It’s been one of those tough times many marriages go through. Those times when no matter what we do or say we seem to rub each other the wrong way. When anger over things outside our relationship spill over, leading to arguments over nothing. When we get so tired of the battle, simply stopping trying and walking away feels so tempting!
I’m a fixer. I tend to feel it’s my job to “fix” people or situations. And oh boy, do I get angry and frustrated I get when I can’t. So we got in this spiral where outside frustrations and challenges made my husband angry, his anger colored his interactions with me, I tried to fix things, and that made things even worse.
So, I’ve been doing a LOT of praying over this (LOL, only after trying things my way first and messing up, of course!). Thankfully God blessed me with an epiphany, one of those sweet moments of insight.
I’m always amazed by these. They can happen in church. They can happen out in beautiful nature, inspired by the beauty of His creation. They can happen during quiet time, when we’re open to Him and focused on Him. More often, they just happen.
This one just happened to come when I was doing a particularly nasty household job I really didn’t want to do – cleaning out a dirty, smelly bin! I won’t go into detail, but it was baaaaaaad!
And wham! God whacked me with insight into what I’d been struggling with.
I finished cleaning the bin, washed my hands, went indoors, and wrote this in my prayer journal:
I hear what You’re asking me. Stop “fixing”. Only You can fix things. My job is to just to be with it. Sometimes simply being present and holding the person or the situation in Love is the best we can do. And You’re not asking me to do any more than that.
Help me to seek Your will in all things Lord. Help me to bring everything I do into Your service, make it all an act of love done for You. Help me to see every part of my life, even the most menial or most frustrating, in that way.
That’s where joy and peace waits for me. That’s the life You created me to live. Help me to do that Lord. Help me to live that life, a life of love, for You.
Some relationships hold more challenges than others. Some lives hold more challenges than others. What God reminded me, pulling me out of my pity party, is that staying in love and living a life of love is ALWAYS challenging, no matter what the situation is. This isn’t only about how I am with my husband, it’s about how I do my whole life.
The good news is that once we stop trying to fix things ourselves, we open the way for God to work in the situation. Sometimes, all we need to do is step out the way so He can take over. Opening our hearts to His love, really soaking in His love for us, lets us live out that love.
It feels so good to do that and let go of the struggle! I’m hoping my husband will notice the difference too, as I stop trying to fix things and simply focus on loving him and showing him I love him.
Either way, in Calm and Bright, my story in the Candy Cane Kisses boxed set (releasing tomorrow, just 99c till October 2nd!), Maddie learns big lessons in what living a life of love means, too, when her ex-husband comes to stay with her, their son, and her grandmother for Christmas!
She discovers it’s not necessarily doing what she loves, but being willing to make sacrifices for Love. Big Love, the Love God wants us to live in, so much bigger and sweeter than our little loves of earthly things.
Thankfully, though Maddie can’t see the way though her conflict, God has a plan for her and her family, as I trust He has a plan for the highest good of each of us! I loved writing Maddie’s happy ending, and I hope you’ll love reading it too.
We have a sweepstakes for the boxed set! First prize is a $50 gift card plus an additional ebook from each of the 8 authors in the set, and two other winners will get the 8 ebooks each. Enter by leaving your email at CCKsweepentries, before October 2nd. Entries open to US residents only.
So, can I ask you, what are your favorite ways to show the people close to you that you love them? And what are the ways you most appreciate those close to you showing you that you’re loved and appreciated? All comments made by Friday 30th September go in a random draw for your choice of my ebooks (excluding multi-author boxed sets).