I guess you’d call it a temper tantrum, of sorts.
I’ve been waiting impatiently, pretty sure that God should be doing something big.
(As if I should presume to know the heart of God….)
And when He hasn’t answered in ways that I’d like, I’ve expressed frustration to the one person I’m working to be a lot kinder to.
You’ve watched a toddler who really wants something, and they try to be patient. Maybe it’s meal time, nap time, or bed time, though, and you know that at some point you’re going to see a meltdown if things don’t work out well. That’s been me.
I’ve been frustrated about one area of life that I just cannot control. I want to get through it, I’m tired of being patient – just give me my life back already!
And I try to be speak kindly to my husband – through impatience in our spot in life, through so many different family things going on, through situations that remind me of previous hurts.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been watching the flowers start to grow in my backyard. You know the typical spring flower growth pattern:
*dig the hole in the fall
*plant the bulb
*water it, let the sun shine on it, make sure it’s planted deep for the winter
*tiny bit of green above the ground as a sign of spring
*leaves start to grow
*the stem gets taller
*the leaves grow bigger
*the bud starts to show
*the plant continues to grow
and then finally, when you almost can’t believe it’s taking this long…
*the flower opens
And over the past few years I’ve watched this blog grow, and I’ve watched the numbers grow. Yet I’ve known it was never supposed to be about the numbers.
So the other day, I took a look at the numbers.
You know – those numbers, that were never supposed to be important.
And because of my own struggles these past few weeks, because of our schedule, our son’s benefit concert, and the need to get a little sleep, I haven’t written much here.
So yesterday I looked at the numbers and I was momentarily discouraged. See, every social media platform has its ups and downs and as a blogger it can be hard to get your posts seen. But the truth is, that isn’t what matters. Doesn’t matter if there’s one person here reading or one million people here.
What matters is what you’re reading when you’re here.
The majority of people who’ve landed here recently have read one post in particular: this one.
And because you’re reading that post, overall, I’m reminded that there are women out there who are facing struggles in their marriage.
You haven’t given up hope yet. You are a strong bunch of warrior wives.
I’ve been waiting for that moment in my life when the proverbial spring flower opens – when the beauty is seen. When the struggle to grow is complete, and beauty exudes. When people admire the beauty and forget about the struggle.
I’ve been telling God how ready I am to be there. And He keeps making me wait.
He keeps reminding me to stop my tantrums, to look around and admire all that is good and right and beautiful in my life.
And as I’ve looked at what you’re reading, I’m finally okay with that.
Because somewhere, someone needs to know that it’s okay to keep growing.
The flower – the final moment when that bud opens – that isn’t the sole proof of new life.
No, it isn’t. It’s actually the final reminder of new life.
The bulb that went into the ground is the first sign of new life. Yes, even though it was buried. It reminds us that someone, somewhere wants to see new life and so they carefully prepared that bulb for what should be new growth.
Then that bulb grew, and produced that first sighting of green above the ground. New life!
That first bit of green started to grow and get taller.
And the rains came – and it still stood.
And the winds came strong – and still it stood.
And it didn’t throw itself around the garden wondering why it wasn’t fully grown and budding yet.
It didn’t have the equivalent of the temper tantrum I’ve been having as I wait on God to make something beautiful out of this mess.
It just kept standing.
It developed leaves, a deep root system, a strong stem, and it just kept standing – through the rains, the winds, the cold nights, the warm spring sun.
And that strong-standing, not-yet-bloomed flower reminds us that only God can start the growth, continue it, and fulfill it.
So wherever you are today, keep standing.
Develop that root system that will keep you tall and strong.
Trust God when the storms come.
Remember that God is tenderly caring for you, and you are still here because He knows of the beauty in your life.
Our idea of the beauty our lives should display is nothing compared to what the Lord can do. We can’t even begin to imagine the beauty He has ahead for us. –That’s as much a reminder for myself as any words I’ve ever written.
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
Those last 3 lines….
Oaks of righteousness.
A planting of the Lord.
For the display of his splendor.
The first few verses talk about the broken-hearted, the captives, the prisoners, those who mourn, those who grieve.
Isaiah was sent to them to bestow beauty, joy, and praise.
Why? For the display of his splendor.
So that everyone can see the power of God.
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Think about it – if we read about wives who’ve struggled, who’ve nearly thrown it all away, but who have survived only by the grace of God, then we know God can. He can do it.
If we don’t share our stories, if we think that the only true beauty is in getting out of the mess, we’re missing the display of his splendor.If the only beauty is in getting out of the mess, we're missing the display of his splendor. Click To Tweet
God’s power is at work, active, during the struggle – during those times where it’s hard to grow, during those times where there isn’t much beauty.
But for the wife who is looking for support and encouragement to stay in her marriage, we have to share about those times when we aren’t yet beautiful as the world might see the beauty of a newly-bloomed flower.
Friends, we may not yet be beautiful to the world, but we are to God.
Not only are we beautiful to God, we are the strength and encouragement to the next wife who is struggling.
Wherever you are today, I see what you’re reading. I see that you’re wanting encouragement to stay in your marriage. I see that you’re looking for hope and encouragement to keep on going.
That’s why I’m here – to try and provide that hope and encouragement.
Here are posts you’re going to want to read – and it’s a link to my Pinterest profile where I have gathered the marriage posts I’ve written: Marriage Posts
My friend, Arabah Joy, has written a book that has been blessing and encouraging my heart in such a new way. It’s not about marriage. It’s about trust. Trusting in God. And that’s the only way we’re going to grow – through trust in God. You’re going to want this book if you’re looking to strengthen your trust in God through an issue of marital trials: Trust Without Borders.
I’d love to hear where you are in your journey. I love to get your emails and read the comments you leave. Please know that I am here, and I am praying for you!