If you follow my personal account on Instagram, you might have seen a sappy post about our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY last month! Heyoooo! And if ya didn’t, well John and I just celebrated last Month in Chattanooga! 🙂
All that to say, I wanted to dedicate a blog post and reflect on what God has taught me this past year. So here it is:
God is FAITHFUL. Marriage is HARD. Now, I heard this A LOT growing up in the church and seeing my parents’ marriage as well as my friend’s parents’ marriages. But I never quite understood it…until the day after we said our vows. John’s sister was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and went in for her first round of treatment [on her birthday] and the day after our wedding, we both left our jobs three months into marriage, we moved, my health was horrible- I was in constant pain from my RA, and the first couple months we were just super lonely because we didn’t have community. We were miserable. BUT it was so encouraging to go through all of this really tough stuff and to have someone point me back to truth & vise versa. God IS faithful. My sister in law found out she was cancer free in July. We both found/started new jobs we love! My health has improved so much (you can more read more about it here) and God blessed us with the BEST community of believers who live life on mission and with a purpose- PRAISE! So, while we were in what seemed like a never-ending rut, God was working in us and through us! May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. // Romans 5:13
Jesus must always be at the center. A house cannot just be built on the ground, it needs foundation! The same thing goes for a marriage- in order it to last & be fruitful, Christ must be the foundation. What does this look like? Abiding individually and together. (I notice a HUGE difference when I’m abiding vs when I’m not. Spiritual wife, happy life 🙂 ) Praying individually and together. Serving & growing His kingdom together. And encouraging and lifting up each other to do these things for Him. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. // Luke 6:48
Shower your spouse with grace and patience. Lots of it. I still don’t have the hang of this [if I’m being totally candid with y’all] and I think that it’s a constant learning process- something we must strive to do every day. There are going to be times [lots of them] where you’re just frustrated with one another. You’re not going to want to say “I’m sorry” and you’re not going to talk to each other. Something I’ve learned: be quick to listen, quick to forgive and slow to anger. When we start bickering, we separate from each other, come back, talk it out, forgive and pray! But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. // Psalms 86:15
Sacrifices make the world go round. Marriage isn’t about you. It’s about serving the other person & putting their needs before yours- just as God does for His bride. I think this is the hardest thing about marriage, especially if you’ve been single for a long time it’s hard to click that “switch” button and put your husband/wife before you. Maybe you’ve naturally got a servant heart and this just comes naturally to you, if that’s the case, teach me your ways! 🙂 John is a champ at this. He knows how much I looove pictures, so he will take pictures with me whenever we’re traveling. I know that sounds lame, but it means so much to me! I know that John loves coming home to clean apartment and to dinner, so of course I’m going to do that for him! Now, some days are a lot easier to do it, but on the days that are tough, I have to remind myself to serve him and to show him how much I love him! I think this is such a beautiful way to exemplify the gospel and to humble ourselves to be more like Christ! Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. // Matthew 20:28
Encourage each other! If you know your spouse is passionate about something, encourage them to pursue it! Be their biggest cheerleader, motivator and number one fan! If your husband closes a deal at work, write him a card, surprise him with his favorite sweet treat to let him know you’re proud of him! Maybe he’s a big sports guy- surprise him at one of his games or go watch a game with him. John does such a great job encouraging me and supporting me with my blog and photography bizz! He’s so helpful; from helping me brainstorm ways to grow, to supporting me financial to purchase new photography equipment! #HesTheRealMVP 🙂
Have fun! John and I love to travel! Seeing new places together and soaking it all in is so fun! If we’re on a budget, we will take a mini-road trip and get a hotel or airbnb somewhere so we can spend quality time together. Take little getaways together- it’s always much needed to recap, refuel, and relax together!