Hi Friends! I am so excited to share this special post with all of you, as James and I answer some questions about our relationship and what God has shown us through these past (almost) 3 years of marriage. Thank you to everyone who submitted questions! We hope this shines light on the undeserved grace God so graciously bestows on our lives when we rest in Him. We are by no means perfect, but we find great security in the One who is. Through both joy and tribulation, we rest in God’s unending grace. All glory be to Christ, always.
- How did you guys meet?
B: We met on a Thursday night at our church’s college group. I remember the night so distinctly because I was wearing a Toy Story sweatshirt (s/o to my bestie Chelsea for doing bold things like wearing matching Disney sweatshirts together). I honestly wish I could remember the very instant we met more clearly – I would go back and re-live that moment if I could.|
J: I remember standing outside Chapter 3, seeing this girl wearing a Toy Story sweatshirt come up to me. My first initial thought was, “what an interesting gal.”
- How did you know you had found the one you wanted to spend the rest of your life with?
B: I actually remember the very moment I knew James was the one. We had gotten up really early one morning before my first class started and met at the Saugus Diner for breakfast. While we were sitting there, an alarm on his phone, which was sitting on the table, went off. I looked down at it and the title on the alarm read “pray for Brittney.” I asked him what the alarm was for and he said that every morning, he would wake up before I started school, and pray for me. I lost it. Sitting there, across from him in that diner, I knew he was the one for me.|
J: After talking to Brittney for a while, I came to realize how smart, wise, funny, and Godly she was – not like any other girl I had met before. I knew she was a rare gem. I wouldn’t say there was an exact moment, just over time I started to know.
- Did you get married in college? How was it balancing married life, work, church involvement, AND school?
B: Yes! Crazy enough, we did. We got married over winter break of my Senior year though, so I only had one semester left. Looking back now, I always tell James I don’t know how we did it. I finished college on an accelerated schedule so that I could graduate in 3 years. This meant that I had a 21 unit class load, on top of working 35 hours a week and volunteering on the leadership team in our College church group. And to top it all off, we were figuring out newlywed life! James had also just kicked off his photography business, so our weekends were pretty hectic as well! However, it was some of the sweetest months, given we learned a lot about sacrifice and serving one another. Before we got married, we both shared the same mentality that we needed to have all of our “ducks lined up in a row” before we could consider getting married. Our college pastor actually shattered that mindset in a sermon he preached at one of our church retreats. We realized that there never is a “right time” to get married. Yes, there are things that need to be in place before you decide to spend the rest of your life with someone. But life is always going to be busy, and why not go through it together? When we realized this, we knew it was time to get married. Since our wedding day, we have gone through a number of different seasons. Some slow, some busy, some mundane, and some overwhelming. But every single one of them have been filled with sweet blessings of growth, and a whole lot of love. And the only way to get through the busy seasons, is to intentionally carve out time for each other, time to be in prayer together, and time to read God’s word together.|
J: Yes we did, it seemed fairly easy for me. I knew going in to it, that I would have to be supportive of a different schedule right off the bat with homework, night classes, etc. But it was nice knowing that at the end of the day, we would be together. There was no more dropping her off at her house after a date, or struggling to find time to see each other in the midst of our busy days. We started and ended each day together.
- How did you adjust to the transition into married life?
B: You know, its actually kind of interesting. Both James and I expected marriage to be this whole different world. And don’t get me wrong, it is to a certain degree. But nothing felt drastically different once we got married. Yeah, it was different figuring out how to live together and make decisions together, but it all kind of happened pretty smoothly. It felt normal. The biggest changes probably came with how we managed our money, what groceries we bought (lol, but seriously), and how our daily routines would work together. But marriage is one of life’s sweetest blessings, its been a huge joy. Nothing seemed difficult, because we intentionally made sure we were working on good communication skills. We failed multiple times, but we learned together, and I would not have changed a thing.|
J: It seemed like a really smooth transition. There weren’t any life-altering changes that happened. We just got to do every-day normal things together, which is so much fun. The biggest change would probably have been learning to balance all of the time we had. When we were dating, it was trying to find time in the week to hangout, so our times together were always intentional. Once we got married, that changed to okay, now we have a ton of time together, but how do we spend it all wisely? Learning how to adjust to that was different, but still nice.
- What has been the greatest challenge in marriage? The greatest reward?
