The heart of this book is to hold hands with couples that are in the middle of crisis. I’m convinced that people are reading about the things that are hard to talk about and no one knows what to do or who to talk to when the ugly parts of our marriage begin to surface in our life. I’m excited to share a beginning piece of the book with my current followers and supporters as this ink and paper baby begins to come to life. I’d love to hear if you or someone you know is going through something in their life where they could benefit from this right now….
Step One: BREATHE
You know that thing your body does instinctually every day without you ever giving it a second thought, we’re gonna start with that. Take a breath for a moment and just focus on your breathing. But this time, as you breathe, remind yourself you’re breathing. Let’s do it together. Take a deep inhale through your nose, follow the air with your mind as it flows down through your throat and now feel it fill up your lungs. Now take one, big, long, exhale as you release the air, drop your shoulders and continue to just breathe.
These pages are filled for the broken-hearted, for the confused, for the off-course, for the spouses that feel like saints, and the spouses that have been reminded they are sinners. These pages are filled with moments of crisis and the scrambling of bringing order to the existing chaos in your home that you may be living in right now. These pages are the same no matter which house reads them but the hands that hold these pages each have a different story to tell. What remains the same is the familiar reality of surviving a storm, but first, is the reminder, to simply breathe. This journey is a course of pausing in the middle of crisis, of stopping and learning how to see through the fog your marriage feels like it is in here in this moment.
This is not a self-help-want-a-better-marriage book, there are plenty of those you can read. This is an I’m-not-sure-what-to-do-next-and-this-marriage-feels-hopeless book. That’s why you’re here, and you are not alone, we’re all sitting at the same table.
We are all sitting at the same table.
Even though I’m not sure what the storm of your marriage looks like right now, I can take a guess. It might consist of words that are attacking instead of uplifting. It might be filled with an atmosphere of condemnation. It might be filled with friends and family that are angry and voices directed at shame and judgment. It might even be filled with an intense quiet and avoidance of everything that is going on. Whatever your world is filled with, these pages are your moments of peace among attacks and criticisms and uncertainty. There is no judgment here, you both have enough of that in your life already. This is your place to breathe and where we will all talk like we are sitting at the same table. Here’s what I mean:
It’s easy to judge people when we aren’t all sitting at the same table. Any time shame creates a hierarchy we distance people from one another and the same thing can happen in your home. One spouse could be kneeling on the floor feeling unworthy to sit at the table, or one spouse could have moved a pedestal over to the table to sit higher in their entitlement. You’re here because you want to know what to do next, so for starters, let’s make our first step to take a breath and invite all our marriages to come and sit at the same table.
We’ve got some tough stuff we’re going to lay out and talk through. Sin isn’t pretty and is taboo to talk about in most circles. We’re getting it out, and we’re going to let the light penetrate the dark areas of our personal lives while asking God to do the impossible and heal what seems like the unredeemable areas in our marriages.
First, we have to sit at the table together as we talk about the storms swirling overhead. We can pull up a chair and sit at the same table by acknowledging that we all go through storms and in recognizing that we all have an authentic story right alongside them. We breathe by linking our authenticity with our humility in sitting at the table together. No one is higher right now than the other, and no one has fallen from grace further than the other. That’s how we start at the table together.
Without the experience of going through someone else’s storm, you can’t judge or know what someone is going through. At the same table we listen to experiences, and we are present in someone else’s story. Don’t assume you understand someone else, even that person that you committed your life to. Instead, let’s open our eyes and ears at the table together and see the beating hearts that are beside us. If we can’t understand a tsunami until we hear someone give their devastating experience of it, then let’s sit at the table and hear their experience before we blame them for not having flood insurance.
Everyone has an authentic story.
Our cloudiest days and our sunniest moments are filled with the authenticity of our personal stories. This is your invitation to join us at the table, and whether your spouse comes too, only time will tell, but they are invited right alongside you at the table.
As you unfold your story, know you are safe here. No page is going to tell you that you are worthless. No page will treat you like a piece of dirt on the floor, in fact we’ll talk about how to see something completely made new. Know you are safe to feel here too. Safe to be angry, safe to be scared, safe to be unsure, and safe to feel hopeless. You are safe to feel here, my hope is that you just won’t stay in that sadness but that we learn how to find love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22) through the storm you are in. That is the hope for what is up ahead.
There is authenticity in the storm stories of your life and your marriage. Without walking in your shoes, or you stepping foot in mine, we must respect the stories we don’t understand. As we journey together Through The Storm in our marriages, our vulnerability with each other will come alongside the safety of respect for where your marriage is at today, and being and doing the best you feel able to on this one day.
As you think about your storm, it may be similar or different to the other storm stories ahead. No matter the story, there are valuable lessons, practical steps, and God honoring truth that can unite the way we deal with the aftermath of a storms existence in your life and the life of your marriage. We will go through exercises that will challenge you, encouragement that will crack lights of hope in the darkest corners, and truth statements that will redefine the way we talk about love and forgiveness. Those are glimpses at what’s ahead, but first, let’s all start by taking a breath and sitting at the same table.
Jesus is at the table
Jesus is at the table too. In fact, he was the first to show us that we need to sit together. He reminds us that we sit at the table together because we all have worth. You have a worth you can’t even fathom in the eyes of the God that loves you. Truly. Loves. You. He has the answer to the WebMD questions you are asking right now about your worth, your value, and your hope.
Jesus shows us a new way to handle the people that were deemed worthless, sinners, and the hopeless situations. People may cast you aside, a family member may be treating you or your marriage like it has lost its worth, but Jesus models something different and I believe we can apply those truths in the upcoming pages to your marriage as well.
Jesus was sitting with the people that everyone thought not to associate with, the people and the relationships that were considered a lost cause, he sat with them at the same table. Jesus was seen with the unclean, the dirty, and the people that didn’t call themselves clean but needed to be cleaned. During that time, Jesus got a lot of attention for just sitting at the same table with these outcasts. People questioned his motives, but then came his response, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners”(Mark 2:17; Luke 5:31; and Matt 9:12).
This same statement applies to you as a person.
Wherever you are right now, whatever you have done, whatever worth and hope seems lost in the relationships of your life, we are going to sit at the same table as we discover some great news: Jesus came for the sick and the broken and this applies to your marriage as well. Jesus knows that our unhealthy, fallen nature, and sin-filled desires are residing in our hearts and has a huge influence on our marriages and families. You turned here because you feel sick, your marriage has hit the bottom of a pit, and you need a doctor. There is a prescription.
We are going to turn to our Doctor who has the answers we are looking for. The Father that provides healing in restoring our soul through the grueling but necessary process of recovery while giving us hope at repairing the damage these storms have inflicted in both us and our marriage. It’s going to take work, but even more, it’s going to take growth.
Every storm can have a story of overcoming connected to it, but overcoming takes growth. You are about to grow, whether you like it or not, because the road ahead is going to be hard, but worth it. If you were my 6-year-old I would get prepared to take you to the shoe store because you are about to go through a growth spurt, the both of you. People will recognize the difference, so let’s make it one worth recognizing. Let’s find the rainbow through this nasty storm. You have support, and you aren’t alone. Even on the loneliest days, you aren’t alone. Let’s use this storm as an opportunity for victory instead of a struggle to insanity. Here we go…
**Thanks for checking out a small glimpse at my upcoming book THROUGH THE STORM: A survival guide helping couples learn to love after a Sin Storm enters their marriage. I’m sharing this journey with my friends and followers. Click the “follow” button on this page to stay up to date as we get closer to being published!!!! / /PLEASE SHARE/ / You never know who in your life is silently struggling and can use this resource in their life. <3<3<3