By Jessica Wittmayer
Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam…and wove, twue wove, wiww fowwow you fowevah and evah… So tweasuwe youw wove – Princess Bride
When I think of the word “marriage” this line from The Princess Bride quickly comes to mind. I have always enjoyed movies that bring a comedic and imperfect side to love and marriage. It is quite a contrast to the Disney love stories that have glittered the background of our childhood lives. Marriage was not so sparkly in my home growing up. Actually it was non-existant. I was raised in a home where my parents never chose marriage. Growing up in a disconnected home was very confusing for me. I wasn’t sure where I fit. My parents eventually decided to go in different directions. I was fifteen. Rejection ensued and I was then on a mission to find a love that could fill my swiss cheese heart. Broken and painful relationships eventually brought me to a place of desperation. I called out to God. Not more than a year after my desperate plea I was introduced to Jesus. The faithfulness and compassion of a local youth leader brought revelation to my wandering heart and my swiss cheese became provolone. Jesus filled my heart, my mind, my body and every cell that craved belonging. I was brand new! The next seven years became years of restoration, edification, discipline and healing as I found myself in the pages of God’s word, surrounded by His people, and immersed in His presence. I became a radical. I was in love with my creator and unashamed. The hope of a husband was there and my mind would dream of the day I would find him. That hope lead me to Texas where I would go to Bible school and conceivably meet him. That is where you go to get your MRS Degree, is it not!? Although it was not my ONLY reason for going to Bible college, it was near the top of my list.
Going to a Bible school was a very exciting season in my life. Surrounded by hundreds of people from all over the world that desired to please God and make a change in the world was exhilarating! I loved my time there and learned and grew in so many ways. But I did not meet my husband there. I did however learn some things that I believe misled my expectation of marriage. At no fault of the many who shared stories of love and marriage, I only heard the highlights. Now whether it was my selective hearing or if the person sharing wasn’t willing to put it ALL out there this created an elevated expectation of marriage that was not only unrealistic but set my future spouse up for failure. I believe the Church in general could benefit from getting REAL about the difficulties and growing pains of marriage.
After graduating bible college I got a “normal” job working at a coffee shop. It was there, with the help of Myspace, that I would meet my husband.
I went into marriage thinking that MY desires would finally be met and that we would skip our way into the sunset of marital bliss. What I was not prepared for was the intense death to self. The moments where my spouse could not meet a single personal need and God would have to be my sustenance. That moment three months into marriage where my spouse and I were laying in bed, facing opposite directions, and weeping because marriage wasn’t what either of us had imagined…I was not prepared for that. I was not prepared to admit that my years of bible study, graduation from bible college, and my own esteemed pride of who I was would hinder and still is hindering me from loving and being loved.
Now why would I share all of this and tell you that marriage is a good thing? Jesus showed through His life and by His death that sacrifice was the key to the door of true love. Everlasting love. Marriage is deeper and more powerful than any chick flick or romance novel has ever described it to be. Marriage is more intense and gratifying than a Lifetime movie or pornographic magazine could depict. Marriage is more resilient than the many broken ones you have witnessed or experienced. It is a stone that can shave down the rough edges of hurt and pain to create a smooth surface for comfort and joy. It is an anchor that can plunge to the depths of the heart and keep one afloat in the storms of life. It is a kite that can soar to the highest of heights and show horizons never imagined. Marriage is the merging of two imperfect people with the potential to take them both places they never could have gone alone. Although many influences did not prepare me for the day to day reality of marriage, the bible did. Jesus did. Media and the ever changing opinions of society and the Church can never fully prepare us for a covenant that was created to encourage, enrich, enhance, and produce life. If we want an off the charts marriage then we have to lift our eyes to the mountains.(Psalm 121:1-8) We have to grab hold of the truth of God’s word and never let go. Even to the point of death. “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But it’s death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.” (John 12:24) We have to surrender the hurt, anger, and falsehoods of the past and grab hold of the truth of God’s word that never changes or sways, but stands firm and forever. Is this an easy task? Not at all. Is it worth it? Absolutely!
Jessica is married to Brian Wittmayer and resides in Misissippi with their two children, Liam and Evvi. Jessica owns her own jewelry business that is a vehicle to minister freedom and beauty to women all over the nation. Her greatest desire is to see others set free through the truth and grace of Jesus.
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