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Rise Again

March 19, 2008

“For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again…” (Proverbs 24:16).

Saturday was an extremely rough day for me.

I mean, yes, I started getting a migraine. Yes, my house had the “Saturday- morning- everyone- is- here- and- getting- everything- out- all- over- the- floor” look. But the real problem was happening with me and Hugh.

Picky, picky, picky, picky. Every ten minutes we were getting in another conflict. By the time we would resolve one situation, another one arose. By the end of the night, the house was still a mess and my marriage was, too.

I have spent the last eight years running away when I have days like this. Sometimes I run to Starbucks, sometimes I run to the spare bedroom upstairs, and sometimes I simply run away in my heart. I run away because my marriage feels too hard and too discouraging to keep going.

I have a very precious friend who is running away from her marriage permanently. The last two years I have seen her face days and months like my Saturday. She has had painful times of fighting, conflict, and deep misunderstandings. For a while, she fought for her marriage. She had the emotional energy to keep going even in the middle of horrific circumstances. But recently, she quit. She has shut her heart off from her husband, and she is leaving.

I thought about her on Saturday. I thought about her that night as I sat alone on the couch, listening to Hugh snore in our bedroom. I thought about the choices she has made when faced with the decision of whether or not to try again. I thought about her three young daughters and about her broken husband. And I realized that I can learn from that terrible sadness and pain – that I want to keep trying, keep fighting.

Even though I felt a million miles away from Hugh – and in that moment, the last thing I wanted to do was to turn to God – I decided to not run away anymore.”God,” I prayed, “You have got to give me strength in this moment…to love Hugh, to keep going.”

The next morning, I woke up early to pray. I went into a spiritual battle for my marriage. I prayed for new love for Hugh, for selflessness, for new romance to flood our relationship, and for the ability to quickly forgive him. In that moment, God did a work in my heart. He filled me with His strength to go forward, and I felt flooded with His hope for the future of my marriage.

After I finished praying, Hugh sought me out. He grabbed my hand and stood in front of me, disheveled in his white v-neck t-shirt. “I’m sorry for yesterday,” he said.

In an instant, I forgave him completely. We talked for a few minutes about Saturday, and the rest of the day was filled with affection, joy, and ease as I felt the Holy Spirit filling me with His love for Hugh.

I did not give up.

And, for the first time, I realized that when I stay in the fight, when I keep battling for my marriage – God is going to sustain me completely. He is the one holding me and Hugh together. I just need to bring the Lord both the good days and the horrible ones and then ask Him to pour out His Presence, His mercy, and His tender grace over us.

I am filled this day with a new strength as a wife. I am filled with a deeper assurance that Jesus is in charge of my relationship with Hugh and that He is going to lead me into every good thing with the man I married.

Father, thank you for my husband. Thank you for your grace and forgiveness in my marriage. I pray that you come in this day and take complete control of me and Hugh. Show us both what it means to live surrendered to you in this area. God, give me a radical marriage! Let our relationship be characterized by forgiveness, joy, and hope. In the name of your Son, Amen.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2008 9:59 pm

    God blesses when we obey, doesn’t he!
    Marriage can be very hard at times.
    I don’t know about you but the hardest part for me is being a submissive wife.
    I almost hate that word….submissive.
    I have come to a point lately that I KNOW that is what God wants from me. Now I have to choose to obey.
    I wonder how many years this process is gonna take!! 🙂

    So glad you didn’t run

    From a used to be runner herself!

  2. March 20, 2008 12:42 am

    For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

    eph. 6:12

  3. March 20, 2008 8:05 am

    I have recently been in this same situation. Just asking God to fill me with His love so I can love my husband better. And He has been faithful to do it for me.

  4. Kim permalink
    March 20, 2008 9:42 am

    Dearest Jess,

    You and Hugh sound way to precious to even CONSIDER anything but working together to make a precious legacy for yourselves and your children. My first husband died when my 3 children were small. A “Prince Charming” came and swept me off my feet a few years later, and then after 15 months, disappeared. I truly believe that unless there is abuse present, GOD DID NOT CREATE US TO RAISE CHILDREN ALONE. Every marriage has seasons, and this is normal. Do not let the enemy come between you and your soul mate. UNLESS there is abuse iinvolved, divorce is NOT AN OPTION. Anytime you want to call me for a lecture:), or support, you are welcome to. I am 43, and boy have I been around the block with many friends as well as myself. You are uch a good and faithful servant, and I am convinced that He will deliver you from the demons of your past. (I have plenty:) 704-606-4292. I am praying your you and your precious family. Your mother was crazy, but YOU ARE NOT!!!:)

    Love,
    Kim

  5. March 20, 2008 2:35 pm

    Oh Jess…
    I hear your heart cries…and I my heart echoes it too. This winter was a rough one for my husband and I also. We’ve only been married 3 yrs and it’s been a journey of alot of pain, bitterness, and sorrow. But praise God, we choose to keep fighting for our marriages even when it feels hopeless and we keep hurting each other over and over again. Praise God that His mercies are new every day…and praise God for our hubbies that DO APOLOGIZE and ask for forgiveness because there are men out there that don’t admit when they are wrong or have hurt their loved ones. You are such a blessing and encouragement to me…and I’m so excited that you continue to fight for love and stay on the adventurous road. Divorce is not an option in our household we keep telling ourselves, but man, Satan sure does make it look nice when we’re angry with each other. We have decided to praise God even in the valleys, because He has given us awesome and incredible mountaintops. The other night I told my Jason when we were laughing and wrestling…it’s so much more fun and peaceful in our house when we’re getting along as best friends, why don’t we choose this daily? Thank you for being so open and honest…you are such a beautiful person! God is using you in ways you probably can’t imgaine.
    Love ya….Laura

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