Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

My heart has been preoccupied today. I just received word that a couple that I have admired over the last years is divorcing. My initial reaction was “NO! I thought their marriage was so strong, that they had a good balance of work, home, kids, and LIFE!” I didn’t want to believe it. I never want to believe it. It makes my heart sad to watch people’s lives and families be torn apart by divorce. I needed to talk to Jesus about it, well, pretty rant about it! I get pretty fired up when I watch the enemy ransack people’s lives.

So, I headed to one of my favorite places to get lost in my thoughts and chat with the only One who has all the details, knows all the truth, and all the wisdom to what I’m feeling. This tree was in my path. I love the beauty that winter gives. No pretense, just bare beauty waiting to be seen. What was interesting about this sight was that one side appeared healthy and whole, but when I looked on the other side, it was hollowed out by fire. It’s crazy, but I think

that’s how our lives are perceived by others. We gauge the “okayness” of marriages, families, and lives by “InstaImages”. We see a family on vacation, a couple celebrating a date night, laughter and fun, sports events and concerts, and assume that all is well with their lives. The outside shell may look pretty, the snap stories hilarious, but the inside may be hollow and burnt. We are deluded by the thinking that we are the most connected generation ever, but I believe we’re one of the most lonely, isolated, and unfulfilled generation. We have replaced face to face connection with snap chats throughout the day or the perfect picture with the best filter that captures the best light so what is hidden won’t be found out. So a question I have to ask myself is “Do I have a group of people in my life that I connect with on
a deep level, who truly know me, who know Mike and me, who know when we struggle, who know the hollowed places, the burnt places, and care about us enough to talk to us about blind spots they see or truth of what they see that we may be immune to? I know that the InstaImages we portray could honestly be a vice used to make us feel more isolated, because I couldn’t possibly admit that my marriage is suffering after I just posted that beautiful picture of us watching that sunset!

I want to know and be known by people who love me and are for what is the very best for me and my family. Do you have a quiver of people, both men and women who know you as an individual and you and your spouse as a couple? Ones who know the ugly beautiful that sometimes characterizes life? If you don’t have anyone, I encourage you to start by engaging one person, one couple to walk real life with you. It’s so important. We need one another. We need the community of one another. We need heart connection that go beyond kid talk and sleeping patterns. “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (Proverbs 27:17 NLT)

Our marriages are so worth it. They take a ton of work, and even more so when you’ve been married almost 28 years, because the temptation is that you know all about the other and you shouldn’t have to work as hard. Not true. Just as we continue to nurture our relationship with Christ until we go to live with Him forever, we have to make nurturing our relationships here on earth the same way. If we don’t, they will become hollow, burned out and of little use to us and more easy to discard.

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