We all want peaceful lives and marriages where conflicts rarely if ever erupt, right? But more times than not, my life and marriage has been wracked by pain and struggles. #nosurprise
There hasn’t been a season in my life—and I’ve lived a fairly long one!—where I didn’t have some kind of hardship or overwhelming stressor to contend with almost every single day.
By the way, I’m not talking about my marriage always being the cause of these struggles, though my marriage was and is often negatively impacted by them!
Most of my adult life I’ve faced health struggles—everything from my Rheumatoid Arthritis challenges that began in 1993 to my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in 2013/14.
Ministering alongside my pastor husband in the many churches and communities that we’ve served in for decades has brought us countless trials, injustices, burdens and losses. #notcomplaining #rejoicing
The sinful and selfish tendencies that my husband and I carry with us in every encounter make us ripe for arguments and bitterness. #worksinprogress
The disappointments and blows of life that involve our children are especially heartbreaking for us to navigate and accept. 🙁
This is just a short list of problems, trials, injustices and pressures that I’ve personally experienced.
Can you relate?
Have any of these kinds of situations and the accumulation of them overwhelmed you in life and/or contaminated your marriage?
So how can the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:4 say, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”?
Maybe it’s because of the peace promised to us when we pray with thanksgiving in Philippians 4:6-7.
This turning over of our anxieties and petitions to God as we consider all the ways He has been good to us is not a “pie in the sky” Pollyannaism.
That’s because God is the Provider of the good and the One who acts on our behalf when we recognize and thank Him for any blessings we receive.
So whenever we feel anxious in our lives and marriages, we can receive God’s peace that, “transcends all understanding” (v. 7). That’s because this peace is given when and as we continue to struggle—making this peace “other-worldly” or “heavenly.” No wonder we can’t comprehend it! 😉
Many have come to associate thanking God with the meteoric best seller, 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp, because so many have joined her challenge to count these treasures daily.
I’ve never done that in “that particular way,” but I have made a habit of thanking God in my daily prayer time, as well as when I’m going about my day.
It’s like a little game that I play as I walk here and there—doing this or that. I think about what God has given me and thank Him for whatever comes to mind. For example . . .
- My eye catches the sight of some manifestation of His beauty and I thank Him.
- I recall what I’ve read during my Bible study time and I thank Him for those precious truths.
- I even consider the day’s challenges and thank God for what I see Him already doing or what I know He is about to do.
Sometimes my hubby and I make a “date” out of it. I’ll explain more about that this weekend. So be sure to check back!
So no matter how discouraging your life or marriage is right now, know that you can grow your faith and encourage yourself every time You offer your anxieties to God, because He promises to exchange them for His unfathomable peace.
What is a recent blessing that you’re thankful to God for in your life and/or marriage?
What is an anxiety in your life or marriage that I can pray for you regarding?
Be sure to scroll down to comment below!
Here are some lovely linkups I join – Christian Blogger Community, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Testimony Tuesday, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Writer Wednesday, Coffee and Conversation, Coffee for Your Heart, Faith and Friends, Sitting Among Friends, Moments of Hope, Literary Musing Mondays, Fresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday
Let’s Get this ‘From Messes to Messages’ Linkup Started!
Add any links that are uplifting, helpful and encouraging to our spiritual lives, marriages and families! Be sure to add a link on your blog back to “From Messes to Messages” or Messy Marriage as well. For linkup guidelines/button, click here.