It has been a crazy whirlwind for my husband Zach and me these past couple of months. We married in June of this year, Zach started his job as a civil engineer that same month, and not long after that, my school started back up again. We have our weeks full of work hours, study times, and household chores. We are new to this life of finding a balance of work, school, and each other, but something has helped us that I never thought I would enjoy. Zach and I decided before we got married that we would spend our first year just being together.
When we were preparing for our new life together, we looked at many ministry opportunities of all levels and focus. We applied to some, had interviews with others, and were rejected by all.
Zach and I are both people of action and involvement. We love caring for others, being intentional, and want to serve the Kingdom in any way possible. So, for us to be completely rejected in all of these ministries was so heart-breaking and confusing.
How could God not want Zach and me to serve together?
That answer became clear in the coming months, right before our wedding day as we were completing premarital counseling. Our mentor was asking about our plans for the upcoming year and how we wanted the pace of our first year to go. Honestly, I was not excited about the thought of having to stay in our college town another year to finish school and do basically nothing else. I felt that my talents were being wasted and that I was being lazy since I could not find some sort of ministry in which to serve. Our mentor told us something I don’t think I will ever forget—our first year should be one of REST.
It is a blessing to have a whole year of resting in the relief of finally being married, to dream of our future, and to trust that God will bring us to where He wants without added stress. While being a part of ministry is a blessing as well, the reason that many ministries rejected Zach and me was because it would be our first year of marriage. While at the time I saw this as unfair or restrictive, I finally understood that these ministries, and our mentor, were showing us this restful first year is needed. We relish our time drinking coffee on Saturday mornings, reading in the quiet of our home, and hiking along outdoor trails; all things we would not have time to do if we were both working in ministries.
I know how tempting it can be to be engaged and want to jump straight into full- or even part-time ministry, but there is something to be said about enjoying the honeymoon. There is a bliss that comes with investing time in each other and in the new marriage.
So, friends, not everyone has to be a “super couple” and do every ministry activity in the first year of marriage. Resting and building can be just as fun and needed as serving the community.