Becoming One: Life Blessons

by Andrea Cooley

love and marriageI'm so excited to share a glimpse of Carmen's marriage. If you haven't checked out her blog Life Blessons, you're missing out! I love her thoughtful posts on faith, love, and life, and I can't wait to meet her baby girl!

When did you get married?
We got married on July 10, 2009.

How long did you date before getting married?
We met in June 2008 (volunteering in our church's youth group), took our first date in August 2008, got engaged in May 2009 and then married 10 weeks later.

What was one of your biggest challenges the first few months of marriage?
While there were quite a few challenges, I would say that for me, personally, many of them boiled down to having to let go of my selfishness as well as learning to truly trust my husband and his love for me. In that last regard, it took me awhile to realize how sincerely he did love me and how he really was willing to put me before himself. I knew the Bible called for that, but I don't think I actually expected that. What a pleasant surprise! When I finally let down my guard and trusted that, even if he does hurt my feelings, it always was from a place of love, our marriage became much easier, richer and lovelier.

What was something you wish you’d known before the wedding?
That a God-honoring marriage can be even better than you ever imagined. It takes some adjusting, yes, but I feel like there were tons of warnings about "the honeymoon years" and all that stuff that can make marriage seem scary and full of tribulation. But for us, we've found marriage to be way better than we'd ever expected. Even the hard parts have been so beautiful and worthwhile!

What have you learned since you’ve been married?
I've learned a lot! So much so that I wrote an entire series about some of the lessons I've learned, titled Secrets of a Newlywed. But if I had to pick just one of those lessons, it would be Get Used to Saying I'm Sorry. As I wrote in that post: "Apologizing is one of those things that none of us at any age enjoys to do. It takes humility to say, I was wrong. It takes us being willing to think of another to say, I was wrong. It takes courage to admit, I was wrong. And yet, with that courage, humility and selflessness comes restoration…" I think that goes back to the previous question where I said one of the first things I had to learn in marriage was selflessness, and part of that was embracing the humility to apologize.

What's your secret to a happy marriage?
Listen to the Holy Spirit. Period. And invite him to convict and trust Him enough to act on those convictions. I sincerely believe that the reason my husband and I enjoy a wonderful marriage is because we trust the Lord enough to follow Him, even when it means apologizing or choosing not to complain or whatever the situation might call for. The Lord wants the best for our marriage even more than we do–so we must trust Him with it!

What’s the best part about being married?
My husband is my ultimate best friend and someone I can always–always–rely on. He's someone I can be completely vulnerable with and whom I can trust my heart to. That knowledge and security is so incredible. Especially when times get hard, I know I don't have to bear things alone. I know he is always there for me.

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Andrea Cooley

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