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Updated: Feb 20, 2020


Hi, it's me!

Payton and I have only been married a grand total of 15 months, but in that time, we have never grown more as individuals and as a couple.

The Lord has allowed things to happen to us, taken things away from us and poured his blessings over us, time and time and time again. When we stood at the altar and said, "I Do," we meant it to each other, yes, but we also meant it to God. We gave him full permission to have His way in our marriage and in our lives:

1. Our home

2. Our children/family

3. Our finances

4. Our callings/dreams/jobs

5. Our church family

When we said, "I Do" to God, we submitted ourselves to his will and trusted that no matter what happened, we would stay submitted to His plan and lean on each other, even if we had no idea where we were going, what was going on, or what to do.

At the end of the day, when it seems like all hell has come loose onto your life, sometimes the only people there are your spouse and God. Do everything--and I mean everything--that you can to hold onto your spouse, because like I said, at the end of day that might be all that you've got, and Satan will always come after your marriage because he hates unity. He wants you isolated and alone. Don't give him that satisfaction! Cling to each other, be open and express what you're feeling during each trial. I promise you, it changes everything when you are open!

This post is about some areas where the Lord has shown us areas from personal experiences in our relationship that could tear us apart, but we recognized the schemes of the enemy and stood together, defeating his plan to separate us emotionally. (and in some marriages, physically.)

Unity Advice #1: Let Each Other In

about 2 months post surgery.

We learned this very quick: Don't isolate yourself if you are struggling with something that the other may never understand/may never go through.

For example:

We had a tragic pregnancy loss a year ago (March 22, 2019.) and it absolutely wrecked us.

It wasn't your typical loss: My body thought that it was pregnant with a baby, but instead it was (essentially) pregnant with cysts, which were turning into cancer. We had an emergency surgery to remove the cysts and the recovery was traumatic. I fell into depression for months and really lost who I was.

I never, ever, ever, tried to shoulder the loss on my own. That's the "easiest" thing to do because, well, Payton's body wasn't the one that technically suffered the loss/surgery/postpartum and it was hard for me to describe that loss because there were no words. Men don't understand miscarriage losses, true, but they definitely feel loss in general--especially when it comes to their wife and children.

But that does not mean you have to shoulder the loss alone.

Your husband is the person that God placed in your life to suffer with you: let him in! I promise you, he's hurting, too. Cry with him, grieve with him. Don't assume you're the only one hurting even if you know your pain is very different than his. Don't shoulder it all, it makes it harder. And when he does help: receive it.

And husbands: Let us cry. Th grief won't change overnight, nor will it change in a month. Be patient with us even if you feel like we should be moved on. Work as a team to recover from whatever season that you are in. I wrote a post a few weeks ago called "The Joy of the Lord" and in it, I touched on the fact that grief is truly a season, and eventually, you have to stand up and walk. It takes both of you to communicate and work together on the grieving process and the healing process!

I let Payton in to the deep, depressing caverns of my heart, and I would never change that.

Unity Advice #2: You Are Both On The Same Side!

Money is a big deal nowadays.

We decided from day one (from "I Do") that our security was in God. We were willing to choose where we would sacrifice things and not live luxuriously and then put the money elsewhere.

Like, for us personally, we loooooooove to travel, so we would rather not go out to eat or go on dates or not have a big new car or a big new house, but instead put all of the money into a jar to then go on a big road trip!

That's what we did for our 1-year anniversary. :) We saved up about $4,000 in cash, and for 23 days we traveled across the US! The best trip we have ever taken!

Okay, back to the topic at hand:

Money is a tricky topic because it's awkward and stressful.

When money is tight, the tension tends to get high because how on earth are you going to pay your bills, debts, save, and still get gas and eat?! You could get snappy, impatient, irritated, stressed and cranky because you're trying to figure out how to get everything paid!

Payton and I agreed that we would never let money be a reason to fight because we knew that if stress, anxiety, poverty, fear and worry were on one team and Jesus, Payton and Hosanna were on the other team...we would always win! Don't let money come between you. Stand in agreement that God will provide something, anything, and instead of letting the stress and concern divide you, let it unite you! You are both stronger together than alone, so stand together!

