Middle Minutes Adoration

{19 years ago, today} And about six months after this day, I needed someone to look me in the eye and tell me, “this will be one of the hardest things you do … and it will also unfold into one of the greatest stories of God in your life.”⁣

I didn’t know how much pain I could both inflict and incur within the covenant of marriage — so when I did cause and receive crazy pain within this relationship, I wondered if we were mismatched … forever mismatched.⁣

But the pain of it all opened me up to experience God reaching His tender hand into long-guarded places of my heart. And then, later, I found Him reaching His tender hand into “off-limits” places inside our actual marriage.⁣

I don’t look far without seeing scores of marriages in duress (subtle aches, over decades, and seemingly insurmountable pain). For Nate and me, the fire was unavoidable … and for others, it’s a slow burn, easily overlooked until the smoke overwhelms. Regardless, marriage – the picture God gave us to represent His love for His church — is one of the most threatened things in our world right now. Yes, even more than our health and our sense of safety.⁣

Can I take a liberty today to be your big sister, to look you in the eye, and say: Some days the fire of your marriage threatens to take your life and, others, the smoke is merely an annoyance. Regardless of the level of heat, He can wield this fire. If you let Him, this may be one of the greatest stories of your life.⁣

{These babies in this picture … they didn’t know, then, the kind of beauty that He could make out of ashes. Ya’ll, I really didn’t know it could be this good❤️.}