Today marks one year of marriage for me and my amazing husband. I still remember the days when I longed to be married and would be plagued with negative thoughts and wondering if God would ever bless me with a husband. Four years ago God brought Antoine into my life and after about a month of dating, I knew I was going to marry this man. Antoine and I dated for about two years before getting engaged. It was not an easy journey during those two years leading up to our engagement. I had a lot of brokenness inside me and I struggled greatly with insecurities. One thing I can say about Antoine is that throughout our entire relationship and even to this day, he is the most consistent man I have ever met. I always know what to expect with him. He also has the patience of Job. He showed me the love of Christ from day one and that was how I knew he was the man for me. About 5 years before I met Antoine, my spiritual dad prophesied over me and he said that God would send me a man that would love me as He loves me. And Antoine has done just that.
Antoine proposed to me in June 2017. During this time we faced many trials and tribulations. We faced some challenges as we prepared to bring together two families, but God was faithful throughout. And on May 12, 2018, surrounded by those we love most, we became husband and wife. I wish I could say it was happily ever after and that marriage has been a beautiful fairytale, but that would be a lie. The day after our wedding, Antoine and I were two people with two differing personalities that were getting ready to live under the same roof. We soon discovered that we clean the house differently, that he’s okay with leaving the toilet seat up and I’m not, that our closet realistically could not fit all of our belongings, and so much more. With that being said, I would like to share some of the lessons I’ve learned during our first year of marriage.
1. Pick your battles wisely.
During the first few months of marriage, Antoine and I argued a lot. I hate to admit this, but we even argued on our honeymoon. The Holy Spirit began to show me that I needed to stop voicing every concern or annoyance to Antoine. I needed to talk to God more about what was bothering me and pray over those areas that needed to change. Once I started doing that, God would begin to move in those situations and bring peace in our home. By holding my tongue, the Holy Spirit was able to move in our marriage and show us both those areas that we needed to change or improve in.
2. Accept your spouse for who they are even if they leave random paper towels around the house.
Another reason why Antoine and I argued was because I kept trying to change him. I believed that there was a certain way to do things and wanted him to do everything my way. Yes, I struggled with control issues. Once I relinquished my control to God, learned to accept my husband for who he is, and stopped taking everything so personal, the arguments stopped. Now, when I see a random paper towel around the house, I will throw it away or joke with Antoine about it. It no longer bothers me lol.
3. Remember that you and your spouse are a team.
From the start of our marriage, the enemy tried to stir up trouble. He had me convinced that I was doing this on my own. I was so focused on what I was feeling and what I believed my husband was doing, that I began to feel like I was on my own. I began to pray more diligently over my marriage and God began to reveal to me that I had to change my mindset. I had to know and believe that my husband and I are a team. Once I changed my thinking, I approached my marriage differently and I experienced much joy and peace in my marriage.
4. Enjoy each and every moment you have together.
During our dating phase, I soon learned that my husband was a jokester and loved to crack jokes. At times all the joking was hard for me to accept. I even got mad at him often for his nonstop joking. I learned in our marriage to cherish that part of him. We have such a playful and fun relationship, which honestly has strengthened our marriage. We are able to laugh even during the tough times. We also have learned to enjoy each moment we have together. That is so critical in marriage. The enemy is going to attack your marriage left and right. You can’t let those attacks steal the joy from your marriage. Continue to enjoy one another. Focus on the positives instead of magnifying the negatives. Life may not be perfect, but it is a blessing to find someone you love unconditionally that you can spend the rest of your life with.
5. Pray over your spouse.
Of each of the marital lessons, praying over your spouse is the most important. Talk to your spouse and find out what you can stand in agreement with them on. Maybe they have goals and dreams that they want to achieve. Maybe they have a difficult co-worker. Maybe the enemy is bombarding them with negative thoughts. Whatever the case may be, pray over your spouse. Pray over your spouse’s safety. I pray for traveling mercies for Antoine daily. Antoine was in a really bad accident not too long ago, and by the grace of God he walked away without a scratch. We make it a habit to pray together in the mornings before we leave for work. We share prayer requests and stand in agreement with one another on those things we are trusting God for.
These are just a few of the lessons I learned during our first year of marriage. I look forward to learning and growing more during this second year.
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I will take my post; I will position myself on the fortress. I will keep watch to see what the Lord says to me and how He will respond to my complaint.
Habakkuk 2: 1 (CEB)
This morning while spending time with the Lord in prayer, I began to ask Him what He needs me to do to move into this next season. I recently completed my first book, Tea for Two: A 30 Day Devotional, and it is in the process of being published, which is exciting! I have an official release date, which will be April 26. Although this is such a major accomplishment, I’m once again feeling stuck. I don’t know quite what direction to go in. As I poured my heart out to my Abba Father this morning, He began to minister to me. He told me to stop worrying about the logistics and trying to figure out every minute detail. He then told me that I need to position myself in anticipation of what is to come. That truly ministered to me. You see, I am someone who has to know the when, why, and how of every situation. This is part of my issues of control, which God is currently delivering me from. I know what I desire to do with my life, but I can’t make that happen without God. I’m not supposed to make it happen without God. My responsibility is to position myself so that I am ready for all that God has in store for me.
