I Do in Action: a Christian Vision of Marriage

2 Nov

I Do in Action: a Christian Vision of Marriage

I’ve moved a lot over the last fifteen years. Between several cross-country moves from Minnesota to St. Louis, Washington, DC, and even Rome, I’ve become incredibly weary of it all. When I met my husband Burton, one of the first things I thought was, “Finally, I meet someone who’s actually from Minnesota! I’ll never have to move again!” So it came as something of a blow when Burton came to me last winter and said he wanted to pursue medical school—out of state, no less. Initially, all I could think was that this wasn’t what I signed up for on our wedding day. I could have put my foot down and said no. Burton would have accepted it and still loved me. Yet, even through a lot of tears and heartache, I knew without any hesitancy that I was called to say yes.

The truth is, this is exactly what I signed up for. Sacrificing yourself, your own wants, your own needs to your spouse’s wants and needs—that’s “I do” in action. If relationships were all about easy love and good times, we wouldn’t need the grace we get from the sacrament of marriage. When the angel came to Mary, Mary didn’t respond, “Yes—because this is what I already wanted and hoped would happen.” Mary’s “Yes” came despite any fear, worry, and dreams she may have already have had for her life. She needed grace to give her answer, and even more grace to live it.

My husband and I have been settled in our new home in Philadelphia for a month now. Every day that I wake up, I have to say “I do” to our marriage and “yes” to the new path that we’re on all over again. This doesn’t mean I have to pretend that everything is fine. Life isn’t easy for me here. He’s invigorated by his studies, but I spend my days looking for a job. I’m homesick, stressed about being unemployed, and feel lonely in a city where I don’t know anyone. But we talk about it, he listens and sympathizes and spends every free moment trying to make the transition easier. We’ve traveled in the area, walked through the whole city, and been on more dates than we ever had before. I feel the grace from our mutual “I do” to be more active in our life than ever before.

In a way, I’m actually treasuring this time of difficulty and sacrifice. That seems so backwards, doesn’t it? Certainly people have gotten divorced over less. But these are the times when I cling to the Lord. The Lord, in turn, calls me to trust Burton completely, and for him to trust me. Our future is without certainty, but we have hope and an understanding that our love means a willingness to sacrifice for each other.

-Allison Hendrickson

2 Responses to “I Do in Action: a Christian Vision of Marriage”

  1. Kari November 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    love this! Thanks Allison!

  2. mary March 19, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

    you maaaaaaake me wannnnnnna vommmmmit you maaaaaake meeee waaaaannnnaa vomittttttt. vomit. vomit. vomitttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt. vooooooooooooooooomit.

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