I've spent 3 years married to the best man I know. Johnny is more than I ever thought I deserved. I could write this blog post about how amazing he is, which he is but I thought maybe I would get a little vulnerable and talk about how we have been in a tough season. Hopefully this encourages you if you're also in a tough season and if you aren't then hopefully you'll remember this post when you are! I refer to this season as being in the desert. Which is somewhat ironic because we live in Arizona. When I think of a desert I think of an empty dry space filled with dirt and cactus. If its Phoenix then most of the year is extremely hot and the sun is beaming down melting your skin off. Well that is very similar to the season we have been in together.
I think life comes in seasons and thankfully there is an ending to one season and the beginning to a new season. We have been going through a lot of transition in our lives and with transition comes change & the unknown which can be frightening. God has taught me so much in this desert season about myself, my marriage, and my relationship with Him. Here are some things I have found helpful, comforting, or just as good truth to hold onto!
1. Marriage is hard, but worth it. Marriage isn't easy but it can feel even more challenging in the desert. In this season there has been a lot of showing grace & forgiveness. Humbling yourself and asking for forgiveness can be the hardest thing when you are in the middle of feeling high emotions but I know that the holy spirit always prompts me when I know I'm wrong or being stubborn. In this season it's so important to focus on unity & keeping your eyes on Jesus.
2. Something that has been extremely helpful is to not lose our sense of humor & playfulness with each other. One of the things I love the most about Johnny is how hilarious he is & nobody makes me laugh as much as he does. I really believe smiling and laughter can change your mood. I know some seasons are super difficult and painful and more serious than others. Take this advice lightly depending on what your own personal circumstance is. I don't know what you could be going through but these are just my own thoughts that have helped me.
3. Stay plugged into the source over everything else. Jesus is my source & I can only rely on Him to provide me with the things I need. The closer I am to the Lord, the more peace I feel. In this season I have felt so many different emotions but ultimately it's made me rely on God more than ever. What is comforting is knowing that Jesus walked through desert seasons.
4. Johnny can't be my Jesus, he wasn't made for that. Johnny is only human and he will let me down but Jesus never will. Johnny is a full person and I am a full person who don't need each other to be full people. He doesn't complete me, only Jesus does. I also don't put Johnny on a pedestool because he is meant to be right next to me. We choose to do things together & make decisions together.
5. Communication is EVERYTHING. We still are working on this one daily and I think it may just be something over living life together we will get better with time. I over communicate and Johnny under communicates so finding a balance and both moving more towards the middle is our learning curve. I know that when we are communicating well that we feel more connected. Checking in with how each other is doing in the desert season is really important to feel seen & heard.
6. It is easy to feel like you have a good marriage when things are going good but when you're in the desert is when you really feel tested. Life isn't perfect & happy all the time, you're going to face challenges and that is when it really counts to come together! In the desert season is when your marriage is strengthened when you rely on God. We don't have to prove how good our marriage is but the desert is one of the BEST places to show your spouse how much you love them. Say "I love you" a lot, more than normal.
7. A new season begins when you leave the last one. Not the first moment in the next one. Desert seasons usually come in between two good seasons, there is good to come after the desert season. God does his best work in transforming our hearts during the painful trials. Express your feelings, emotions, and thoughts to God, He can handle our truth even in the hard seasons.
8. Be grateful for all the good. Praise Jesus! Practice daily gratitude. Some days you may be thankful for simple things and other days your list may be long. Pray often. Worship in it all even when you don't want to. It frustrates Satan when we praise & glorify God especially in the desert,
9. The enemy (aka the Devil) doesn't play fair especially when you are in the desert. Don't play nice, be aggressive and fight against temptations. Fight the battle of being attacked by lies, replace them with truth! The Devil has no authority! You may feel like something is trying to separate you from your spouse, instead come closer together! We often say "I will not let this come between us" it's so cheesy but it really makes us feel united.
10. Remember that God is in control & wants the best for you. I often say "God, I don't know what you're doing but I know who you are." I rely on knowing that some of the most beautiful things have come from desert seasons. I tell God that I will go wherever you want me to go & I want what He wants for my life. My trust & hope is in God, not in my circumstances or surroundings.
On our wedding day we vowed to love, respect, and honor each other in all seasons, in all situations, every day for the rest of our lives. I am thankful that I get to go through life with this man, even in the hard seasons. Although there are many highs in our marriage, it is only natural to face low times as well. In these low times we are strengthen and united more than ever. I appreciate and value my husband more than ever because of seeing the way he loves and depends on Jesus through the desert. I have experienced an abundance of joy in our first 3 years of marriage and I am so beyond excited and blessed to live the rest of my life with Johnny.
Location: Desert Botanical Garden