Nothing but Difficulties

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A HARD YEAR

 

November 2016, I felt in my heart that my husband and I were going into a very difficult season of marriage. As I had reflected and prayed over a few challenges we were going through earlier that year, it was as if God was saying to me, “Kristine this will be a hard year for you guys. But, you need not worry, I am doing a new thing. You need to seek me and trust me through these difficulties.”

 

For years my husband and I were trying to be who the other person wanted. I’m sure you’ve heard that ‘opposites attract’. My husband and I couldn’t be more different in so many ways. 

I WANTED

 

I wanted to like what he liked in order to please him. This decision was birthed out of a love and care for one another and can carry a relationship well, for a little while. In time, irritability, withdraw and even resentment set in as we weren't living our true, authentic selves.  

 

To compound this, we both started to see our natural selves as wrong instead of accepting and embracing who we were created to be.

 

I AM...HE IS

 

I am naturally driven, determined, disciplined and decisive. I’m at my best when I’m being challenged and have a lot on the go.

 

My husband, on the other hand, is highly relational, compassionate, understanding and intuitive. He loves to make others laugh and is very considerate and sensitive towards people. He’s at his best when he has breathing room to relax with friends and family. 

 

At times his playful nature has annoyed me because I just want to be ‘in the zone’ and get things done. He’s often said, ‘Kris lighten up, relax, you’re too serious.’

 

THE PROMISE

 

I am so thankful that in every challenging season, those who know God and seek His word will find a promise for every problem that brings hope, courage and fresh possibility. 

 

James 1:2-4 says, “My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.”

 

THE DAILY DECISION

 

Last year in 2017 we both made a daily decision (well, almost) to love and accept one another as we were, not as we expected each other to be. This took intention. It took patience. It took discipline for me to keep my mouth shut. Often, I’d ask, “God help us to see what you see. Help me appreciate and elevate the gifts and strengths in us both of us.”

 

PUZZLE PIECES

 

There wasn’t anything missing or lacking about my natural personality nor his. I’ve learned to see us as puzzle pieces. We join together perfectly BECAUSE we are opposites. And as we use our own uniqueness for other another, our picture becomes complete. 

 

I’m discovering I can only be who I was created to be when I allow him to be who he was created to be. As he is he, I am released to be me. God didn’t make a mistake when he joined us together. We fit perfectly as opposites.

 

WORKING IN US

 

This year we have experienced increased joy. This joy was birthed through difficult times. 

 

Often, we ask God to do a miracle in our marriage, our finances, children or our workplace. I’m discovering more and more God cares too much about working in us as individuals than to deliver short-lived miracles. 

 

Romans 5:3-5 reminds us that “Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy, because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”

 

TRANSFORMED BY ENDLESS LOVE

 

Whatever difficulty you face today, I pray that you may know the One who loves you, and who can transform any challenge through His endless love.  If you don’t belong to a church community where you can come as you are and belong before you believe, I invite you to come to my church, City Life Church. The authentic love and leadership I’ve experienced here truly have transformed our hearts and minds. I couldn’t imagine who or where we’d be without our church community. You can also check out past message series online at citylifecc.ca

 

In faith and health. 

Kristine

 

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