We have been married for almost nine years, and those nine years have very much been lived in blocks of seasons. Nine months of being newly married, four months of being laid-off, nine months of expecting our first child, two months of adjusting to the first child before another five month lay-off, another pregnancy, another new baby, another lay-off, and so on... Every time Bryan is working, we know it can end at any time so we never live like the money is going to pour in forever. When he's laid-off, we know he'll go back to work eventually; so we pray prayers of thanksgiving for His constant provision, accept the gift of time together, and look forward to the light at the end of the unemployment tunnel.
Last May we heard about a potential new job and, for the first time ever, I began praying for stability. I prayed for a change in our lives that would eliminate the ups and downs of these employment seasons. A job that would allow us to plan further into the future for vacations, home improvements, fun purchases, and college tuition for the boys. I really wanted to feel like we'd "caught a break". These are reasonable things; yet they are very much about comfort and not so much about character.
As I chatted with my husband about marriage, relationships and the maturation we've seen in the last ten years together, it occurred to me that these seasons and seeming instability have actually been a tremendous gift to us. Through them, we have learned to roll with the punches, remain steadfast, and do whatever it takes. We've learned to work as a team, stick together through difficulty, keep life in perspective, and lean on each other. We've learned to have faith in the Great Planner and not our life's plans.
It is not easy. In fact, the first several bumpy years were quite difficult, and occasionally they still have the ability to suck the life right out of us; however, that sucking is now very brief... The bumps serve to refine us, bringing us closer to each other and closer to Him. We are so grateful, and even amazed, that the bumps haven't driven us apart. As a lifelong runner (from people) this is nothing short of miraculous. I can hardly believe that I've been given some staying power!
I praise God for the crazy seasons in our lives...and the wonderfully loving and loyal husband He's given me to journey through them with.
"I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering." Isaiah 48:10