During my first year of teaching, I took a photo of a piece of student work that took my breath away. It was heart-breaking. The assignment was for students to depict one of the themes from the short story we were reading with an image that captured the essence of the theme.
This particular student (a girl) chose love as her theme. Her illustration of love was this:
And my heart broke. Because an eighth grade student saw a ring on someone’s finger as love.
But I get it. I get her fantasy; I did dream of marriage as a teenager and beyond. I idolized marriage and finding someone to share my life with in love.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband. And the love we’ve shared as a married couple amazes me. I’m so blessed by our marriage.
But as I’ve learned what it looks like to love–and be loved by–my amazing husband, I’ve realized that I will never find fulfillment in marriage.
Because my heart is not meant to find complete fulfillment there. I remember feeling heartbroken when my (now) husband told me three years into dating (and a month before our engagement) that if he felt that God had asked him to break up with me, he would. He said he’d be sad, but he would obey. And I was sad for a few reasons. First, my human pride was bruised. Second (and more crushing) was that I wanted to be able to say the same. Because I had found my identity in Eric’s love.
This evening at the Christmas Eve service, I was stuck pondering where I found love. Where contentment comes from in my life. Where I find my identity.
Even now, over two years into our marriage, I still find myself getting lost.
And forgetting that my identity is not found in anyone or anything besides my Lord.
For I am the daughter of the King, the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
And if I find my identity in anything but that, I will undoubtedly lose my way.