A few days ago my husband Jim and I were texting about ordinary day stuff. We needed milk. Who would unlock the fence gate for the lawn service guy. Doctor appointment went well. So-and-so said to say hello.
His next text was about work. Two good things had happened before noon and another unexpected opportunity was coming his way. I sent him a thumbs-up emoji, set the phone down…and started to cry.
But these were happy tears of relief and thankfulness. In that moment I realized, we were having a normal conversation without the fear and worry.
And on the other side of the purifying fire God allowed in our marriage.
The details? Nothing scandalous and no vows broken. But we faced three years of attacks in almost every other area we felt secure. Months of seemingly silence from God about a particular need exhausted us. And ugly emotions, mostly mine, had to be confronted every day.
Through all the battle weary days and pushing back doubts and fears, we fought hard to see God in all of the mess. It wasn’t easy, yet we were determined to keep our marriage strong and protect it at all costs.
And looking back while those days are fresh in my mind, I am a quiet kind of grateful.
For a deeper prayer life. Not one just over meals or for safe travels. But for specifics beyond “bless the day”. And for a husband who started kneeling by my bedside to pray for me before my first cup of coffee. Brave man right there.
For a (more) minimal lifestyle. Fewer material items to clutter and manage. God chose to empty so we could see open spaces with room to dream.
For evening walk talks without iPhones and away from anything plugged in. Those sweet, uninterrupted times taught us much about communication and getting to the root of the daily struggle.
For a life disrupted, jolted out of a comfortable glide. We had it easy. The Lord allowed it to be hard. And now we are softened. Only God.
For what I once took for granted. The list is long. I want my appreciation to be longer.
For the unanswered. We’ve learned to trust the glimpses of God. Anything else would be too much for us to handle. The Lord has a timeline far different than ours and what He chooses to reveal, or not, is up to Him.
I saved this text from Jim. Part of another conversation about what God had taught us and to remind me of His faithfulness through the broken days and building us back stronger.
My husband’s words just struck me as perfect for us.
And this verse is everything.
“For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.” ~ Psalm 66:10-12