8 Truth Bombs We've Learned from 8 Years of Marriage!

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Eight years ago TODAY, I married this man!


We made promises we didn't understand about things we could only imagine...


But we knew that God is faithful and good. We knew that his grace would be enough.


And The Creator has not let us down... His legacy of grace is written all over our sacred history together.


I don't pretend to be an expert on marriage, but let me tell you some truth bombs we've learned about our marriage.


1. MARRIAGE IS WAY MORE ABOUT FORGIVENESS THAN PERFECTION.


When we let go of our perfect ideals for each other and ourselves, then we started to offer the greatest gift we could possibly give... Forgiveness.


We get to mimic Jesus Christ in this, and how beautiful that we can see Jesus in each other!


At first, we begrudgingly forgave. Now, we willingly forgive.


Randall has forgiven me for so much... and this I am deeply thankful for!


When I open my heart to the forgiveness of Jesus, it makes forgiving others such a natural response! His burning love is contagious.


2. IT TAKES TWO SOFT HEARTS TO MAKE A MARRIAGE THRIVE, AND TWO HARD HEARTS TO MAKE A MARRIAGE FAIL.


In December 2016, our marriage almost ended. Randall struggled with deeply personal issues that hurt me, and I took on an attitude of arrogance and belittling.


I thought that because of his wrong, that my wrong attitude was justified. My nagging, degrading, and hateful attitude created an atmosphere of distrust and I drove him away...


The funny thing was, I kept praying that God would soften his heart. The only answer I kept getting back from God was that I needed to soften MY heart!!!!


God kept pursuing me and Randall, and finally melted us both to our own hardness. Lots of tears, rebuilding and forgiveness took place, and set us on a new path of humble honesty towards God and each other.


Don't blame your spouse for their hard heart. Pray for God (who I call the Heart Melter) to do his work on YOU first, and then your heart will be in the right place of power from The Spirit to pray for your spouse!


3.YOU WILL BE MARRIED TO MANY DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF YOUR SPOUSE, AND THEY TO YOU.


When we first married, I expected to be married to that same version of Randall for the rest of my life. I always thought that someone changing in a relationship was a betrayal of that relationship.


But the truth is: life changes humans.


Whether we like it or not, we change, mature, and life circumstances mold us into different people.


AND THANK GOD THAT WE CHANGE!


I've been married to many different versions of Randall. Funny Randall, school Randall, stressed Randall, excited Randall, super-smokin-hot Randall, chunky-monkey Randall, runner Randall, new dad Randall, experienced dad Randall, immature Randall, wise Randall... the list goes on.


And he's been married to so many different versions of me.


We have walked through many different seasons together and with that, many variations of each other.


The truth is this, when you vow to love someone, that includes loving ALL the versions of who that person will become.


That vow also means getting to know the new variation, even if it doesn't resemble the person you wed.


The shadowlands of life will really do a number on people...

and that leads me to point number four...


4. WE ARE RARELY THE BEST VERSIONS OF OURSELVES AT THE SAME TIME.


We have both had seasons of thriving and surviving in our marriage. Those times have rarely aligned.


He might be having a successful nursing career and super fit, while I'm a hot-mess with post-partum hair and mom brain!


He might be in the depths of depression because of his difficult classes, while I'm might be killing-it as a family photographer.


The truth is this... the one who loves you at your very WORST, also deserves you at your very BEST!


Stay patient with your spouse... seasons change and they will too!


Your BEST seasons most likely will NOT align.


5. MY MARRIAGE IS WORTH PERSONAL SACRIFICE.


In our world today, we hear a narrative that says we must chase our dreams, with all that we are, at all cost period.


This narrative KILLS marriages. Like dead kill.


Truth bomb: You will sacrifice many personal dreams for the GREATER dream of keeping a healthy marriage.


And what a precious gift to give to your spouse!


We give up the "me" dreams and create something that is an "us" dream.


I've given up a very successful photography career to support our family while Randall finishes DNP school.


That hurt. A lot.


Randall gave up his dreams of the military because he knew I wasn't cut out to be an army wife, and wanted to be there for me.


That hurt him. Deeply.


Maybe its a habit that hurts the other person, or a friend that threatens the trust of your relationship, or a job that is demanding all your emotional energy.


NOT. WORTH. IT.


Sacrifice, often and big, for the sake of your marriage!


IT'S. SO. WORTH. IT.


6. MARRIAGE TAKES MAINTENANCE.


Everything in the world seems to be pulling your marriage apart.


Your job, Hobbies, TV shows, Media narratives, Social norms, Family demands, etc.. Its all asking for our time, attention, and emotion.


In a nation where we praise people for visual success, there is little place for something that cannot be measured by a number in your bank account or a like on your social media.


We so often assume that our marriages will be okay because of the good foundations that we've created or the connection we had in the past.


And so, we pursue our success in other things, and leave the relationship with our spouse for a goodnight kiss or an occasional birthday date night.


THATS A LOAD OF POO!


Of any treasure in the world to invest in, our marriage is at the very top of the list!


Talk to each other, listen to your spouse, pursue your love (even if it feels less interesting than a new promotion at work), and MAKE TIME FOR EACH OTHER!!!!!!!!


7. DON'T EXPECT EVERYTHING FROM YOUR SPOUSE.


There is one person in the world who is my EVERYTHING.


His name is Jesus. Not Randall.


In Christ, I find my self-worth, ultimate love, and unending hope!!!!


I used to assign this position to Randall and expect him to be responsible for my happiness.


Poor guy. That is too great of a load for anyone to bear!


When I stopped worshiping my marriage, and turned my eyes to GOD, He gave me the power to be a good wife and to see Randall as my dear brother in Christ.


We cheer for each other, but we don't worship each other.


8. THE SEX GETS SO AMAZING AND INCREDIBLY INTIMATE. DON’T LET OUR CULTURE FOOL YOU. NUFF SAID. 😁

Xoxo,

Suzannah

Suzannah Schrenk