Monica calls herself "The Atypical Housewife." One reason I connected with her so much is that I'm pretty "atypical" myself--I like to call it "counter-cultural." I am a believer in the Triune God and a follower of Jesus Christ. I was homeschooled. I plan on homeschooling my future children. My greatest desire is to be an at-home wife and mother. All those things make me pretty different from the general population.
Something else that makes me atypical or counter-cultural is that I am almost 21 years old...married...and still a college student.
Yes, you read that right.
I was definitely an atypical teenager. Being homeschooled put me in a minority as it was, and besides that, I didn't date. At all. Not for lack of wanting to, but because I hadn't met a guy who fulfilled the (very high) standard I was looking for in a man. You see, I didn't want to date unless it would lead to marriage. Otherwise I would just be dating to eventually break up, and that didn't sound like fun at all.
The summer before my freshman year of college I finally told God, "OK. I'm good with being single for now. I get it. I have two amazing men in my life: You and my dad. That's enough for me for right now. I'm going to focus on my college classes, make new friends, and keep You as my highest priority."
The very first weekend I was on campus my freshman year, I met Joshua. We hit it off immediately. We started talking, and I found the first guy who I felt really comfortable just chatting with, and who I felt was genuinely interested in what I had to say. Plus, he was incredibly good- looking. And a Christian. And a Lutheran. (On our tiny, Christian, Lutheran campus, it's not hard to find fellow Lutherans.) But besides that, he was planning on being a pastor and/or a teacher, he had been homeschooled, he was from a bigger family (five kids)... the more we talked, the more I realized--this guy was special. Less than two weeks into our friendship, my mom mailed me the list I'd made of qualities I was looking for in a man. Reading over it, I realized something: Joshua fulfilled every single thing on that list.
We got engaged six months later.
We were married less than two years after our first meeting.
Yes, I realize this makes us unusual. And young. I was not-quite- twenty when we married; he was 21.
No, we didn't really know what we were getting ourselves in for. Even while we were dating and engaged, balancing all the different aspects of our life (significant other, classes, jobs, other friends) was a challenge.
When we got married, it only got harder...but at the same time, so much better.
He's in the secondary education program majoring in history and theology. I'm majoring in English and theology. So a lot of our classes overlap, and we intentionally work our schedules now so that we have at least one or two classes together.
We schedule in time for lunch together.
We adjust our work schedules so that we are home most evenings together.
We make a priority of getting up at the same time, going to bed at the same time, and eating our meals together if at all possible.
The main thing is, we're together. That's the best part of this married life: belonging completely to each other.
Maybe we sound like we're crazy...maybe we are. But let me tell you, this life works. And it works because of one thing: We keep our priorities straight (at least as straight as possible!).
God comes first. Always. Period.
Our spouse comes second. No matter what.
Then come family, friends, classes, and work.
Keeping God at the center of our marriage and our whole lives is what holds us together. An atom has to have a nucleus, or it will just fall apart. So too, our lives and our marriage have to have a nucleus--God. And it's He that keeps us together.
We wouldn't be able to do this without Him. I wouldn't be able to do life without Him. God placed us where we are right now for a reason. He is preparing us for our future lives and ministry. He's shaping us to continue to become who He has created us to be. He is placing people in our lives so that we can bless them and they can bless us.
We've learned a lot from this last year of marriage. It's not always been easy...but God is constantly gracious. He has blessed us immeasurably. And we're so excited for whatever else He has planned for us.
So know this:
No matter where you are in life...
young, in the middle, or full of years
a student, a full-time worker, or retired
a mommy, a daddy, a husband or wife
God's got you. He's got a fantastic plan for your life. He loves you more than you can imagine. And nothing in this world can come between you and Him.
Jaimie Ramsey is a wife, homemaker, writer, and college student. She loves being married, hanging out with her husband and their friends, cooking, taking care of their home, and blogging. She is a follower of Jesus Christ and a believer in the God of the Bible. You can find her on Facebook and at her blog, Living in the Light.