In some of my recent blog posts I’ve shared about the new season of life and marriage that Jonathon and I are experiencing. The first parts of this season were not fun, I must admit. BUT GOD. I think it’s important to share this because experiencing seasons is perfectly normal and natural. All relationships go through seasons. It’s how we deal in these seasons that determines whether our relationship will be strengthened and sustain, or weaken and fail. Hmmmmmmn…. Most people want to share when they are in a summer or spring season. It’s more comfortable to share the good things. There is nothing wrong with sharing the good things. It is just as important however, to share, with discretion, some of the not so great things. Now, I’m not talking about some misery likes company type stuff. I mean, sharing for the greater good. Sharing, so that others know they WILL face challenges, but CAN overcome these challenges.
During a Women’s Night ministry at World Worship Church in Charlotte, NC, Pastor Pam Bustard discussed ways to identify and flourish in different seasons. Although it has been more than a year since I heard this sermon, it impacted my thinking so significantly that I find it helpful to refer back to the notes I took. I believe you will also be blessed by this message so I will share the notes below:
After looking at these notes again, I realize that Jonathon and I are coming out of a winter season. Yep. Winter. A number of really trying things have come across our path over the last few months. Things that have caused us to reevaluate our faith. Things that have caused us to reevaluate our marriage. Things that have caused us to reevaluate our life goals, focus, and priorities. As I said, we are (Praise God!) coming out of a winter season. Some things have had to die. Death ain’t easy. I will admit that my attitude through some of this season has not been good. Mmmmn actually, my attitude at times has been down right nasty. Believe me, I hate to admit this, but it’s true. I am not perfect. I do not proclaim to be. I struggle. I struggle with my words. I struggle with my actions. My rock, my constant, is Christ. He keeps working with and on me. SO THANKFUL.
Listen, marriage is a journey. There are parts of the journey that are absolutely exhilarating. Other parts are rough and murky. I think it’s important for me to share because so many couples are fooled by the fantasy of marriage. This fantasy creates unrealistic expectations and often times leads to the end of a marriage. A girlfriend of mine said, “Jocelynn, they lied! Marriage is not all roses and romance. It’s not a fantasy. It’s real.” I just laughed in agreement. Now, you all have read my blog before and know that I love my husband. He is a wonderful man. We have a strong marriage; one worth fighting for. The reality is however, that we experience the highs and the lows just like everyone else. The difference is that Christ is our center AND we realize that these are just seasons. When we forget this, the Lord always places a friendly reminder in our ear gate. That is the wonderful thing about keeping Him in the center of your marriage and seeking Him in times of trouble.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t pray everyday for this season to end, but as Ecclesiastes 3 states:
So, I am thankful for the tears because sometimes you just need a good cry. I am thankful for a partner who is willing to continuing working on our relationship. I am thankful for a husband who never ceases to look for ways to fulfill his role as head of our household. I am thankful for my imperfections that allow me to learn and grow. I am thankful for God fearing friends who constantly pray for and lift up my marriage. I am thankful for the sister/friends with whom I can have open, honest, uplifting conversation about the realities of life and love. Most of all I am thankful for a God whose love never fails and never gives up on me.
I see the snow melting and the first tiny buds poking through the soil. Spring is coming!