Matthew 6:25-

"Therefore I tell you: Don't worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn't life more than food and the body more than clothing? Consider the birds of the sky: They don't sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you worth more than they? Can you add one moment to his life-span by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Observe how the wildflowers of the filet grow: They don't labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all of his splendor was adorned like one of these. If God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace of tomorrow, won't he do much more for you--you of little faith?

So don't worry, saying, 'What will we eat?' or "What will we drink?' or "What will we wear?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all of these things will be provided for you. Therefore don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble on its own."

Stand on the side of victory: that fear and worry of bills being payed and food being provided have to bow before the power of Jesus, who has defeated those for you already!

Just a little testimony of God providing:

Since we moved from Prattville to Leeds (we've been here for one month), Payton has not been able to find a job. He's applied everywhere and we don't understand what is going on, and all that we are on is one small income from me. I approached Payton and expressed that I was a little concerned about not being able to pay for February's bills because we didn't have enough money. I cried as I processed all of the information to Payton, and then we both went before the Lord and said we needed provisions for these bills to be payed.

There are some key things that I want to point out:

1. I cried. It's healthy to express your inner worries and fears, just don't let them control you. Remember: worry is a season, and blessings will come!

2. We prayed together and believed together that God would provide. Marriage is a unity, so stand together and believe for God's miracles as one!

3. We didn't ask anyone for money, we didn't pull out of our savings, we turned to our Provider first. "Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all of these things will be provided for you."

I'm not even kidding when I say this: God provided more than we even expected.

Within a few days, we had random checks in the mail from some bills that we overpaid last year, we had random side-hustles provided to us from friends (who had no clue that we were praying for provisions, by the way.) I had so many babysitting jobs lined up for weekends...Y'ALL. God blew our minds!

God hasn't provided a job yet, we are still praying for that open door, but he has gotten us halfway through the month and we have been able to pay all of our bills!

Stand together. Stand united. Money is a tricky thing, yes, but your marriage is more important than fighting or stressing over something that you are both worried about!

Unity Advice #3: Affirm Him

It's very easy as the wife to always get/want the attention and affirmation.

My love language is honestly any and all 5 of them! I just receive love when somebody expresses something thoughtful towards me in any form!

Payton is a quality time kind of guy, so as I learn more about who he is, I find ways to spend time with him so that his love tank gets full.

However, things have started changing around here and I have had to find new ways to affirm him.

Because he has been rejected by so many jobs, his self esteem has gone down, first of all, and second of all, men weren't wired to sit still and not work, so there's a lingering feeling of failure over him as the head of the household. He's restless and bored, because being home is not his strength. I recognized the isolation and failure immediately as a scheme of the enemy and began affirming Payton as my husband and as the leader of my home. I spoke life into him, telling him that I loved him and he wasn't a failure to me. I was not about to let him fall into depression or isolation because he felt like a failure as a husband.

When he heard me pour into him, I saw the burden lift from his shoulders and his heart changed. He believed what I said and then we stood together in faith that God would provide something!

The thing is, most men won't ever accept defeat, and especially won't talk about their "failure" to people. It's hard enough as it is, it's even harder to talk about it to your wife, whom you should be leading.

As wives, we can't forget that they already know the pressures and the stress on their shoulders, so it's best just to love them, encourage them and affirm them.

Stand together. Both of you aren't going to always understand what is going on with the other, but that is okay!

Just listen, love and learn.

Payton and I were very blessed with a joyful and compatible marriage to where it is easier for us to be patient and communicate with each other and receive from the other.

I understand that it may not be so easy to create a "formula" for every marriage because every marriage is different!

The real takeaway is just learn how to stand united with your spouse. Find the areas where you see isolation and stand with them. Be patient, understanding and loving. If you have a hard time receiving help, don't push your spouse away; if you have a hard time with pride and don't want to admit defeat, share with your spouse anyway.

Take it one step and one day at a time.

Marriage is give and take and a lot of communication! Find the best way to communicate with your spouse and be patient when they are communicating to you.


Hosanna and Payton <3

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