Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Love your spouse challenge

So earlier this week I was tagged in the 'love your spouse' challenge. This is where you are challenged to post photos of yourself and your spouse for 7 days on Facebook and to also tag a friend each day asking them to do the same thing to celebrate love and marriage.

It is mid-way through this challenge that I pause.  I have to stop and reflect - all the pictures of me with my husband are taken at special time; on holiday, celebrations, Christmas, wedding, beautiful views, happy times - there are no pictures of us weeping together, on our knees together, when life has hurt the most we haven't pulled out the camera and said 'wahoo let's take a selfie!'  Social media can be a biased commodity of showing the best of life and not always the tough stuff!  The pictures we take are amidst celebration and happiness.
But here is the thing that gets me - because we have been through painful times together, because we have wept together, been on our knees together, hurt together, grieved together; we are still together. Do you get my heart?  Celebrating love and marriage is great but relationships come at a cost.  Vulnerability, openness, sharing heartache, walking through both the highs and the lows of life together.

Some people know this and some don't ....... but I am actually only alive today because of a faithful God and a faithful husband.  Malcolm's care for me through depression and some very dark days have kept me from doing something really stupid.  

So in the middle of this 'love your spouse' social media challenge where the pictures are fun and the smiles are real; just know that there is another side where tears have fallen, where days have been dark and where hand in hand we have faced the tough day.  Today I celebrate the tough days knowing that having come thus far that God will lead us onward. Together we pray, we grow, we struggle, we laugh, we weep, we praise, we are random (!), we face questions and work things through.  Behind the pictures is a deeper story where at times through our 21 years of married life the man standing next to me was the only one knowing how hard life was.  For all those currently going through life with a smiley front that all is well please make sure you share with your spouse (or if you are single share with a close friend).  I hope that my vulnerability here encourages you that you can get through whatever you face BUT remember you don't need to do it alone - I wouldn't be here without God and without Malcolm. God bless you whether your selfie today would be with smiles or tears. 

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Connected to the vine

Yesterday morning I was cutting back the vine in our garden. I was thinking about the whole passage in Scripture about He is the vine and we are the branches; I was thinking about the whole thing of abiding..... And then I noticed this....... When I cut the branches there were smaller offshoots holding on. They were tiny but the grip was so strong to separate the vine from the branch I couldn't just pull the branch away I had to cut the smaller shoots that wrapped themselves around.

So if you have been broken and you feel weak, insignificant or small then remember the phrase 'let the weak say they are strong'. When you are broken remember He still holds you. Take heart that He won't let you go! Truly blessed today as I reflected on how despite times in the past of feeling broken, weak, drifting and alone; I can look back and see that He never let me go!

God Will Make A Way

This morning on our way to Church we got talking........ We talked about how God parted the Red Sea for the Israelites, we talked about how God sent Jesus to make a way for salvation, how when Jesus died the curtain was torn in two from top to bottom so that we had a direct way into God's presence. As we talked a deep smile came from right within me and I turned to Malcolm and simply said 'Making a way is one of God's specialities' - a precious revelation today!