Beauty and pain play tug of war.
Life can be so beautiful and so terrifying at the same time. I’m often amazed at how well we all cope with the ups and downs this world has to offer.
Some things seem so trivial compared to the monumental things we deal with. One moment we are bringing a casserole to a potluck and the next moment we are faced with trauma. We fold laundry, and we birth children into the world. The stark contrast unsettles me when I dwell on it too much. How do we bounce back and forth from peace of mind to total upheaval, to pure joy, sometimes in the span of a few days without losing our minds?
I’m easily amazed by the beauty that surrounds us on earth. I also tend to focus on worst case scenarios, so I am often waiting for the shoe to drop.
The thing is, God told us not to fear. Even though he knew the chaotic existence we would be thrust into, he still said, more than a few times, not to be afraid. I wonder about this, because I sometimes I really don’t see how people keep from freaking out. I have to constantly force the what-ifs about the future out of my doubtful little head.
Wondering if the sky is falling
This even translates to my marriage. As blessed as I feel each and every day, I feel nervous at times that we just can’t hold out. Things will get to be too tough for us and the bottom will drop out, or one of us will go over the edge from all of the stress. But each day, without fail, God sustains us and we find ourselves still together, still friends, still in love with each other, our children, and the life we’ve been graciously given.
I get out my little microscope and start looking for cracks in our relationship. When I come across one I say, “Look! This isn’t good! This will surely do us in!” I shouldn’t focus on every little possible breaking point, but I do. The only thing that snaps me out of it, is looking at our marriage in the much larger scope of God’s grand plan for us. I can reflect back and see how faithful he has been. I can breathe a little easier knowing that it’s all going to come out OK in the wash.
God is bringing us through
Focusing on our blessings and God’s goodness is a much better way to spend my time that wondering if we are going to make it past the terrifying and even mundane parts of life. Do we go on enough dates? Probably not. Are we spending enough time together in prayer? Absolutely not. Do we fight over petty things and shift blame quite often? Yep. Do we stand a chance at winning most affectionate couple of the year on Facebook? No way. But is God guiding our steps and changing us as we go through trying times? Yes, he is.
The big picture is much easier to handle than the up close snap shot. The whole process, as torturous and unpredictable as it may feel, is sort of beautiful because it’s bringing us closer to each other and closer to the end goal. Going though these hardships makes us more empathetic and understanding of each other. It creates a maturity in us that is priceless.
Life is truly hard. I am grateful I have my husband as a fellow sojourner because we are meant to be in community. He’s not supposed to fix the all of the broken spots I stumble upon, he’s just supposed to encourage me to keep walking and keep trusting that God will make all things new, and make everything right. We can’t both run around worrying about the state of our marriage, we can only look where we have been and know that where we are going is even better.