A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan

Funny, how life changes. Just like that. How things go up or down, in a single breath. I suppose that’s what life changing events are. Events that alter the course of everything.

Jonathan got a job.

Did you read that?

Jonathan got a job!

He started working this past week for Cisco. From home. Like, as in, he works in the other room. A-maz-ing. Seriously. And such a huge answer to prayer. Not only did God provide the best job, He provided the best job that allows us to stay connected as a family.

I just can’t get over it.

Not just the job part, really. I mean, that does completely blow me away. But, honestly, deep down, I can’t get over just how much God loves me. The past 9 months have been hard. Seriously, hard. I’ve wept. I’ve been lower than I thought possible. Life has felt like too much, felt too damn hard. I’ve failed repeatedly. I’ve hit rock bottom on many, many levels.

Yet, there, at the end, at the bottom, in the worst possible times, there He was. Whispering “I love you. You, Sarah, are Mine. I will stop at nothing to save you, to sanctify you. I, the God of All, love you, the woman with nothing.

Time and again, He’s shown His crazy love for me. Through my friends (oh, precious friends, you’ll never truly understand how you did more than I could ever repay), through His Word, through the church He gave me. It’s humbling to know that you are so loved, so cherished, so desired.

And part of it is terrifying. Terrifying that I’ll give my heart away to someone (or something) other than my beautiful, wonderful Jesus. But, (and what a strong word that is) BUT, He has sealed my heart. Even when I am prone to wonder, prone to leave the God I love, His love is strong enough to cover and seal me to Himself.

It’s a story worth repeating. And repeating. His love is strong enough. His love is everlasting. His love redeems. His love sets right. His love saves.

Here is by far my favorite hymn (sung by one of my favorite bands). My favorite lyric is ::

O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be! Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.

 

Repeat the story. Repeat it over and over again. His love. His love. HIS LOVE.

Five. Just five Saturdays until Jonathan is done with his weekly MBA classes.

Two. Just two more week+ trips until Jonathan is done with his MBA.

Y’all. Seriously. I can’t even put into words how ridiculously happy I am.

SarahJonTopGolf

While Jonathan, in all his logical sense, has been able to see the end since the beginning, frankly, I haven’t. And when he started counting down from 20 {“only 20 more classes” he’d say}, I got that overwhelming feeling you get when you know something good is coming but it is taking forever to get here. F-O-R-E-V-E-R.

But now? Now I can see the finish line. I can tell myself, “Just five more Saturdays. Just two more trips. Come Thanksgiving, we.are.done. DONE.”

Oh sweet Lord. It makes me want to cry tears of joy and triumph. And I didn’t even go through the program.

As for Jonathan? I don’t even know how he does it. Not only does he work full-time while getting his MBA from Cornell {hello, genius!}, he makes it seems easy. Not in a I-don’t-have-to-even-try sorta easy, but in a I-don’t-sweat-the-small-stuff sorta easy. Which blows me away, cause I always sweat the small stuff. Man, he makes me one proud wife.

While the last year has not been easy, the Lord has proven gracious and merciful. As always. He has shown me how to pursue Him for myself, how to rely on Him and Him alone, and how to have freedom in Him because my freedom is from Him. It’s been hard lessons learned, ones that have taken years {literally years} to teach me. With the heart aches and hardships that intensified with Jonathan’s crazy schedule, I see how God used this time to break down so many walls I built up. And as hard as it was to believe in the middle of the storm, I’m grateful we went through what we did.

Almost there, y’all. We are almost there. Only five Saturdays left.

The life of a grad student is challenging. Especially if they have full time jobs and family. They literally work non-stop 6 or 7 days a week. There are early mornings and late nights. Breaks are far and few in between.

The life of a wife married to a grad student is challenging. It’s single parenting 6 or 7 days a week. There are early mornings and late nights. Breaks are far and few in between.

Tack on life commitments, theology studies, marathon training, new jobs, little sleep, and even fewer dates, and you find yourself in a revolving door that never slows down.

This is where Jonathan and I have been for nearly a year. Constant go-go. Never stopping, just pushing through. Holding everything together, tediously keeping it all from collapsing, all from breaking.

Until it breaks.

About three weeks ago, after another long week, Jonathan called to say he’d be home late. Again. During the conversation he said “Babe, you need to let me know when enough is enough. We are in this together. I need to know how you’re doing.” Enough was last June. Enough was last December. Enough was yesterday. We are past enough. Immediately, pride crept into my heart. I thought “If you can’t see that I’ve had enough, I’m not going to tell you.” I went silent on him and our conversation ended quickly after. I found myself left standing in my house clinging to my pride.

My evil, lying pride.

In that moment along side my pride, like a flood washing over me, the Holy Spirit prompted this thought ::

This is how divorces start. 

Divorces don’t just happen. You don’t go from honeymoon happy to bitterly divorced. Divorces start off like a disease; small and unseen. And when left untreated, they grow until what once lived dies.

So in that moment, that moment of realizing that this life I had built, this love I had cultivated, this relationship I cherished could be killed, I hit my knees. I cried out to my Heavenly Father because, I knew that in my own power, in my own selfish desire, I would divorce Jonathan. This life can get too hard, and I don’t like hard. But… {oh what a wonderful word} with Christ’s power my marriage will continue to stay strong, even when it’s hard.

So I prayed. Prayed for my heart, prayed for my attitude, prayed for my marriage. And then I told Jonathan how I felt, what I was struggling with, my loneliness and frustration. I talked, he listened. He talked, I listened.

That weekend, Jonathan and I talked to our closest couple friends. They already knew what was going on, but we still needed them to help us in the thick of it. Help point us to truth. Help us remember our desperate need for Christ. {Where would we be without good friends?}

Then we booked tickets to New York. Just Jonathan and I. No kids, no obligations. Just the two of us.

