This coming weekend, David and I will celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary. It is amazing how quickly time seems to pass. That it can be so fleeting, causing us to ask, Wasn’t it only yesterday? Wasn’t it only yesterday that we were exchanging emails and falling in love. Wasn’t it only yesterday that we were planning our wedding? Wasn’t it only yesterday that we started our life together?

Where have the years gone?

Milestone moments feel that way to me. Birthdays, the beginning of a new year, anniversaries, the start of a new season. And in those moments I tend to look at my life a little more carefully. To look at our shared life and weigh it against the time that’s passed. It prompts me to take stock of our life. To gage our progress. To measure our success.

Admittedly, this desire to consider our life, our choices to this point, can be beneficial. But only if it is done in an affirming manner. Typically, when I’ve regarded my life, I have approached this process with a judgy criticism instead. Which, really is not only destructive, but inaccurate. And, too often, it was too easy to be critical of my life. Of my choices. Of who I am.

Too easily, out of habit, I used a similar critical eye when thinking about who we are. Who we are together. And who we are individually.

But beginning counseling (again) recently, has been an incredible blessing. It has allowed me to take stock of our life without judgment, but with hope and with honesty. Past counseling experiences have helped me in small ways. This. This is different. Maybe it’s because it is centered on Jesus. Yet it is not about Christian counseling as much as it is about discovering Christ-centered living.

Now, when I consider my life and my relationships, it is with Jesus’ perspective rather than mine alone. It is done with prayer. It is done with Dear Jesus.

Dear Jesus, thank you so much that you are God. You are awesome. Bigger than I can imagine. More wonderful than I can express. Thank you for saving me by your precious blood. I belong to you. You are in charge. Right now I choose you. Speak to me in this moment as I train my mind to think you. And in this moment, Jesus, I choose to praise you.

This prayer has changed my thinking. It has changed my choices. It has changed my daily life. Because it is not an it. It is a relationship with Jesus. A relationship that infuses me with hope. A relationship that releases me from regret, from fear, from worry. A relationship that provides me peace and strength that is beyond my ability to understand.

A relationship that does not disappoint.

And because that relationship is at the center of me, at the center of my choices, my other relationships can flourish. Including my relationship with David. My broken relationship with David. I know that the brokenness of our marriage, of our vows, is not something that cannot be redeemed. That cannot be repaired. That cannot be restored. Because of Jesus.

Because of Jesus, we can make choices that encourage one another.

Because of Jesus, we can be renewed when we are weary.

Because of Jesus, we can forgive more readily.

Because of Jesus, we can extend grace more often.

Because of Jesus, we can love one another with the love of Christ.

Because of Jesus, we can live in joy.

Because of Jesus, we can know hope for each day and for the journey we share.

Because of Jesus, we can serve one another in love and to the glory of God.

Because of Jesus, we can cleave to one another through life’s storms.

Because of Jesus, we can cling to the promises of his word.

Because of Jesus, we can choose to love each other no matter what.

Because of Jesus, we can choose in hope. We can choose in expectation. We can choose in love. Always we can choose in love.

Because of Jesus, I can see God in my husband instead of the flaws of his flesh. I can celebrate my marriage. I can celebrate my husband. I can face tomorrow. I can embrace the time we share, whether fleeting or enduring. Whether we have little or much. Whether we stumble or run.

Because of Jesus. Because of dear Jesus.

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