My wife and I celebrated seventeen years of marriage in October. Some people ask how long we have been married and when I tell them seventeen years they almost seemed shocked. Truly their reaction makes me sad. The number of marriages that have lasted for years on end are low. That is happening for a few reasons. Mainly the people who have been married for so long, have passed to their heavenly home. We can also attribute the number of lasting marriages these days to the divorce rate of 50%. Years ago the attitude about being married and is you did anything to keep it going. If it broke you fixed it. Now the attitude is that if it is broke, it is easier to go get a new one. That might be true for things that we buy in life, but not so in marriage. If you can't fix the first one, then you can't fix the next one or the one after either. Now keep in mind, that I have always maintained, that some marriage's cannot be fixed because of extreme circumstances. But to me those types of marriages are the exception to the rule. God created marriage to be a forever covenant between a man and a woman. The world would like us think different and accept their ways of doing things. But we as followers of Christ know better and will defend the definition of marriage between a man and a woman.
I could go on forever about what marriage means to me. But I say all of that to say this. I am moved to write about a season we are going through. After seventeen years of marriage I find myself still having those ah ha moments with my wife. The strength that she shows in the moments of my irrational thinking have shown my wife in a new light. It has opened up yet another door of growing closer to her. Our marriage has taken another step forward in God showing his will for us. This moment of my wife showing Christ in her to me, was a moment made for worshiping. Really... moments of praise and worship are just some of the things God intended for marriage right?
Out of this recent moment has been a renewed burden for family. This blog has always been about my journey. From the very get go I have been very honest about every thing. There was some fall out from everything that had happened in the past. I lost friendships, I hurt friends and family, and lost time with those who I had hurt. Some of those I hurt the most were family members. I was angry, I was lost, and out of that I did and said things that I had no business doing or saying. My wife pointed out to me the other day that it was time to start moving forward and fixing some of these family dynamics that were broken or not 100%. My wife made these points to me. I have also noted my thoughts.
1. We never know how someone is feeling after time has passed if we don't seek them out. - This is so true. In both situations we were both surprised by what we heard and the responses we received. God had worked and is still working.
2. Our kids are watching everything we do. What are they learning by watching us hold onto the past? - So true. If we constantly walk looking behind us, we will never successfully go down the path that Christ wants for us. If we let go of ourselves, loosen our white knuckes and keep our eyes planted on God, then the grace and joy is unlimited. Our kids can then see healing go hand and hand with forgiveness.
3. There are other seasons of storms that will come our way and this is one that we need to finish. - When God speaks we need to listen. God can help us navigate storms, but if we are the anchor holding the boat from getting out the storm. We will continue to miss out on the peace after the storm.
4. God can't work if we don't allow him to do what he needs to do. - Seriously. When God moves us to do something, we need to do it. I know from experience on this. I didn't have much time with my mom before she went into a coma and the went to her heavenly home. I had all of a couple of hours to speak to my mom and settle things that needed to be buried. Had I stepped aside and let God have control, my time with my mom would have been so much longer. I was so stuck on the hurt, that I refused to let it go. I used the hurt as fuel to make the tiny flame into a roaring fire. Had I been where I needed to be spiritually, that flame would have been snuffed out like it needed to be. I will say it again. Let God step in and let him do his thing.
5. This one was pointed at me. Accept the things of which you cannot change. Let go and let God. - We need to spend more time letting God have our hurts and griefs. As humans we have this need to control things around us. Sometimes we try desperately to control the things in our life that cannot be controlled. We all have tried to do it only to fail miserably. We cannot move a mountain or calm a storm like Jesus did on the boat with the disciples. But seeking or speaking the name of Jesus can change anything. So why not let it go and let God? It should be so simple and it is. There have been many times in the past where things have haunted me or made me angry. I have talked about this before, but I will say it again. One of the biblical applications that I use during these times is I envision God with his hand coming down out of the sky right next to me. I lay down my "things" on his hand and I let God take it back to heaven. It says in the Bible that it will be done on earth as it is in heaven. God knows the desires of our hearts. We do not have because we do not ask. But God also knows what is best and how each answer is the perfect solution to the problem in his timing.
All five of the above points spoken through my wife from the Holy Spirit are very applicable to marriage, family, and any other storm that we may be facing. This is the ah ha moment that I am talking about. We still have those moments where my wife and I are the hands and feet of Jesus to each other.