Fifteen women opened up their hearts for us this October. Fifteen women wrote about love and marriage, not to tell us how to do things, but to share their lives with us. And in the sharing, we found healing & hope in depression, arguments, the desire to give up, chronic illness, suicidal thoughts, ordinary life, self-discovery, infertility, miscarriage, and overwhelming brokenness.
Marriage is beautiful in all the ways the movies don’t talk about it, and it’s hard in all the ways social media will never fully portray. And it’s worth a treasure that can never be bought. It is, after all, a reflection of how God loves His church. We have this small inkling of what full, complete love is like, but until heaven-home we will never fully know it.
So we learn about love and we live in God’s grace, and we wake up to a journey harder and better than we ever could imagine. The journey is ordinary and lovely, and full of hard, unexpected, and beautiful life! As we usher in November, I wanted to post some of my favorite words shared this October, and give you the opportunity to read any of the stories that you may have missed (just click on any name).
“Real love is the most life-changing beautiful thing we can experience. Real love is passionate, committed, unrelenting and unconditional. Real love inspires and motivates. It makes you beautiful and lovely! Also, real love is only found in Jesus Christ. After you know the reality of His love, then you can seek to love others in the same way. If you live life SEEKING true love vs seeking to GIVE and SHOW true love, then you will never be satisfied.” –Sarah
“We pray for each other. We support each other. We take care of each other. We prioritize each other. We always hold hands, have our arms around each other, and cuddle. I love it! My husband has helped me be more patient, accepting of others, learn new things,deepened my love for Christ, and become a better listener.” –Savannah
“We understand that we both have faults, and aren’t perfect, yet we live in the tender grace of God and of each other.” –Emily
“Being married has helped me realize that I am a person in need, and I do not have to fend for myself anymore. I can be weak. I can be open. I can be held accountable. I’m becoming a stronger woman now, because I am working through my struggles instead of ignoring them.” – Amber
“Marriage, or any other part of life, cannot give you the wholeness and pleasure that a relationship with God offers.” –Bryndal
“We had to figure out how to fight in a way that wasn’t “going too far” with our words and actions. There were lots of disagreements and lots of compromises on both sides. We still have disagreements, but we always know that we will love each other no matter what.” –Sheila
“Love sees who a person is in Christ. Love sees, not the flaws, but the finished picture of what Christ is doing in somebody’s life.” –Hannah
“There are ugly parts of love too. Sometimes, the disagreements and tension experienced in marriage is because of love, not because your husband hates you. It takes those parts to grow and strengthen you love for one another as well… Love is not love without prayer. The greatest way that you can show your spouse that you love them is to pray for them. Pray for the easy things and for the hard things. Pray for character growth and for their job. Pray for everything!–Karina
“Love is a choice- a daily choice. It won’t always be easy, and you’ll find out frustrating things about one another, but it’s learning to accept it, to then choose to grow in whatever area you need to, and to not be afraid to be honest or real about your feelings. You gotta be open about your heart, or you’ll really hurt your husband by hiding in your little shell.” –Cheyenne
“Even after the honeymoon is over, when bills pile up, storms break through, and feelings change, we have still loved one another. We have had to work on ourselves together on some really hard problems. No matter how ugly things got, we held together. Being married to him has made me stronger. I feel a confidence in my relationship with Christ. I feel like I can do anything, because he has shown me all that I can do. He was with me through some hard moments in my life. but he showed me not to be afraid, but to hold onto Christ.”–Sammy
“I remember being influenced by other couples who would tease and criticize their spouse in a group setting, and we would always leave from hanging out with them feeling frustrated with each other and not understanding why. We had to learn that we are each other’s #1, and other people don’t need to know anything about each other’s personal struggles or mistakes.” –Samantha
“Marriage is so fun! It’s fun because you always have a friend.” –Shelbi
“Real love is not perfect. It is constant work, and it is constantly worth it! We have fights, but after our fights we are so much closer than we were before.” –Em
“We pushed each other away, hoping to protect ourselves from further pain only to discover a painful life without each others love and support. We know pain intimately, we know each other intimately as well and we know our love for God and God’s love for us is enough.” –Emma
“It is not a perfect love, or a perfect relationship, because we are all imperfect humans. And I believe love is a choice. But choosing to love someone is a beautiful, powerful thing. It’s also not an easy thing; it comes with heartache and sacrifice. But it also brings an overflowing amount of joy.
Marriage is kind of like the biggest friendship, don’t you think? It’s a partnership, you and your best friend building a life together. It is the greatest adventure, and oh so rewarding” -Ashley
I can’t imagine a better series for this October. It was the hope + encouragement that many needed. Young wives don’t have it altogether, nor do they fly around on fluffy Cloud 9’s. We are very broken women, healing from deep wounds, learning how to love & be loved, living in God’s abounding grace, and looking forward to the day when we are heaven-home…and finally complete in God.