We leave this Friday. {And a chorus from heaven sang “hallelujah!”}

Things are still hard. Life is still busy. But this truth has sunk down deeper in me than ever before :: Divorce is not an option for our marriage.

For that moment, standing in my bedroom after that phone conversation, I saw the path my life could go down. And I don’t want that. The heartache, the tears, the pain. It’s not worth it. So instead, we are fighting for our marriage. We are not letting this ship sink, we are not backing down, we are not giving up. Together we are clinging to our sure foundation.

Yesterday Jonathan and I celebrated our 7 year anniversary. The day itself was like any other Monday – work, errands, mothering and cleaning. But our sweet friends, Adriane and Sam, babysat the kids so that Jonathan and I could go out for the night.

We had dinner at Uchi, an award winning Japanese and sushi restaurant. After making the reservations a couple of weeks ago, I had talked to several friends who had been to Uchi before. Each person said that it was phenomenal, so my expectations were set pretty high. The way that you order is one item {or tasting} at a time. We started off with hama chili – baby yellowtail in a chili sauce with oranges. When the dish arrived, I figured it would taste like any other sushi/raw fish I’ve had before. Oh.My.Stars. I could not get over how incredible it was. We ordered a few more dishes, and they just kept getting better and better. There was not one item that we didn’t think was “the best yet”.

We spent 2 hours at Uchi, laughing, talking and being thoroughly entertained with ourselves. I told Jonathan that I couldn’t get over how, after 7 years of marriage, I enjoy being with him more now than I did before {which seemed like a lot}. Every trial we have faced, every hardship we have endured, has brought us closer together, has made our marriage stronger. Every sweet memory, every good moment, has given us more joy because we share it with each other. Marriage, it’s an amazing thing.

The last 7 years have been crazy wonderful, and I can’t wait to see what more is to come.

 

 

When Jonathan and I got married, we did not have very good examples of long lasting marriages. During our first year of marriage, God brought some exceptional families into our lives, who showed us what marriages looked like – both in good and bad times. They showed us how God desires to take two fallen, broken people, and allow them to grow – together –  to look more like Him.

Even with those examples, I still clung to a lot of “only ifs” in my commitment to Jonathan. I’ll stay married to him “only if he remains faithful”. I’ll continue to submit to him “only if he puts me first”. I’ll continue to love him “only if he earns my love”. This list went on. Yet, in the last year, God has been showing me there are no “only ifs” in marriage. There is only EVEN IF. I will stay married to him even if he is unfaithful. I will continue to submit to him even if he doesn’t put me first. I will continue to love him even if I don’t feel he has earned my love.

Those are hard commitments to live out. But marriage is hard. Marriage takes work, takes effort, takes putting your wants, your desires, your dreams on the back burner. Because marriage isn’t about you. Marriage is about God. Marriage is established as a way to show the world a more complete view of Christ and His church. And when you enter a marriage, you make a commitment to not just your spouse, but to God. Even when your spouse fails {because they will fail} you are still committed to God in your marriage.

Floating around the internet is this wonderful story of Ian and Larissa. I ask you to take the 9 minutes to watch it ::

If you are interested in taking a look at the book Larissa mentions, This Momentary Marriage, you can get a free PDF copy HERE.

*I realize there are lots of complicated reasons for divorce and it’s not a black-and-white, cut-and-dry situation. And I am certainly not judging people who have been divorced. I’m just calling out, saying, in a society that claims marriage is for our betterment and pleasure only, perhaps we’ve missed the whole point. 

As I round out the end of this pregnancy {just over 2 weeks till EDD}, I’m finding myself grumbling a lot more. Joseph is determined to already prove he is different from his sisters, and as such, has brought on some random, highly uncomfortable, end of pregnancy issues I never dealt with during my previous pregnancies. But really, I have so much to be grateful for, that grumbling just doesn’t seem right. I loved Alicia’s gratitude post and thought I’d do my own.

1. Cooler weather {specifically cooler nights} and being able to leave our windows open.

{photo credit}

2. Good friends who threw a Dr. Seuss themed baby shower for us.

3. Jonathan’s new job – Oh yeah, did I forget to mention Jonathan got a new job? Well, he did. And now he’s working two days from home {score!!}.

4. My daughters – Their lives, their laughter, their overwhelming love for each other.

5. Starting my Bible Study Fellowship class last week.

6. Having the energy to make homemade bread {I highly recommend this recipe}

7. My mom and her mothering {even when you’re nearly 30, it’s still nice having a mom who looks after you}.

8. Getting all the finishing touches taken care of in Joseph’s room.

9. Listening to the girls sing.

10. Julia’s constant request to hear David Crowder Band How He Loves Us – and the reminder of just how much He really does love us.

 

What are you grateful for this week?

 

Visit Amanda at Oh Amanda for more Top Ten Tuesday.

When I met Jonathan, he was a big flirt. He’s just such an open, welcoming guy that flirting comes pretty naturally to him. Though, once we started dating, his flirting around ended and he just focused it on me.

I, on the other hand, should have had flirt lessons. Cause when it comes to flirting, I just don’t have the skills. Which is why this quote fits me perfectly ::

{photo credit}

Over our six years of marriage, I’ve slowly learned how to flirt with Jonathan. I can say something flirtatious and not feel quite so incredibly awkward. Though, it does help knowing that he’s going to love me despite my random flirt gone bad. And truth be known, I’m really glad Jonathan loves me for my awkwardness. Makes me feel loved even deeper.

Are you a good flirt? Do you flirt with your spouse?    


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