I didn’t grow up around healthy marriages. It seemed like every marriage was just a first step toward divorce. Because of this I didn’t want to get married. But then I met Addison.

❤️😍❤️

Our courtship belonged in a fairytale. It was a whirlwind experience, full of romance, salvation, and self-discovery.

And, truth be told, this whirlwind experience made me believe that our lives, which included our marriage, would naturally travel toward the “happily ever after” that magically exists somewhere over the rainbow.

But then life happened. Expectations were challenged. Dreams put on hold.

To escape from my new, uncomfortable world of being young, newly married, and pregnant, I binge-watched shows that offered an alternate reality—shows that made relationships and life look struggle free.

I wanted to hide from reality because I was confused by God’s process. Where was His goodness in my pain and disorientation?

What I didn’t realize was that God was preparing me to find true intimacy and joy—the kind that He created me to know. But He first had to create a bit of chaos because my expectations were all wrong . . . and they were pointed in the wrong direction: me.

Everything in my life was about my comfort, my fulfillment, my needs—but God was moving me toward a season of profound sacrifice. The kind you either dive into or die in.

Through this disorientation I started to see things differently. I began to let God give me new expectations for my life. Expectations that pointed me toward the growth, wholeness, and intimacy that He desired for my marriage and family.

And I can tell you now, after almost 11 years of marriage, that the fairytale marriage is possible—but it looks very different. It’s larger than anything I could’ve imagined, and it has required me to give things I didn’t even know I had.

My hope is that I can share some perspective that I wish I would’ve had as a newlywed. Some wisdom (am I old enough to use that word?) that could help you align your expectations with God’s plan for your life. That way when God’s ways start messing with yours, you’ll find peace in the process.

With love ❤️,

24 Comments

  1. Christal

    So beautiful! Thank you! ❤️ So excited for Rise!

  2. Madeline

    Thanks guys for all those good reminders and teachings about marriage ! I particularly liked what you said Julianna regarding our expectations and filters. I knew early on that some movies, shows… weren’t good for me because it was sending me a false idea of what marriage or dating should be like. But I was quite surprised to discover how much work God had to do in my life to deconstruct unconscious false ideas/reasoning inheritated from my culture, education and simply the world we live in. It’s truly important that we seek into God for what a marriage should be instead of taking on the twisted definition that the world give us today.

  3. Thank you Julianna!! You write beautifully and you’re exploding with wisdom. Xx

  4. Thank you for sharing this Julianna. You write beautifully. You have so much wisdom exploding to share. 😊Xx

  5. I can 100% relate to this. I can’t wait to hear more from you two! I have a lot to learn!

  6. Sarah Murray

    I just love your story and I’d love to hear more about the fairytale courtship you had. You guys are the sweetest couple!
    I like how you addressed the role that expectation plays in marriage. I really think most of the conflict in my marriage can be traced back to selfishness. I’d love to hear more about this in the future. Thank you for sharing your wisdom! ❤️

    • Arden Bevere

      Hey Sarah, I remember last year before I got married I thought I was doing pretty well in the selfish area in my life and then I got married and I realized how wrong I was haha! Its the amazing thing of laying down your life for another.

  7. 52 years and counting, married to the man I love. But at 20 years old I had no idea what the marriage vows really meant. Better or worse, richer-poorer, sickness and health, lovecherishtilldeathdouspart…….💏

    • Julianna Bevere

      Wow! Congrats! Love that has endured is so precious. I don’t believe anyone really knows what It marriage is until they are in it. I’m so thankful for God’s grace and mercy that fills in the inevitable gaps! Thank you for your comment Terri.

  8. I married at 20 and my husband was 24. We experienced the amazing adventure that you spoke of and then the real work began. The first year was a challenge for us but now we are 7 years in and have watched God show up in literally a million different ways 2 of which are our greatest little human gifts. I think it is essential for “us” as believers to share our successful young marriages and to be honest about the hard times as well. Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Julianna Bevere

      Yes, April I completely agree. We have a responsibility as those who have gone before to offer whatever we can to those coming up behind us. And yes kids are certainly the greatest of gifts! Thanks for the comment!

  9. Ada Hooker

    I thought you should have smooched at the end. #humansofearth

  10. This was so timely! I feel I’m in that season of having it revealed to me that everything has become about my needs and comfort. When I go from 0-10 in a second with my kids for waking me up yet again in the middle of the night.. it’s because I’m so concerned with myself and how much sleep I have or haven’t gotten. And that’s just one example.. I’m also seeing it come out in my marriage too. Love hearing that this was a similar journey for you- there’s something so comforting about seeing someone go through what you’re going through and come out even more refined on the other side. Iron sharpens iron!! Is this going to be a series? Since you’re on the other side of it all I would love to read more!! Xo ♥️

    • Julianna Bevere

      Hey Melissa, thank you for the comment. I can’t honestly say that it is something you “get on the other side of”. At least for me the tension that exist between living for my own comfort and living to serve those entrusted to me is still very present. I am able to say that I have matured in my ability to recognize that purpose and joy only exist in the second option. I would love for this to be a series because we have been graced to navigate marriage and family.

  11. As I read about your experience, I saw so many parallels with my own–except mine was as a single person!

    But no matter what our marital status, that reorienting process needs to happen in all our lives if we don’t have our priorities and expectations straight.

    This was profound and a great reminder, thank you!

  12. Sarra Herring

    Wow you guys! This is incredible wisdom. I love learning from you both more than you know. Thank you xx

  13. This was really good! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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