In our first few years of marriage my husband and I experienced most of the major stressful events that are at the top of experts’ lists. And we lived to tell about it.
My Grandfather, who I hoped would officiate at our wedding passed away from cancer, my father was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, we got married, we both moved, I graduated with my Master’s Degree, and we got pregnant with our first child in the first 3 months of marriage.
I experienced severe morning sickness my entire pregnancy, our son was diagnosed with down’s syndrome ( when he was born, he didn’t have the condition after all), I left my 10 year teaching career to be a stay-at-home mom, and then my husband had a major career change from TV development to interactive entertainment marketing. A short time later, we were diagnosed with secondary infertility. I took on a part-time property management role overseeing the entire remodel of two huge apartment buildings and then helped realtors until they were sold. Expecting to walk the long road of infertility, we surprisingly got pregnant again when my husband was suddenly laid off.
Unemployment continued to loom off and on for a year and a half, and then my husband took a job in Central California. We waved goodbye to our lifelong friends and all our local family to move to a small town 3 hours away-then we got pregnant with our third son. After a year went by, my husband was laid off again after his company was bought by a competitor and politics played out. We decided to listen to God’s call in our hearts to begin our own family-friendly and faith-friendly TV and Film Production company called Storehouse Media Group, and then we made another major move back to Los Angeles where we would stay with in-laws until we were settled.
Not exactly the life of security and stability I envisioned for my early years of marriage and parenting!
I would look back over the landscape of our lives and I saw that the grass didn’t look very green to me. Can you blame me? I had a lot of reasons to keep hoping “things would just get better” because it seemed that we had been handed A LOT to handle in a 5 year period! Always the optimist, this was enough to send all the before-held promises of God and hope for a happy future to the other end of the universe.But even there, God found me.
Many times, I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry despite my blessings.
But I remembered an important Truth from God:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Oh yes, Lord, that’s right. This world, this life that I envisioned, it’s not about me. And it’s going to involve trouble. That truth, on its own, may not be comforting. But the Lord doesn’t leave it there. He tells us to “take heart” and to have courage! Why? Because He has overcome the world.
If you and I forget that our final destination-our purpose in life, is to be content in our circumstances, knowing that they are for the end result of making us more like Christ, and that one day soon we will stand before our Holy God for all of eternity in heaven, then this life will be empty.
We will peer into the yards of our neighbors and envy their gardens. If today, you find yourself unable to take joy-that underlying sense of peace despite your position, then it’s time to go back to the basics and meditate on the point of it all.
Don’t think for a moment that God is setting out to harm you, and to simply toughen you up by making life hard. That’s a lie. He just knows us so well-our tendency to become complacent, to trust in “things”, and to settle into our couches, is not news to God. He wants us up, on our toes, relying on Him and believing that this world is already overcome.
Justin Bieber got one thing right, "The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s green where you water it."
Take the soil that God has put under your feet and turn up the hose. Nurture the people in your life. Weed out the ugliness in your home and weather the storms. Trouble will come but the way you approach hardships will ultimately determine whether you wither or flourish.God intends for you to thrive and trusting Him will always result in a life in full bloom.
YOUR TURN! Do you struggle with desiring "greener grass"?
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