Fear says we must solve a problem too large to handle. It presses down on us . . . Faith says it’s not really a problem if God is the solution; it offers confident expectation no matter what obstacles stand in our way.
Jen Weaver, A Wife’s Secret To Happiness
I expected a less difficult marriage. A marriage without the drama and immaturity I presumed was encountered by my friends when they embarked upon the same journey in their 20s. I’d recently entered the demographic of “30 and up”, my husband (the Weatherman) was over half way to 40 – certainly we were the living example of ‘older and wiser’.
When it came to our marriage, I expected some struggle (what marriage is without it) but had the “can do” mentality of ‘We’ve got this’. We were at an advantage.
Our chronological maturity was only one piece of the puzzle and a border one at that, providing great structure but only a small degree of detail. In the coming weeks, months and years there were other more significant pieces moving into play.
There was the Weatherman’s first marriage and eventual divorce. And, his status as a single father with joint custody of three girls ranging in age from 11-16 years of age. There were teen years marked by rebellion and strained relationships. And as many stepparents can relate, I was almost buried in the avalanche of consequences resulting from children living with each foot in a different world.
There was also the decision to care for our granddaughter for 9 of the first 12 months of her life – it wasn’t how I’d imagined things in my mid 30s with a two-year old of my own. Honestly, I resented moving my daughter out of her crib and into a toddler bed so early and worried about how the changes would impact my little one.
And, although these pieces were enough to complicate the puzzle they were just the tip of the iceberg.
Each of us came into the marriage owning our own homes; ironically, bought in the same month and year prior to the real estate market crash. (We would need to pay someone to buy either of the homes.) My bachelorette pad was too small for our blended family to live in and for the first five years of our marriage we lived in the home he had shared with his ex-wife. Every time a room was re-painted or wallpaper removed I was met with protest from my stepdaughters.
Well-seasoned friends and mentors shared that we had experienced more in our first few years of marriage than most do in 30 years of marriage. Never one to shy away from requesting prayer, we were regulars on the Elders prayer list as well as that of the Prayer Team and other close friends and family.
It felt as though we went from one difficult season to the next. This wasn’t exactly how I’d imagined things after waiting so long to be married.
In the words of Jen Weaver, I had a lot of “Buuut Gawwd!” moments. Didn’t He realize how much He was asking of me? Did He care that this wasn’t what I had expected?!
I learned early in my marriage that all of these “Buuut Gawwd” concerns needed to be entrusted to the one and only But God. In the end, I didn’t need God to change my circumstances. However, I did need Him to change my expectations.
Author Jen Weaver gets this need and speaks directly to it in her book. She doesn’t peek around the corner, but rather, approaches our fears and beat-up expectations with a familiarity and hopefulness that resonates. Jen has been there and done that. More importantly, she has also come out on the other side with her marriage intact. If there is hope for her, if there is hope for me, believe me sister, there is hope for you.
I don’t know the author personally, but after reading A Wife’s Secret To Happiness I wish I did. Jen Weaver’s voice is authentic and her words insightful whether you’ve been married two years or ten.
I devoured this book while away with the Weatherman for a long weekend away (sans kids) after another “gut wrenching” season. Marriage is hard. Add the dynamics of step parenting and being an older parent and the math got much more complicated than I anything I ever felt prepared for.
Believe me friends, there will be hard seasons, and “hard” looks like a lot of different things. Remember though, the hard is always coupled with hope. Don’t give into the temptation to make the difficulties you are experiencing about you or your spouse or either of your shortcomings. Make the difficulties you are experiencing about “getting to Jesus.”
And, if you are wondering, how you get to Jesus with your marriage intact, I assure you this, reading A Wife’s Secret To Happiness will provide a clear path for making that journey.
In the stiff frost of our difficult season . . . we kept talking until the cold winds warmed to genuine communication once again . . . But more vital than our approach to one another, we pressed into Jesus. If I can just touch his garments. Christ showed up. Again and again. He came in the middle of the mess, the heartache, and the stress . . . He built the blessing of confident expectation in my heart, grounded in the truth of his love and presence. And each time he came to my relational winter, he brought a bit of spring with him.
Jen Weaver, A Wife’s Secret To Happiness
I will be giving away one copy of The Wife’s Secret to Happiness by Jen Weaver. Subscribe to my blog by March 31, 2017, for your chance to win! To find out more about this amazing book check out www.thejenweaver.com.