I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8.
Like every twenty-something year old, I had dreams and aspirations. I believed the sky was my limit and I could do anything if I set mind to it. With this mindset, I hopped on the marriage bus, expecting it to stay the course and operate like a well-oiled machine. I imagined stopping to refuel and having an occasional engine tune-up.
How has the Lord guided me in the last 34 years of marriage?
As you can imagine, I had no idea of the thrills, twists, and turns of this journey.
My husband and I decided to finish graduate school before starting a family. We loved God and each other. Although we were busy, we kept the bus running smoothly. Our first child was born towards the end of my graduate studies.
I loved being his mom.
But I was not fully prepared for the changes that come with having a child. Some days, I felt like a zombie from sleep deprivation, caring for him, and keeping up with my studies. Taking care of my son required making constant adjustments to my daily routine. Somehow, I managed to finish school and have three more children while working full time.
My plate was full to overflowing with responsibilities. I was always on the go, dashing from one activity to another either for work or for my children. I was like a magician juggling so many balls in the air.
Perhaps you are wondering what happened to the marriage bus? With four kids and a career, the bus was now running on autopilot. We were living the American dream with no time to stop for fuel or a tune up.
Getting Off the Path
As you can imagine, the bus began to show signs of wear and tear. Differences in communication styles, expectations, and baggage from our childhoods created stress fractures that threatened to derail our marriage.
Can you relate? Is your marriage bus in need of fuel or a tune-up?
As our bus threatened to veer off course, I looked for solutions to our “unexpected” problems. Trying so hard to do everything well left me feeling overwhelmed and inadequate. My search led me to the woman in Proverbs 31:10-31. I wondered how she could be so efficient. I wanted to know her secret.
As I studied her life, I realized that her success was not because she had it all together. It was because she was anchored in God. Her secret was allowing God to guide her along the best pathway. As she moved and flowed in him, God clothed her with dignity and strength. Everything she did for her husband, household, and business was through her dependence on God.
Help Along the Path
Though I am still a work in progress, the Proverbs 31 woman continues to be an inspiration after 34 years of marriage. She challenges me to be my best as a wife, mother, sister, friend, and colleague. Changes that helped get our bus back on the path include:
- God:Daily quiet time with God is non negotiable.
- Support:From extended family, church, and professionals.
- Couple time:Make time to connect regularly.
I have learned many lessons including empathy, forgiveness, telling the truth in love, and most importantly, slowing down to notice. I am more intentional about noticing where God is at work in my life and in my loved ones lives.
Noticing has given me the opportunity to embrace Jesus in a new way and extend grace to others. It has allowed my family to love freely, and to enjoy God’s blessings in hard times and good times.
With God as my guide, this journey on the marriage bus has been worth it.
Where are you in your journey? In what ways will you invite God to guide your path?
Find more encouragement from Tope Keku at www.hiddentreasuresandriches.com
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Temitope is a scientist, author, speaker, coach, mentor, and Bible teacher. Her passion is to help women walk through hard times in victory and help them encounter God while learning practical ways to discover hidden treasures in their trials. She is married with four grown children and lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Connect with her at www.HiddenTreasuresandRiches.com.
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