Habakkuk 2:1 shows us how to position ourselves when trusting God to move us into a new season or to fulfill His purpose for our lives. The Hebrew word for position is kun. According to Bibletools.org, kun means to be firm, stable, and established; to be fixed, securely determined; to be prepared and ready. When God tells us to position ourselves, He is telling us to stand firm where He currently has us, but to also prepare for where He is taking us. For me, I truly believe He will move me into a season where I will have speaking engagements. How I can prepare for that? Some of the ways I can prepare is by ensuring I have professional head shots done that will be used on the flyers for these speaking engagements. I can also prepare by setting up a small business and a business banking account, which will be needed to receive payments for these speaking engagements. I can also prepare by continuing to blog and write as if I already have an audience I am speaking in front of.
Although I am standing still, I am still preparing for what is to come. This is what God means by position yourself. God is already moving on your behalf. He already has things set in motion so that you can move into your next season. However, if we are not ready to enter into that next season, if we have not prepared ourselves, He can’t move us. So instead of worrying about why you haven’t moved into what God has called you to, focus on what you can do to prepare. Change your mindset. Change your attitude. Change your thoughts. Operate as if you are already in that new season. And before you know it, you will be walking in all that God has called you to.
Last Sunday my Pastor spoke on faith and how your environment and who is in it can impact your faith. What resonated with me the most is when he said that we put faith in our prayers, but we fail to put faith in Jesus to perform a miracle. That was such a revelation to me. It made me think of various situations in my life and how I had been guilty of that. I would pray these elaborate prayers, pray in the Spirit, and then as soon as my prayer wasn’t answered when I thought it should or if something happened that seemed to be blocking my prayer, I would be shook. I would cry, I would get mad, I would feel defeated.
For the past 6 months, my husband and I have been trying to conceive. Each month I would pray those gut wrenching prayers, those prayers that take everything out of you. And with each passing month, I would be faced with a negative pregnancy test, heartache, and tears streaking down my face. With each month, I would try to figure out ways to “help” God answer my prayer. I would change my eating habits, take a gazzillion vitamins, track my cycle, take my basal body temperature every morning, and pretty much drive myself insane. All of these actions weren’t putting my faith in God. No matter how hard I prayed, I wasn’t truly putting my faith in God. I was putting more faith in my prayers and in what I could control or change.
Hearing my Pastor say that we put our faith in prayer instead of putting our faith in God, made everything click. It’s not about me or what I want or when I want something done. It is about putting my faith in God. It’s about resting in God even when it looks like my situation won’t change. It’s about not being moved by every bump or the turbulence that comes when you’re trusting God. Once I finally understood that, I had such incredible peace over this situation in my life. God reassured me that He will bless me and my husband with children some day, but right now is not that time because He has other plans for us. You see, when you put more faith in your prayers than in God, you are so distracted that you can’t even hear when God is trying to minister to you. Rest in God. Put your faith in Him, not your prayers.
Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary: (a) Communion, fellowship, sharing in common. (b) That which is the outcome of fellowship, a contribution
Strong’s Concordance: (a) contributory help, participation, (b) sharing in, communion, (c) spiritual fellowship, a fellowship in the spirit
New American Standard New Testament Greek Lexicon: fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse
To say that building relationships with other Christians is important is an understatement. Fellowshipping with other Christians is critical to the Christian walk. We will not survive living in this world and the many attacks of the enemy if we don’t have close, intimate relationships with other Christians.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT)
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
The reason why we need other Christians in our lives is so that they can help us in our time of need and we can do the same for them. There are going to be times when the enemy comes hard against us. We will be bombarded with distractions, unfortunate circumstances will occur in our lives, the enemy will attack our minds with thoughts that are contrary to God’s Word, and we will have moments when we feel weak and feel like giving up. This is why we need to fellowship with other Christians, this is why Koinonia is so crucial.
I don’t know about you, but I have tried to live this Christian life on my own and I was so miserable. I had no one to encourage me in the Lord when I was in the midst of a storm. I had no one to pray with me when I was facing a serious challenge. I had no one to stand in agreement with me for the breakthrough I was trusting God for. I felt isolated and alone. This made me an easy target for the enemy. He began to attack my mind, planting all kinds of negative thoughts. All of that changed when I began to fellowship with other believers.
When I refer to fellowship or koinonia, I am not talking about surface level relationships where you keep people at a certain distance and only let them know so much about you. Being closed off or only sharing the good and not the ugly with your brothers and sisters in Christ will still have you feeling isolated. Now I’m not saying tell any and every person who claims to be a Christian what is going on in your life because that wouldn’t be wise. What I am saying is that you should seek God and ask Him to bring you some close, godly friends that you can build an intimate relationship with like David and Jonathan had (1 Samuel 18-20). This type of friendship is selfless and loving. Jonathan encouraged David, reminded David of the promise God had made to him, protected David, and was heartbroken when David was being chased by Saul.
We need to fellowship with believers who will pour into us when we’re feeling low, who we can feel safe confiding in knowing that they will pray for and with us, who will lovingly correct us when we’re wrong, and who will hurt when we hurt and will rejoice when we rejoice (Romans 12:15). We need those individuals who are constantly pushing us closer to Jesus.
So if you’re someone who is trying to live this life for Jesus on your own, stop it right now. You need to fellowship with other believers. Get involved in one of the ministries at your church, find a small group to join or start one of your own, find a Bible study you can go to weekly. But most importantly, pray and ask God to send the right people into your life.
Hey everyone I had the honor of being featured on the site MySpiritChecker.com! God led the owner of the site to have me write a blog on the power of forgiveness and the consequences of unforgiveness. I prayed over it and God gave me an amazing word to share with you all. Go check it out and be sure to subscribe to MySpiritChecker.com so that you can get his newest blogs sent directly to your email.