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  • Writer's picturePam

For Better and For Worse

My husband, Scott, and I just celebrated 30 years of marriage. I look back now and wonder “where did the time go?” Seems like just yesterday we were this young, naive couple promising to love each other for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health. While we were sincere in our promises to each other, we had no idea what that really meant. But, we were excited for the journey ahead.

One thing I have learned on my life’s journey, is life is not easy. We will have times of great joy and also times of great pain. No one can escape it. Jesus says in John 16:33 that on this earth we will have many trials and sorrows. Not we may have, but we will have. It is my belief that this is one of the reasons why God designed marriage. I don’t believe we are meant to walk this journey of life alone. Whether it’s through marriage, friendships, family, we are meant to go through this life together.

Scott and I have not been exempt from what Jesus stated in John 16. We have seen great joy as we are blessed with three amazing children. They have brought so much joy, and still do! We have had the privilege of moving several times, living in four different states all across the country. Because of this we have formed precious friendships, all of which contributed to our joy in countless ways. We have both been challenged and stretched in good ways in our work, and God has faithfully provided for us. We are so very thankful!

As I mentioned earlier, we cannot escape the trials and sorrow either. We have had our share of pain. The death of a parent, two children diagnosed with a chronic illness, a child with depression, a son deployed to Afghanistan – all were gut wrenching! Add to those, times of loneliness in our moves, financial pressures, parenting challenges, and other circumstances that families commonly face. Life is hard!

Over the past 30 years Scott and I have seen each other at our best, and we have seen each other at our worst. There were times it could have been easier to just not care, yet the promise we made to each other, to God, and those we love was never far away. We promised we’d care. We have discovered that love is also a choice; a decision. The blissful feelings we felt on our wedding day 30 years ago have at times faded, yet our love for each other has grown in a depth not even imaginable back on our wedding day. This depth of love we have discovered came about because of those shared experiences. It is there where you have to depend on each other for strength and support, and when your marriage is based on Jesus, He provides hope when it’s hard to find our own. Sometimes the path is dark, lonely, and very difficult, but when you persevere, leaning on each other instead of trying to manage by yourself, and together leaning on God, there is no greater feeling when you come out on the other side. If you are in this place, please don’t give up! You can find your strength and hope in Jesus who will provide the love you need to love each other well.

Marriage takes work. Hard work. It doesn’t come naturally because we are by nature selfish, sinful people. Because of that, it means pushing through, even when you’re tired. It means putting your spouse’s needs above your own, even if you may not want to. It means choosing to love when you may not “feel” the love at the time. It means giving each other (and ourselves!) grace, lots of grace. Not one of us is perfect, including ourselves. We do the best we can with what we know. Mistakes happen. Mistakes seem to stand out to us more. Choose to find the good. God gives us unlimited grace we don’t deserve. Let’s strive to live like Him, in grace.

Lastly, we live in a broken world. Not all marriages last. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and heartbreak that divorce must bring. If this is you, I am so very sorry. What is on my heart to say is this: 1. You are not alone. I believe God’s heart broke right along with you when your marriage ended. He is there for you to help pick up the pieces and move forward. He loves you, delights in you, and is your biggest fan. Lean on Him and trust. He is so very trustworthy and faithful! 2. I started this blog with the verse in John 16:33 where it states that in this world we will have trials. It is a given. However, the verse doesn’t end there! It goes on to say “But take heart, because I have overcome the world!”. This pain you are facing is temporary. This world can be hard and painful, but it is temporary…and Jesus wins!

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