We just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary! It was a glorious time of connecting and reminiscing over the good times and the bad times in our marriage. I thought this title might intrigue you to read this post. What we really want to say to all of our family and friends is…Make no mistake about it! Marriage is hard and no matter how wonderful it looks on Facebook it’s not the entire story! (By the way I readily admit I’m Rebekah, I’m a Facebookaholic. I can hear you all saying, “Hi Rebekah.” All joking aside, I love looking back over our life through facebook.)
Most of you know our story. One reason we love to celebrate anniversaries is because we know, like no one else knows, that it is a miracle that we are still together. We started off in a rough way but we also had many hard seasons in our marriage when we wanted to throw the towel in. So if you are in that place, don’t despair. Get some help! Yes, we spent many hours seeing counselor’s and a good bit of money on therapy but it was worth it. Could Jesus heal our marriage without others? Yes, but He chose to use other’s to help us. God loves community and He created us to need and help one another.
It was also extremely important that we were willing to own our part in the struggles. ONLY when we work on ourselves will our marriage improve. You get out of your marriage what you put into your marriage. Do you change the oil in your car once every five years? It’s the same with marriage; we have to nurture it regularly. But I’m sure you already know these thoughts so let me get to the main point.
Without a doubt the main thing that saved our marriage was relying heavily on Jesus. The other thing that saved our marriage was understanding very early on that God was using our irritations with one another to make us into the person He intended us to be. Ouch! We can cooperate or we can blame, excuse or rationalize why we can’t cooperate and must prove our point or get revenge. Lean into the pain and ask Jesus what HE wants to teach you through the hard times. And honestly, I had a very hard season just recently. We DO NOT have it all together. I promise!
I also want to say that I know all marriages will not make it. Please do not feel any shame. Romans 8:1 tells us, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are IN Christ Jesus.” You see God is committed to you! He loves you more than you can imagine. He will never leave you or forsake you. He wasn’t taken by surprise when your marriage ended. He’s still on the throne and still has a future and a hope for you. Will you trust him and lean into your pain? Will you let someone process your situation with you so you can get everything you need to get out of your agony? God doesn’t waste any tears. As a matter of fact he collects them in a bottle. It will be interesting to see what He is going to do with those tears when we get to heaven.
If you have already healed from an ended marriage that happened many years ago, hold your head up high my friend. God uses ALL things in our life and he will use your story. ALL OF IT! I know so many people that entered into an intimacy with Jesus like they have never had before through experiencing rejection and excruciating pain. God uses ALL things! ALL OF IT! You are a survivor and a testimony to God’s grace.