Real love is not always easy, but it is always committed.

There’s a misconception when it comes to love. Some people would have you believe that it’s always easy, and that everything always works perfectly. Truth is, you must be committed to love. Love takes work and a hec of a lot of sacrifice. More than anything it’s important to keep God first, so that His Spirit can show you how to love, and not jump ship at the first sign of trouble!

Mark 4:38-40

Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

God can do ANYTHING!

Let me tell you a story…

 

Tameka and Rodney fell in love their freshman year in college. They were best friends in the beginning, but that friendship blossomed into something neither of them could deny. After college they were married. Everything seemed exciting for the two of them. Tameka was beginning her teaching career, and Rodney was beginning his career as a civil engineer. 

Everything was new and love was definitely in the air. Five months into their marriage, Tameka got pregnant. Neither of them planned for the pregnancy, but the news was welcoming. Soon Rodney began to hang out with the fellas from work. The three coworkers he hung out with were single.

Rodney hung out late and often. Soon Rodney was missing dinner at home and coming in late. He would forget important prenatal appointments in which he promised to attend with Tameka. Tameka didn’t want to be a pest and complain, because they both were young, and she knew that it was important for them both to have friends. Instead of communicating how she felt with Rodney, she bottled her emotions and became stressed. 

She had witnessed divorce first hand from her parents and she was trying to do everything to keep her marriage together; not out of fear, but out of commitment. After a talk with her doctor, she found out that she’d developed high blood pressure. The doctor asked her had there been any changes that could have caused her blood pressure to spike, and Tameka told her doctor about the stress and depression she’d been experiencing at home. She complained that he was at work all day and out all night, almost every night. Her doctor encouraged her to sit down and have a talk with Rodney, so she did. 

She was careful about what she said and how she said it, because she didn’t want Rodney to get upset or misunderstand what she was saying. Rodney didn’t want to hear it. He yelled and complained that Tameka wasn’t being considerate of his needs. He said that his job was stressful, and hanging out with the fellas took the edge off. Tameka said that she didn’t mind him hanging out sometimes, but she did mind him hanging with his coworkers every day and him coming home late and not keeping his word.

Rodney told Tameka that he would do better, and he did for a few months. He didn’t hang with his co workers as much, and he did make a couple of doctor’s appointments with Tameka. When baby came, they both were overjoyed with their new bundle of joy, but the stress of having a newborn also settled in. Rodney started back hanging out late with his co workers, and Tameka was left at home to care for their newborn. Soon Tameka began to experience postpartum depression. It got so bad, that her mom had to live in and help care for the baby. 

Rodney was only coming home three times a week now. Tameka was still determined to do whatever she could to keep Rodney around, even if that meant only seeing him a few times a week, even though they were married. Tameka’s mom invited her to church, and she thought that if Tameka got involved in some of the activities at church, it would help with Tameka’s stress and depression. Tameka was reluctant at first, but soon she realized how much volunteering at church and being around  positive people, helped take her mind off what was going on at home. She prayed every day that God would restore her marriage, but it was like the more she prayed, the more things got worse. 

Despite what was going on, she overcame depression and stress and soon returned to work. She began to develop a relationship with God, and she learned to smile again, even in the midst of what she was going through. One day Rodney came home and he saw Tameka with the baby in one hand, and grading papers in the other. He sat down on the couch that was facing Tameka and he broke down. He said that the reason he had been hanging out with the fellas so much is because things were happening so fast at home, and he got scared.

He said the two of them graduated, got married, began their careers, got pregnant and it was too much for him. He apologized for not being considerate and it brought tears to his eyes about how dedicated Tameka had been to being a mom and overcoming everything he was putting her through, including the health issues she’d developed. Tameka cried, but they were tears of joy. She had been praying for her husband to return home and for their marriage to be reconciled. Rodney stopped hanging out with his single coworkers and began to hang with his wife and other married couples they’d met at church in the marriage ministry. 

Today, Tameka and Rodney are President and Vice President of the marriage ministry at their church. They give advice and counseling on making it work. They aren’t afraid to let couples know that marriage isn’t all peaches and cream. It takes commitment and sacrifice, but most importantly it takes God. You must be willing to keep God at the forefront. 

The enemy tried to attack this marriage the way that he did Tameka’s parents, but because of what Tameka’s mom went through, she shared that wisdom with Tameka which encouraged her to not only hold on to her marriage, but to learn to hold onto God’s unchanging hand. In Tameka’s testimony, she makes it clear that if it wasn’t for God, she probably would be on drugs or dealing with major health issues from the stress of everything she went through. She thank God for her mom, and using what her mom went through to help save her and Rodney’s marriage. Her mom encouraged her not to allow her feelings to overcome her, and to lean into God for strength. Too many times, when the going gets tough, we listen to our feelings instead of the Word of God. 

This is dangerous! No matter how hard things get, it’s important to honor God first. When God sees your faithfulness, he rewards it, especially when you’re going through something. Be encouraged today, that no matter what, you are going to be more than okay! Focus on Christ. Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you up in prayer and who are going to encourage you in the Lord! 

These people will help you reach your full potential in Christ! It’s easy to be consumed in your problems, but if you focus more on God, the weight of your load will be easier to carry. Let your joy and peace be found in God alone. Not in people, not in your situation or circumstances, not in material things, but in Jesus! His grace is truly sufficient! 

He is a healer, a protector, a provider, He restores and He gives restitution! Seek Him with your whole heart, because only He has the power to save and make all things new! 

Hebrews 11:6

But without faith it is impossible to please God; for he that comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him.

Prayer

Father God, in the name of Jesus; help me not to give up so easily, especially concerning the blessings you’ve given to me. Also help me to not become so entangled in my problems that I cannot see you. I will walk by faith and not by sight, no matter what I go through. I know that you can do anything, and I trust you in all things. In Jesus name. Amen.

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