Marriage is about making it through the seasons of life with the person to whom you’ve committed to faithfully have and hold, love and cherish. This year my husband and I will celebrate our sixth anniversary, and in this relatively short time, we have endured some crazy seasons.
Today starts a new one as Tanner begins a new job. You should know that I’m actually writing this post at the end of his last day with the one place that has remained a constant throughout our marriage. We are both a bit emotional about it in this moment because we are still in the difficult stage of saying goodbye and letting go of the familiar. We’ve been here before, however.
In fact, that’s how marriage starts – with saying goodbye to our solitary lives to begin the sweet yet painful process of becoming one new unit. It sounds dreamy when we’re little girls, and especially after we have those pretty engagement rings on our fingers, but when the day comes to vow our faithfulness and life-long commitment to the man who stole our hearts, we begin a process that will continue throughout the rest of our lives.
- Saying goodbye to personal preferences in order to find compromise that will make it possible for those two separate people who chose to wed to actually become one.
- Saying goodbye to well-laid plans when those unexpected health issues arise and take over your vacation budget or ability to do the things you thought were incredibly important to you.
- Saying goodbye to the comfortable routine you establish with just the two of you if God chooses to bring children into your family.
- Saying goodbye to jobs or relationships that you thought were permanent, only to have each other.
Yes, saying goodbye is difficult every single time we do it, but as sad as we feel when we’re facing another goodbye, each time draws us closer because we know we will have each other once the last remnant of our old normal is behind us.
It is then that we can give each other a hug and turn towards the promises of hello together. The unknown threatens to intimidate, but we can join hands and pray with confidence that God will make us stronger through the new challenges.
We can begin to develop our new plan of action and freely dream new dreams, for with the sadness that inevitably accompanies each goodbye comes a sweetly fresh vision.
We find more opportunities to communicate because we can now reflect on what we learned from the past goodbyes and then applaud each other for coming out of the experience stronger. No longer is there a need to hold back in sharing what we want for our future because we are seeing its potential from the other’s perspective.
The seasons of marriage are unpredictable, but three things are always true of each one. It starts with a hello, that often brings with it excitement, but then it becomes a challenging time of waiting as we live through it, and then it ends with a bittersweet goodbye. I can guarantee nothing else about anyone’s season of marriage but that you are somewhere in one of these stages and that you have no idea how it will actually turn out.
Let me encourage you, no matter where you are in your current stage of life with your spouse, hold onto hope while holding onto each other. Where you are now may be making you feel like a lonely exception or mundanely mediocre, but do not lose heart. This season can make your marriage stronger – make you stronger – if you choose to face it with your spouse.
I’m looking forward to focusing on marriage this week on the blog. Be sure to head back later when I am honored to share an encouraging story from a sweet friend on learning to make marriage a priority when it seems nigh impossible.
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