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Mud & the miracles that come from it: the 3rd annual comment on marriage.



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On December 10,  Lane and I hit the two-year mark of marriage.

Right after I got married, people started asking me to write posts about marriage. I’ve had to politely decline each request with the same answer, “I know little to nothing about marriage. I’ll write a post about marriage in 30 years.”

I joked at my wedding and said I would write a marriage post– just one– every anniversary. So here it is… my 3rd annual post on marriage.

The date was January 9, 2019.

I was settling into the workday in my upstairs office. This was a new rhythm for me as, just two weeks earlier, we’d hauled the boxes and unassembled furniture into this new house along with a Christmas tree we’d already decorated.

The time was 10 am when I heard the front door open and the sound of someone coming up the stairs. I swiveled my chair to the window to see Lane’s car parked in the driveway. He’d just left for work two hours earlier so this arrival home was out of character.

His face was pale as he stood in the doorway of my office and put his head against the doorframe.

“They let me go,” he said.

He was in shock.

I was in shock.

He’d walked into work for a typical day only to find out that the company was laying off dozens of people for the start of the New Year. His position, though it was valuable, was one of the first to be eliminated.

To know me is to know that I come with all the drama of a high school theatre club. I easily walk on the side of anxiety. I entertain the worst things that could possibly happen. I believe in God fully but I also doubt like Moses.

So, at this moment, the expectation is that I would be freaking out. We’d just bought a new house. We hadn’t sold our other home yet. We were banking on a miracle that God would provide a buyer before we’d need to begin paying double mortgages on February 1. This was all too much. This was NOT the plan.

I cannot explain it but I saw my husband standing there, all the wind knocked out of him, and I knew I had to react differently than what he would expect of me. I knew I had to shelf the fear and I had to rally to be the best cheerleader for him in this dark time. He’d done it for me at so many other crossroads in our relationship and it was time for me to step up.

I had to choose faith in every hour. I had to boost his confidence. I had to let him know that he was okay. And I couldn’t do a single one of these things without giving credit to this strange and foreign inner peace that rose up in my spirit the second he gave me the news. He felt so ashamed and yet this inner peace, this flowing stream of what I now think was the holy spirit, caused me to say, “There is no shame. We will figure this out.”

Despite the circumstances stacked up against us, we made a joint decision to choose faith over fear. We decided we would watch this path out intentionally, like “don’t step on a crack or you’ll break your mama’s back” intentionally, and trust God for each new step. We wouldn’t grumble. We wouldn’t speak out of fear. We would not entertain the “what if’s.” We would not share the news with anyone but our closest people. We decided to thank God for the sudden shift. We decided the mess was ordained for such a time as this one. There’s this story in John where Jesus heals a blind man. In order the give the man fresh sight, he actually spits into the dirt beneath his feet and uses the mud for healing. Cute. But I see that’s what happened to us at this moment. Where we could have just seen mud, we looked deeper to believe in the miracle the mud would provide.

Lane was used to being at the office 10 hours out of the day. So, being asked to pack up his stuff and leave the office that day, he suddenly had all this room. All this time that he didn’t know how to account for. So we filled the space together.

We built a plan for him. I put him through a little Discipline Bootcamp as we plotted out his hour for studying, his hour for reading, his time to apply for jobs, his time to clean. He had a schedule for his days, for however long this season would last.

And. the. Miracles. Came.

We spent the first 3 months of 2019 sitting in the presence of God every single day. Fresh manna arriving in the morning as I took on more projects and Lane began the process of applying and interviewing for new positions.

A buyer for our old home showed up almost immediately and they requested to expedite the process so that they could close on February 1, the day we were due to start paying two mortgages. Lane and I grew closer than ever before as teammates in the process. He’d make my morning coffee and sit in my big, cozy office chair studying his Bible as I tapped out emails to clients. He took on the role of cooking and cleaning, serving me meals as I took on the extra projects. He cheered me on continually as I worked.

This was one of the coolest parts of this weird yet sacred time. As much as our culture is “rah-rah-girl-power,” there still seems to be some underlying belief that men should be the safety net in the marriage when it comes to finances. That if Lane lost his job then that meant we were not going to be okay financially. And there’s nothing wrong with a man being the main chunk of financial security but I stepped up and still step up as a safety net in our marriage and Lane did not express insecurity over that. He loved it and still loves it. He sees me as an equal partner in our labor. He promotes feminism not by wearing a t-shirt or yelling about it on Twitter but by the gentle and kind way he pushes me to give my career everything I’ve got.

This time also showed us that we have some really solid people in our lives based on the fact that most of them didn’t shrug a shoulder at the news of Lane losing his job. They knew God was up to something better, something greater than this. They covered us in prayer and they believed alongside us. There were a few people who wanted to pour out all their anxieties for us upon us but I had to gain more confidence in my speech. I had to stop the conversation and shield Lane from the anxiety of others by speaking words of faith into the circumstances.

These roles were so out of character for me and yet God gave me the grace to step into them. I can honestly say that when I look back over the prayer journal from that 4-month time where Lane was jobless, not a single one of my sentences is decorated with doubt or fear. I chose the stronger words. I chose to say, “I know you are up to something better God.”

Four months into this stretch of unemployment, a job came. A really good job. A better job in a better industry that would set Lane up for something more. And truth told I’ll never stop being thankful for the loss of his job in January 2019. It was serious roadwork, yes, but it was necessary for him and me. He needed to introduction to discipline and I honestly think he needed a few months at home cultivating habits that didn’t just revolve around his career. I needed a fresh vision of who God was and how I could react to shaky circumstances.

In this third year of marriage, I learned how we can coach and encourage one another. How we can lean fully on the presence of God. How we can cast off the anxiety with our own tongues and live for the not-yet vision that is coming towards us.

It takes two people for the push-and-pull of marriage. There will be times where one is stronger than the other. And other times where you both feel on fire. But the beauty is that we can come alongside one another, as a unit, and pick up the dragging, tired feet of the other. Marriage is not just constructed out of the good times you have with the other person.

The foundation of marriage gets stronger during those muddy moments where it seems like hope has been sucked out of the room. In those moments, lean in closer to one another and ask a simple question, “What do you need? Who do you need me to be for you to experience God more fully today?” There’s untapped strength within you. Lean in and step into roles you’ve never felt qualified for. I promise you, God will meet you there.


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Hi, I'm Hannah

I love writing about all things faith, mental health, discipline + and motherhood. Let's be penpals!


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