What is that magic number? Are they too young? Should I start dating now? How long do I date for? How many people can I date?
All of those questions start running through our mind right around the time we hit puberty, or maybe earlier! I remember hanging out with my girlfriends when we were literarily 12, planning out our love life. “At 23 I will meet him, then we date, then we get married and in exactly a year we will have our first baby.” It’s never bad to dream, but it is when you get stuck on the notion that it’s in your hands. Let’s say you finally turn 23, but are not dating. 24, still no one, 25,26… Did something happen? Was there a flaw in your plan that you overlooked when you were sunbathing on a trampoline with your middle school girl friends!?
Girl, let me put this straight. The perfect age for marriage, dating and carrying a child is … non existent! It is also, not in your hands. You can try to control it, force it, but it won’t make you happy. You know why? Because God made everything beautiful in HIS time, not yours.
I was a bit worried about posting this. In fact, I had this draft sitting on my blog unpolished for almost six months now. I am very transparent on social media , but when it comes to my marriage and family, I guard it. It’s my treasure, my family, my husband. But then I had a conversation with someone that really prompted me to press “Publish”.
I grew up wanting to get married and have kids, but then something happened in my life that drastically changed that. I was exposed to families and relationships that were full of hatred, violence, verbal & physical abuse. I felt like everyone who was getting married all of the sudden were divorcing left and right. That fairy tail became a huge fear for me.
I remember my youth leader even recording me say ” I, Olesya Bakay, will never get married.” Everyone of course viewed it as a joke, but I was serious. No way was I going to put myself in the position of vulnerability. I want to control my happiness and not end up with a burden.
I always viewed myself ending up with a big Russian guy from out of state, he would be at least 5 years older than me. I would be the creative and quirky one. He would be this rock, that never moves, has zero emotion and treats me like a dainty little women. Then enters Filipp.
If you know Filipp, my now husband, you would describe him as the polar opposite of the man I just described. Quirky, goofy, only 6 months older than me! Compared to him, I am the rock with no emotions ahaha! His energy never runs out! I met him when I was 15. I hated him from the beginning because he volunteered to drive me to Target one weekend to get decorations for a youth party, but never did!! I am forever holding on to that one babe, sorry.
But then something started to happen. I didn’t notice it at the time, but now looking back on it I see God’s hand pushing us together. I worked at Valleyfair one summer, guess who else worked there? Filipp Vasilyevich Pavlyuk. We barely interacted because he was in foods and I was in the games department. I was the person dressed in a 90s referee uniform blabbering for 7 hours straight on a microphone. He just sold (a.k.a ate) ice cream at his stand.
Summer passed, and New Years came around. We had a masquerade themed party but no-one was wearing masks because it was in our church. All the girls were wearing ballgowns and the boys were dressed in suits. Filipp was dating someone else at that time. I remember we were all seated at our tables, it was around 1AM. I looked over at his table and saw him being the perfect gentleman to that girl. He was kind. At that moment I remember praying ” God, if its your will for me to get married, I want someone like him.”
About a year and a half passed and we were dating.
He proposed when I was 19.
We got married 7 months later.
Both 19, both still in college, both working full-time. It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t easy but it was in God’s perfect timing. We grew together, were poor together, tired, clueless but happy.
So many people approached our parents before our wedding, saying we were too young, incompatible, so different, Ukrainian and Russian (I still don’t see much of a difference). But none of that mattered because those people had zero say in what God had planned.
I know many of us, including me fear divorce, as we should. Our pastor told us something that really spoke to me during our marriage lessons. Divorce should not even be in the back of your mind when you are engaged. You should not have it as a last resort option, because if you do, you will start leaning towards it more and more with every fight and rough patch your marriage faces.
I had doubts, I wasn’t 100% sure Filipp was my perfect match. We spoke of this later and he went through the same thing. As human beings we cannot guarantee happiness, but we can guarantee ourselves to one another. We can serve each other, love each other and to not give up on one another.
If you take away anything from this post, I want you to take away this. MARRIAGE IS A COVENANT. Its a promise between you, your husband and God. A promise that cannot be broken. Your lovie dovie feelings or infatuation with the person may fade but love will remain. Love is unconditional. You love not because of what is done for you, but just because. Love never fades, it grows stronger, with every fight (which you will have), with every struggle, every tear, smile, laugh and milestone! We do not have a perfect marriage, your parents don’t have a perfect marriage, that couple you adore in Instagram does not have a perfect marriage! You know why? Because how can two imperfect people make something flawless? They can’t.
When you fear, pray. When you have doubt, pray. When you feel like things aren’t going to plan, pray.
Love you all!
-Olesya, the wife to the most amazing man on this planet, for me.