B: James and I are both very independent people. This being said, we sometimes deal with things internally, rather than turning to each other. Part of marriage is sharing each other’s burdens, and this is has been one of the hardest things to get used to. The most rewarding, however, would honestly have to be just every day life spent with my best friend. James makes some of the most mundane moments filled with so much joy. Whether its listening to James sing every morning while we get ready (and incorporating my name into the lyrics), grocery shopping together, or enjoying quiet time spent together in our home, every moment is special. We have our bad days, but we are always striving to love each other deeper, care for one another better, and continuously choose each other every single day.|
J: I would have to say the greatest challenge has been making special time for one another. Finding that balance between what Brittney’s interests are, and what mine are, and then finding that middle ground of how we can spend intentional time together doing things we both love. We are two different people, learning to build a life together. It has its challenges at times, but we always try to communicate about it. The greatest reward would be seeing how marriage can sanctify us and reveal in us things that need to be changed (sins we struggle with, etc.) that I would not have otherwise recognized if single. I’m thankful for that.
- Who is the better cook?
B: Hands down, James (believe it or not). LOL! James always gets home from work at least 30 minutes before I do, so it became habit that James would cook dinner for us. And he was okay with that arrangement. Every once in a while, it will work out that I cook instead, or we cook together, but for the most part it’s James. And he is really good, let me tell ya. His breakfast burritos are one of my top 10 favorite foods ever.|
J: James. I just cook the most, so I guess I’m the best. (haha)
- What is one thing you hope others can learn from your relationship?
B: Hmmm…If I had to pick one, I would hope that other’s would learn more about the nature of grace through our relationship. That they would look at how James and I love each other, forgive one another, and choose one another, and see an example of the undeserved grace that God bestowed upon all of us. The coming together of James and I was not a result of “destiny,” or “fate,” but of grace. And that being said, I would hope that as James and I grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, that grace would be a takeaway from the outpouring of our love.|
J: I would hope others see that the way we work through marriage is a testament to Christ’s work in us, not just our innate ability to deal with issues. Rather, we cannot do this on our own. Additionally, I would hope others see there is not a “right time” to get married, or the “right person” to get married to. You choose to love someone, and its a choice that is made every single day. Furthermore, marriage is not the “end all be all.” Marriage does not make your life better. The end goal is a life pointed at Christ; marriage is supposed to be a reflection of Christ’s love for the church. And I would hope others see that through us.
- What has been the most surprising thing about marriage?
B: There is always something new to learn about each other. I am not the same person I was the day we got married, and either is James. But that is half the fun of it all! Our interests are always changing – new goals and dreams developing. And we get to go through it all together. I could tell you that I have fallen in love with a photographer, artist, game developer, Junior High group leader, softball player…and the list goes on and on. Life changes, we change, but every single change has proven to be sweeter and sweeter. I vowed to “choose” my husband every single day -through every single change, trial, and joy, I choose him. Always.|
J: Through marriage, you learn how different people are, and how people respond to things differently. Realizing that your way is not always “the way” has been an interesting lesson for me personally. Marriage with Brittney has opened my eyes to observing other people and the differences that come with various upbringings, etc. Everyone has a different perspective, and I did not expect to learn this going into marriage.
- Are you guys planning on having a baby soon?
B: HAHA, we’ve been asked this question quite a bit lately. Honestly, we are excited for future baby Gages, but we are not planning on that happening any time soon. We talked earlier this year about big dreams and goals we both have (one of them being James changing career paths), so there are a lot of other things we are focusing on right now. Realistically, we probably won’t think about starting a family for another 3-5 years maybe. And we are okay with that! If God has a different plan for our lives, we will cross that bridge when we get there. But for now, we are content just the two of us. Maybe we will get to see some more of the world first before a little mini James or Brittney comes into the picture (because honestly, the #wanderlust is real). Stay tuned! ;)|
J: With our marriage, there has never been a “right or wrong” time for anything. There is always a fear of the unknown, and there have been so many changes in our lives over the past few years that what the future holds is too unexpected to say. Possibly soon, but we are content for now just us two. I will have to say though that seeing some of our other friends have babies has opened my eyes to the fact that having a baby is not as scary as I have made it out to be. So we will see!
Thanks for reading, friends! We had so much fun going through these and reflecting on the blessing of our covenant (even if James had a hard time being serious, LOL). We are thankful beyond words for each one of you who have poured so much into our relationship, coming alongside us in both times of rejoicing, and times of sorrow. Three years down, forever to go.
Want to read about our wedding day? Check it out here.
Love, J & B Gage