The #1 Thing I Learned in my 1st Year of Marriage

Kevin and I had a great first year of marriage. I will be honest, the year we were engaged was rough. Preparing for marriage without actually being married was confusing and difficult and we ended up just fighting a lot. So far, year number two has the added stress of a newborn and were still figuring out how to deal with that. But year number one was genuinely awesome. We really enjoyed each other’s company, we were eagerly anticipating the arrival of our first child, and we just didn’t fight all that much. However, when we did fight, more often than not it was about that M word that seems to infect so many marriages today. Money.

When we were praying about whether or not to have a baby, one of our main concerns was if we were financially ready. We both had mostly steady jobs, a decent savings account, and were fairly responsible with our money but we knew how quickly life can change all that so we just couldn’t know for sure. But we concluded that only God can predict what’s in our financial future so we decided to stand on his promise to take care of us if a baby joins our family.

About 6 weeks into our marriage I started to wake up each morning feeling sick. Sick and very tired. It was too early to take a test but I had a pretty good idea where this was all headed. That same week, one of us (I won’t disclose which one) backed into my brother’s car leaving a good old dent and consequently, a nice debt to pay. Right about that time, Kevin’s job significantly decreased his hours as the factory he worked at headed into its slow season and I got pretty worried.

“You know you’re probably going to find out you’re pregnant now, right?” My mom teased as I told her about the factory. She thought she was being funny but she had no idea that I was already staring that reality in the face. I had already found out that I was indeed pregnant.

I started my prenatal care a couple weeks later and found out just how much the next nine months would cost.
Stress. I was stressed.
I was worried.
I was trying not to be mad at whichever one of us hit a parked car in our driveway.
I was trying not to feel regretful that I had gotten pregnant when maybe we weren’t prepared.
Most importantly, I was trying not to feel totally betrayed by the God I had chosen to trust.
But I did.
And I was scared.
And I was mad.

I walked around with these emotions bottled up inside me for a couple weeks. I couldn’t talk to anyone about it because we were still waiting to surprise everyone with the pregnancy. Finally, one morning at church I had to let it go. I had to just choose to continue to trust God even though I couldn’t tell what he was up to. So I gave it all to Him and in return I received peace and pure excitement for the pregnancy and baby that would soon enter our life. Little did I know that this would allow God to blow us away with His provision in the next couple months.

I’m an avid budgeter and I make sure I know what’s happening with every dollar we bring in. Every month I would look at my calculations and conclude that we might not make ends meet. And yet somehow, every month we had more than enough. I would look at Kevin in astonishment and he would just smile and say “God is good.” Sometimes we were provided with random side jobs that helped bring in extra cash and other times our monthly bills would just decrease for reasons we still don’t understand. But God still had more for us.

When I was 25 weeks pregnant I got rear ended while driving in traffic. I knew immediately that the baby and I were both ok but for everyone’s peace of mind we went to the hospital for monitoring just in case. As expected, everything checked out fine but then the next several weeks were full of insurance headaches for me. I often wondered why this had to happen. The accident wasn’t my fault so I shouldn’t have had to pay anything but I was still prepared to fight the agent when he called me one day to talk about the settlement. I was shocked, amazed, and humbled when he told me that in addition to fixing my car, they planned to send me a check for TWICE my hospital bill to compensate for any discomfort and stress. Part of me was upset that I never ever saw that coming but mainly it was just so great to encounter the God who can do more than I could ask for or imagine.

Soon after that, we also got our tax refund and a totally unexpected check in the mail because apparently we had overpaid on our property taxes the year before. We were completely blown away at how God had provided for us. You would think at this point I would have no reason to be afraid or stressed about money any longer but I confess that when faced with a difficult expense, I still was filled with fear.

At 36 weeks pregnant I was relieved to have completely paid off my prenatal care and the total cost of the out-of-hospital, unmedicated birth I was planning. I was now able to stop working and completely prepare my home and body to bring a child into this world. However, as life would have it, Kevin’s factory started falling apart and he had no other choice but to find another job. Fortunately, he had one right away but this completely messed with our health insurance. I told myself it was totally fine since the birth was going to go smoothly and I had already paid it off but in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but think about what would happen if for some reason I ended up in the hospital.

I received the opportunity to find out for sure at 41 weeks pregnant when my blood pressure spiked and I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. I was sent directly to the hospital to be induced and had to kiss my paid-off natural birth plans goodbye. After 40 hours of Pitocin our precious daughter was born perfectly healthy but my health declined. I ended up staying a total of five nights in the hospital, with 24 hours of magnesium and what felt like tons of blood work. I was so nervous about how much this all would cost and I cried when we got that first statement in the mail. I knew God had provided for us before and I knew he could again but I didn’t know how he was going to do it and that still made me nervous. Figuring out health insurance was a headache and I wondered often why I had to deal with it all. It took a couple months before it was all situated out but to my amazement we received two more refund checks in the mail and our insurance covered way more than what my understanding of our plan said they should have. God has truly blown us away with His provision and has shown me that I never have to doubt him again.

The title of this post may have lead you to believe this was going to be a mushy gushy post about keeping up with date night or something. But what I’ve learned and am continuing to learn is that if I don’t have peace with God in a particular area of my life, such as finances, then I cannot have marital peace in that area. If I don’t believe that God will provide for me, I will put pressure on my husband to do it and I will struggle extending grace when he, I don’t know, mistakenly backs into my brother’s car or something. Our marriage will be full of tension because ultimately, it will be full of fear. Conversely, nothing bonds two people together like being totally dependent on God and then watching him do amazing things. I thank God for every financial challenge we faced this year because money is one thing I definitely don’t want poisoning my marriage. Trusting in God is the antidote and I’m so glad we now have it in our home.

What have you been learning in your marriage lately? Let me know in the comments!

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If you can’t handle me at my worst then maybe I should try harder to give you my best
Click the image to read another important lesson I’ve learned in my marriage