As I stood, looking out over the farmland behind the house I grew up in, I pondered the barrenness of the winter soil. It looked so cold and lifeless. At that time, I had the same feelings about my marriage. My husband’s career was flourishing but I felt I was being left behind raising our boys and tending to our home. A home he was rarely occupying. The day I found myself in the back fields of my family’s property I had a deep desire to run, to get away from it all. I wanted to feel something other than pressure and despair to be a good wife and mother.
The tears started to flow as I looked at the land before me. It was a picture of what my heart felt like, cold and dead. Memories of the vows we spoke in the church in front of family and friends just a few miles away from where I stood came rushing back.
“In the name of God, I, Billie, take you, David to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.” I meant those words on that day. A perfect day of a church full of people, pretty dresses, blooming flowers and two hearts that were ready to join each other in all that life had ahead.
When did those hearts become as barren as a field in winter? When did I begin to choose anger and hurt over hope and joy? I had stopped looking to the future and began to fall to the momentary circumstances when life was hard. I closed my eyes and began to remember what those family farm fields look like in spring when the fields are freshly plowed and the hope of planting is right around the corner. There is a lot of hard work that goes into preparing those fields. If the farmers stopped just after plowing those fields and didn’t see the hope and joy of the plants going in, the weeding and plowing as they grow and then the celebration of harvest they would never be able to reap from the hard work and hope they had in spring.
I had given up on the hope of the future, fallen in the pit of the hard times of marriage, and to the circumstances not rising to the hope. I closed my eyes again and began to see the seasons of my marriage. The eternal hope of springtime; love blooming, hope sprouting, joy bursting forth. Then the summer, hard work begins to rear its head in the everyday grind of work, a house, and kids. Fall winds begin to blow the leaves that float gracefully to the ground, the issues that have risen are now being dropped and left to die. Winter cold separates the love that once was, hearts harden and walls are erected. However, in each of these seasons as with the farming crops, there is hope and potential.
As the woman in scripture considered the field she saw the potential I stood in that cold winter field and saw the new potential in my marriage, in our future. What could God do in our marriage for His glory? How could God use me to plant seeds in our marriage that would flourish and multiply the hope and joy?
I felt so unprepared. I did not feel worthy of His calling to repair my marriage. I didn’t know where to begin. Would it work? Would I allow God to work in and through me to create the abundance He wanted in my marriage?
You only need to consider this moment not the enormity of all that needs to be reconciled, forgiven and healed. Trusting in the One that can guide and lead you in the right direction for your marriage.
God knows where we are and knows all the hurts, hang-ups, and hardships in our marriages. He is only asking us to take the first step.
Buy the land.
Plow the fields.
Plant the seeds.
Hope will sprout.
Love will bloom.
Joy will burst forth.