of young single ladies at SBCC‘s Women’s Encounter. It’s a humbling (and funny) experience to talk about marriage and be questioned about my, ehem, credibility. LOL. You’re married? You’re 28? You look 18! Some young ladies approached me even to personally ask me, “Ate, 28 ka na talaga?” (Are you sure you’re 28?)
But hey, I may look 10 years younger, and I may not have years of experience being a married person just yet, but what I do know about marriage is pretty basic and holds true whether you’re married for 6 months or 50 years: marriage is the picture of God’s love for the church (Ephesians 5:21-33). It’s a tough call to live by, but it’s the very reason why marriage makes sense, why it’s worth all the shenanigans that come with it, and why you, singles out there, shouldn’t sell yourself short.
I’ve been thinking a lot about these lately and I’m overwhelmed at what God is teaching me.
Back on Gtalk, I typed on my keyboard and answered my friend’s questions: Yes I’m happy, my heart is full, and married life is awesome.
About the photo: You see that pink plastic shell on the lower right hand corner?
That’s the very first love letter my husband wrote me. We were 16. :)