I have been doing a lot of reflecting lately. With a newborn in the house, a toddler running around, and a home-buying process in full swing, things have been challenging in a new way.
Whilst thinking about the many changes, obstacles, and unforeseen challenges we have faced over the last few months, I felt the Lord telling me to “pause” and reflect on the past 9 years of twists, turns, and unexpected roadblocks within my marriage.
Between my husband and I, we have:
- Faced job changes and figuring out careers (Fire Academy for my husband, Grad School for me)
- Had a heart-shattering miscarriage
- Took over a year to get pregnant with our (now) 2-year-old
- Dealt with trust issues
- Dealt with talk of divorce when things got difficult in the early years
- Dealt with financial stressors, nonstop car breakdowns, and 4 consecutive offers that fell through while house-hunting
We have let failure consume us from time to time.
We have seen pain together as a couple and apart as individuals.
We have seen the impact of one’s words and how it can devastate and shatter the other’s heart.
We have seen unexpected timelines change everything.
Yet, in the midst of things that always seemed to fall apart, we realized perspective had much to do with our pain and heartache. Sure, pain and obstacles happen. It’s inevitable. It’s also okay to feel that pain and grieve. In turn, we also face challenges where we tend to see one point of view.
For example, the “silver lining” in a few situations:
- We talked about divorce, but instead of giving in, we fought for our marriage and now have two beautiful children together and we are truly best friends.
- We were devastated when we had a miscarriage, but we didn’t let that fear of the same result keep us from trying to grow our family. Even if it took a while.
- House offers and plans continued to fall through over the course of a few months, but it helped us reflect and learn to truly be thankful when an offer was finally accepted.
- Financial stressors and debt overwhelmed us and left us feeling hopeless many times, but we had to look forward and reevaluate lifestyle choices. To build a stronger future for our family and to be better stewards of what God gives us.
- We used harsh words and fought way too much in the early years, but now we have learned how impactful words are. And don’t want to go back to that place.
Sometimes heartache helps us reshape our definition of what’s important and helps us see how we can change our perspective and fight for our marriage.
Sometimes things fall apart so better things can fall together. —Marilyn Monroe
In the wake of whatever chaos you may be facing within your marriage, don’t let Satan win. Don’t let Satan tell you that forgiveness is impossible or that change can never happen. Don’t let Satan tell you that marriage counseling isn’t an option. Don’t let Satan whisper lies that you will never be enough. Don’t let the enemy win in his plan to break your marriage apart and shatter your heart.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV) beautifully reminds us, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.”
Just because your marriage goes through seasons of stress and difficulty does not mean it’s not “meant to be” or it’s time to throw in the towel. Maybe these seasons are meant to teach us, challenge us, and unite us. These are the seasons where we must cling to our Creator and pray that He can use the struggles for His good and to strengthen our marriage in a way we never imagined possible.