My husband and I got married really young. Too young. I hadn’t even graduated from high school yet. We eloped and then didn’t tell anyone we were married until four years later! We had no clue what we had just jumped in to. Our family and friends were shocked and hurt when we finally told them. Hurting them is one of my biggest regrets.
When I think of walking through a valley, I think of my marriage. My marriage has been one of the hardest journeys of my life. When we first got married, I thought we would stay on that mountaintop for the most part. I knew we would argue and have problems sometimes, but then we would get right back up on that mountaintop. It hasn’t gone that way. Most of my marriage has been spent in the valleys. We are very different people in just about every way, and we both went into the relationship with a lot of brokenness. We have had to work really hard at our relationship, and ourselves. No other journey has challenged me and stretched me as much as my marriage has. No other journey has brought more tears, heartache, and struggle. We have often brought out the worst in each other. We have made many, many mistakes and at times, I thought our marriage might not make it. I’ve felt so hopeless that things will not change.
God often reminds me in those moments of how far we have come. He shows me the growth that’s happening, the blessings all around me, and what a gift my marriage truly is. I am thankful, because my marriage journey has deepened my relationship with God more than anything else. I have found that my hardest struggles end up being what brings me closest to God. My deepest valleys have produced the most growth. God is just as much in the valleys of life as he is on the mountaintops. His word promises that He will never leave us or forsake us. (Deut. 31:6). He sees, hears, and knows us. He pours out His blessings and grace in the valleys. God has blessed us with four beautiful children. This year my husband and I will celebrate nineteen years of marriage!
I am walking through a valley in my marriage right now. Writing this has been difficult for me. I’ve been leaning on some trusted friends who have been faithfully praying for us and we have been seeking help. Some places in the valley are deeper and darker than others. In those places especially I need reminding of what God has already done and how far we have come. Sometimes I need the help of others to see the beauty in the valley. For me the beauty in the valley is in the blessings along the journey, and the growth that it produces. I’ve learned that God really is with us through all the ups and downs of life. Every valley my husband and I have walked through has made us stronger and has deepened our love for one another. We learn more about each other, and ourselves. My marriage has been a mirror for me to recognize the things I need to change, and the things that God is refining in me. Growth is rarely easy, but always beautiful.
Abba, all things are possible for You. You are a loving, caring Father, and You are always with me. I pray for more revelation of Your love and Your goodness. Make me more aware of Your presence in every season of my life. When I walk through the valleys of life, I pray Your perfect love would cast out every fear. Open my eyes to see Your blessings and the beauty all around me, even in the darkest places. Thank you, Lord, that You are continually at work in my life and Your plans for me are always good. Remind me of how far I have come and encourage me. Help me to keep walking and to keep trusting You. Your love never fails.
In Jesus’ name
“How Sweet the Sound” by Citizen Way.
I pray the words in this song minister and encourage your heart as much as they have in mine. Thank you Citizen Way for writing this song!
My hubby’s Beef Stroganoff. I love it when he makes it! He makes it a little different every time so I can’t share an exact recipe, but here is one that is close to get you started: