As a writer, sometimes the hardest thing to do is…write. To sit down, put pen to paper or finger to keyboard and actually finish something, not just start it. Thanks to some accountability and extra time the past several months, I am pleased to announce the release of my self-published book, “After I Do“, being released this month in eBook and print format. (More details to come soon!)
“After I Do” is filled with practical thoughts and stories on our first year of marriage and how God was so faithful to us in all the changes. To give you a bit of an idea of the ‘why’ behind the book, I wanted to share with you the introduction. Though it is intended for young women yet to marry, I believe that our story could perhaps other people as well. I’m becoming a fan of vulnerability and shedding light on ‘behind the doors’ kind of stuff, though it can be scary! Troy and I are both of the mind that if it helps someone else, then why not?
So, may I introduce you to, a taste of “After I Do”…
Introduction: Vows of a 16-year-old
I was 16-years-old when I unwrapped my newest Christmas gift – a True Love Waits bible. Replay 1997 – an era of do’s and don’ts where it was a grand idea not to kiss until you knew you’d met ‘the one’. I signed the little 3×5 note card that came tucked in the Bible, vowing to my bedroom and to Jesus that I would wait until marriage for sex. I devoutly taped it on the inside wall of my closet, where it likely remains to this day, back home on the farm.
My husband was a dream a long time before we ever met. But at the heart of my vow that day, was a desire to remain a virgin until marriage more out of wanting to ‘do what was right’ than to honour God with my body. The vow was followed by years of waiting for what felt like an eternity to meet my Troy. I expected that by waiting and doing the right thing I’d somehow have a grand payoff in the end. That everything would flow together easily, euphorically, and, you know, like it does in the movies. As though God owed me, religious expectations encamped around every relationship I entered into.
Then real life hit. And real people. Along with the faithfulness of Father God. And finally, the love of a good man.
I wanted to write this book because, in my experience, marriage books are usually written by people who’ve figured some things out, after 25 plus years of marriage and walking through some fire together. There’s amazing wisdom and insight in those shared stories, and we need those books. However, while our first year is still fresh in my mind, I wanted to pen you a letter, a long one, as though you are my little sister or best friend and we’re about to sit down over a latte in Starbucks. What would I say to you? A lot.
Whether you’re a teenager dreaming of marriage, in your 20’s and dating, 30’s and engaged, or recently divorced and still hoping for a godly marriage – I wanted to share with you how we, as an early-30’s couple, walked through a vast amount of changes in our first year. To share how we, as believers in Christ, navigated our first year of marriage and all the expectations within. I hope you sense our commitment to one another, how we are very much still figuring it out, and how we lean on the Lord through it all. Of course, I hope you enjoy my stories.
I’ll cover all the changes we experienced from home life to sex, money to relationships and faith. You’ll also read about three things that I believe held us strong through our first year that I think are key in any marriage. I hope this book will become one of the many mini road maps you add to your arsenal of relational wisdom. Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” (ESV) And like any wisdom shared – take it with a grain of salt, pray over it, and apply what works best for you!
On our one year anniversary, we had a few people comment on all the changes we’d experienced in the last year, more of which I will get into in the coming pages. As we looked back, we were flabbergasted. Nearly every major life move or decision happened in those first 12 months. Yet we are happy, love each other deeper than a year before, understand each other better, and we’re excited about what is to come. Are we perfect? Absolutely not. Have we still got so much to figure out and experience? Oh my goodness, yes!
As I complete this book, we are a few short weeks away from welcoming our first baby. But why don’t you read on, and find out how Troy and I began…
And you will just have to order the book when it comes out to find out the rest! 🙂