Five years ago today, my son spoke these words to me: “God’s more precious than all the gold you could ever find, and He’s worth more than anything we could do in our lives.” Less than a month later, “shattered and hopeless” became the new normal in my life. Only today am I able to overlay the beauty of my son’s words with the tragedy that nearly took me under, and that’s because some time has passed. It is God who gives us hope. When the trials come, we are able to move forward in hope because of Him. This last year has brought hope in a new and fresh way, and I want to share how to get through the tough times in marriage with hope.
How to Get Through the Tough Times in Marriage with Hope
So often when we are looking for a “sure thing”, or we compare our stories to someone else’s in hopes of thinking our story will go the same way. My friend, your marriage is unique, as are the people who are in it.
Don’t Compare Your Marriage to Anyone Else’s Marriage
So often I see women who realize their story is just like someone else’s, and they are hoping for the same positive outcome. Unfortunately, the problems in our marriages are because each spouse has a free will, so while your story may be just like someone else’s, ultimately your free will, or your husband’s free will, is what will determine the outcome. Don’t compare your marriage, because though the situations are similar, your husband’s free will is what makes the entire situation different.
Choose to Find Hope
Instead, choose to find hope in what is going right in your marriage. I can almost hear you now: “But, Rebekah, nothing is going right in my marriage.”
Then, choose to find hope in God.
When Jen and I wrote Hope for the Hurting Wife, we took some stories from the pits of our marriages and used them to show God’s power at work, even when we were not able to see it.
Sometimes we don’t immediately see the hope, though. As with my son’s words, it can take the benefit of time to be able to look back and see how God was at work.
Hope in God comes as we draw near to Him and spend time in His Word.
Understand That God Can Use the Hurt
When I first started in this journey, I thought the pain might take me under. There were days that grief seemed to swallow me whole.
God kept speaking to my heart, though, prompting me to start sharing what He was doing, even in the midst of the hurt.
A wonderful thing started to happen: Other women started to share that they needed the hope I was sharing. That encouraged me to keep sharing, even though it was so hard to do.
That was when God started to show me that He had a plan for the hurt. While the whole issue with my marriage had a deep impact on me, it ultimately was not my issue to deal with. God had a plan for what my husband had to go through, and He had a plan for what I had to go through as well.
Don’t be Afraid to Step Out in Hope
As I saw that God was working in ways I never expected, I knew I wanted to do more. Jen and I were writing for each other’s site each month and we noticed some common themes in our marriage posts, and in how people were responding to them.
Last year we released Hope for the Hurting Wife – it’s been a year now! This was a huge step of faith because I wanted God to use my story, but I felt so insignificant. Who am I to tell another wife that there is hope? Who am I to say, “Yes, my marriage is surviving, and yours might also. However, it might not – but don’t worry because there’s hope in Jesus no matter what happens.”
I’ve said those words to women – reminding them of the hope we have in the Lord. I’ve shared that this time in our lives, as wives in a struggling marriage, is a special time that we can let God work in our lives and we can strengthen our relationship with Him. Some have scooped up that reminder and have applied it in their lives in wonderful ways. Those women are thriving – no matter the outcome of their marriage.
How Hope has Changed Me
I thought that writing our book would be a way I could help to change the perspective for other women. Based on what I’ve heard back, that has been true. What I didn’t expect was how Hope would change me.
Working through this book, simply to put it together, allowed me to revisit so many things that God has done on my journey. I’ve recalled tough situations, and with the passing of time I’ve been able to see just how God was working in that situation.
I’ve found that my hope is secure in the Lord. I want you to know that I love my husband, but just as he can’t control what I do, neither can I control his actions. When my hope is in him, I’m certain to be let down – just as he is certain to be let down if his ultimate hope is in me. But working through the process of putting a book together, and then allowing that book to be a “living entity” is a daily reminder that my hope needs to be anchored in the Lord.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
During this first year since we released Hope for the Hurting Wife, I’ve had several opportunities to share about hope and about anchors. We often think of anchors as what holds us during a storm, and that is accurate. But, friends, anchors also hold us in smooth waters, in happy times, as well. This has been a tremendous realization in my own life.
Going through a tough and tumultuous time helps us to appreciate the smooth times in life even more. And if hope is our anchor in the tough times, it can be our anchor in the good times as well.
As for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
Determine to Hope in the Lord
Friends, whatever you’re facing, there is hope. So often we are wrapped up in the world that we can see – wanting things to be right, wanting to make them right. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but trying to do it in our own strength is the wrong way to go about it.
Ultimately, things may or may not work out the way we’re hoping and praying. As I tell women so often, it’s not God who is destroying your marriage; it is God who is going to work something out for you despite your situation.
Take this time, no matter what you are facing – whether it’s stormy seas, or smooth sailing – and let your anchor hold you to the Lord, the Rock of Ages.
“God’s more precious than all the gold you could ever find, and He’s worth more than anything we could do in our lives.”
-my son, age 9 at the time
Keep Working on Your Personal Growth
So many people have asked me how they can keep moving forward, in hope, even after all that has happened. This year, I took time to work through the action steps that I used in my own life, for my personal growth, to create a course to share with others.
Putting this course together was a journey that was challenging, personally, but that really helped me understand how God has worked in my life.
The course is called How to Move Forward After a Traumatic Experience in Marriage. If this is something you have interest in, click through to learn more, and know that I’ll be praying for you as you seek to continue to navigate through the tough times in marriage, with hope.
If you have read our book, or after you have an opportunity to read it, we’d love if you’d consider sharing a review on Amazon! I know many women who are finding this book to be a help, and we certainly appreciate this small and easy way that you can help to share the word with us!
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