That would be the title of my life, were it the subject of a Jane Austen novel. This week I certainly could have been another Marianne Dashwood!
The big news of the week--it has been One Month! I celebrated by having not one, but TWO (count 'em!) major emotional crises today. Living with me may not be easy, but at least my dear husband will never be bored! I am so grateful for his patience and kindness, and his encouragement to bring my issues and insecurities to Christ. Living every day by grace is a challenge made so much more difficult by my perpetual desire to be OK on my own. God is so good--I look at the mess that is my life, that is my need to not need Him, and can only weep at His incredible love for me. Romans 8! I am so grateful that my salvation does not depend on my weak and childish faith.
Grateful, too, to have found a place in Des Moines where I can hear the gospel every week. The Sunday before last, Pastor L--- took a break from his journey through the Sermon on the Mount to preach in honour of John Calvin's 500th birthday. Pastor L pointed out that while Calvin's name today is synonymous with the doctrine of predestination, what really sets him apart from previous theologians is his concentration on the role of the Holy Spirit--something that earlier commentors on the Bible had not emphasised. The Spirit is intimately and essentially involved in every aspect of our salvation; it is the Spirit who makes our hearts and minds receptive to the truth of the gospel, so that we both assent intellectually to and believe actually in the promises of God. And it is the actual belief which motivates our changed actions--so that sanctification is just as dependent upon God's working in our lives! Pastor L read a beautiful quote from the Institutes where Calvin spoke of the Spirit's "binding our hearts up in the truth" of the Gospel. I have a hard proud little heart, receiving grace only by the hardest necessity. I can't change this; my constant prayer has become that I not only believe, but trust and love and rejoice in His salvation.
That has been the drama! Practically our days have been pretty simple--I have been plugging away at the job search, and Dennis is reviewing material before he starts school (less than a month!). I am so proud of all that Dennis has accomplished. I know once school starts he will be under a lot of stress, but I am excited for him. I have been having fun playing house ... I wonder how long dishes, dusting, and scrubbing the toilet will retain this domestic charm? We've also been getting to know some of the people from Redeemer PCA. Several families have already invited us over, and have offered such hospitality and good fellowship--really an answer to prayer. I love to be with God's people!
After enough emotional drama to supply screenwriters with a week of soap opera plot, our one month anniversary really had a lovely conclusion. A simple dinner together (with a six-dollar bottle of wine from Aldi!) ... the bread did not rise in time (should be great tomorrow!), but the dessert turned out beautifully. And the company, of course, was the best part of the evening. I am so glad that God keeps breaking down walls, and so grateful to be Mrs. Dennis Pritzel. God has given me a better companion than I could have ever asked for or imagined. Our life together feels so right that it's hard to believe we've only been married a month.
13 hours ago