It is funny to think that Ramos & I have been married for three years today – we dated for so long before hand that 3 feels like small number to represent our relationship. It has been an interesting time, not always easy, but I have learnt a lot. Here are some things I have learnt:
Difference does not mean difficulty
Ramos & I are obviously different – we are from different countries, cultures and races, but our differences have not been a disadvantage. As are differences are perhaps more obvious than another couple it means that we had to go into our marriage prepared to learn and compromise. We make new traditions that celebrate the best of both our cultures and the fact that we live in a third, neutral country probably makes it easier. We also received good advice from an old man who did the mixed-raced-cross-cultural-marriage-thing in a much more difficult political climate than we are in. He said it is an advantage to have two races in the marriage – you have the best of both worlds – when it is a black area Ramos is the spokesperson for the family & when you are in a white area Tracey is. Not politically correct, but it definitely works in Africa!
Ramos does not read minds!
Ramos is a wonderful and gifted wise man, but much to my shock he is not a mind-reader! Marriage was much easier when I learnt this lesson – if I need him to know something I need to tell him. It is not his fault he doesn’t read minds.
Life doesn’t turn out like you plan it – it is usually better
If I had followed the plan I had for my life I would have been a primary school teacher in Northern Ireland. But somewhere along the line I discovered I preferred teaching adults and ended up as a missionary in Africa. I didn’t particularly plan to get married; I wasn’t a little girl who dreamed of the perfect wedding – just as well as we had no control over our wedding at all. Even the cake I made ended up displayed still in the plastic wrap, on top of a green bucket!
After we got married we didn’t plan to stay in South Africa, but three years later we are still here. We have our plans but we know that even if they don’t work out so far the adventure God has brought us on is much more exciting than we had planned for ourselves, so we trust Him with our future.
Proverbs 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.