Proverbs 21:19: “It is better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.”
Lately God has been convicting me about being “that wife.” As most of you know, we try to keep things transparent and real here in the FM community, so here we go…
2014 was a year of transitions. From moving back up to Washington, to moving a bit more in-land (a week before Christmas – eek!).
It’s been loaded with blessings that I overlooked because I was too busy focusing on my lack, my needs, my wants…my, my, my.
The ungrateful words, and complaining attitude that has been spilling out of me these past few months has only led to frustrations and outbursts between Ryan and I.
Side-note: It’s funny how in your mind you think that if you express a complaint, things will get better. However, complaining, constructive criticism and/or godly correction are not created equal.
Ok, back to my original story.
Ryan had expressed to me (many times), in his honest, loving, and frank way that at some point, I’ve complained about nearly everywhere we have lived and about everything we have.
He’s concerned that even when/if I do get those needs and wants fulfilled, that I still won’t be happy.
Defensive me of course flared up to thoughtfully and meticulously combat all of his “points.” But when it came down to it…I had to admit: he was right.
Being out at the beach this summer and fall, in a small fishing town forced me to deal with my feelings of isolation and quietness. I couldn’t hide behind missing my SoCal friends, or being too involved with ministry or work… because none of those things existed anymore.
Our new style of slow-living left me feeling like God stripped me of everything I held dear, which didn’t seem like a lot to me, but I still held it tight and close.
My little treasures (career, youth ministry involvement, friendships) that showed the world I meant something, that I was making a difference, and that I mattered were gone.
His request for trust
With no real distractions it was as if the Lord turned up the heat to say, “I’ve got a little more refining to do my sweet daughter. It’s because I love you. Trust me.”
Looking back, it was in those quiet, slow, and often tedious-feeling moments at the beach that God brought me to His side and refocused my eyes on the blessings and values He had placed in my marriage and in my life.
His request for my trust allowed Him to restore my vision and bring redemption to the blessings that I had overlooked because I was too busy allowing the enemy to distract me with the things I thought I needed or wanted.
He knows our needs, He understands our desires – more than we even understand and know.
Wives, we must trust God.
His Beautiful Reminders
All too often I am guilty of forgetting about my blessings. I’m guilty of being distracted by the stresses and busyness of this world and overlooking the blessings God has already placed in my marriage.
The Lord gently, and consistently reminded me of the health that Ryan was experiencing. How about 10 years ago, at the same beach place, Ryan was there recovering from open-heart surgery from a bacteria that almost killed him.
He reminded me that even though half of our worldly possessions were in the U-Haul truck, and another third at the beach place and another third with our parents – He has us, and our little world, in His hands…entirely.
If we believe this beautiful gospel truth about Jesus, then everything is put into perspective and our hearts are transformed. Transformed hearts lead to our minds and thoughts being lifted to the things of God, which in turn lead to our words being full of Jesus and full of life (Proverbs 18:21).
Our lives begin to reflect the plenty that Christ is rather than the lack we see.
Where am I looking?
Fixing our eyes on Jesus puts everything into perspective.
My complaining words full of anxiety and fear are transformed into words of hope, peace, and strength when my eyes are fixed on Jesus.
He is the one who dictates the path of my heart no matter what is happening around me.
As the Lord continues to perpetuate this lesson in my heart, it’s my prayer for the wives of the Fierce Marriage community that we continue to fix our eyes on Jesus and let him be our Savior; our Prince of Peace.
Let Him carry your burdens with his mighty, beyond-this-natural-world strength.
He died so that we could live and cling to him no matter our current reality. And his peace transcends understanding, circumstances, and emotion. His peace does not depend on us (praise God!).