April 11, 2015 by Jen Cudmore
Good morning, friends. I want to thank you again for your loyalty to my blog despite my sporadic posts over the past several months!
I’ve decided to change directions for a little while and I hope I can count on you for support. Only a few dear friends know that my marriage has been in trouble over the past year, and I’ve decided to “come clean” and share a few things with you. Not TMI kind of details, but general issues that I’ve been struggling to overcome. Great women leaders such as Lysa Terkherst, Debbie Alsdorf, Beth Moore and Vicki Courtney all advocate sharing your mess rather than hiding it, and it’s time to share mine.
We need to talk to each other about our troubles because we all struggle with something. The enemy loves to keep us isolated from each other so we are less effective in serving God. Yet Jesus said in this life we would have trouble (John 16:33). No one is exempt – the rain falls on the righteous as well as the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45). So why don’t we talk about our troubles?
Most Christians are afraid to discuss their personal struggles because they don’t want to be judged or rejected for their weaknesses. And sadly, there are too many times when we condemn each other or walk away rather than offering grace and mercy. Or our pride prevents us from speaking up – we don’t want to take the chance that anyone would think badly of us; we want to appear as though we have it all together (which is not scriptural!)
So we don’t talk to each other. We pretend we’re fine and suffer in silence.
I thought I was doing pretty good, since I have half a dozen fabulous friends who have consistently encouraged me in this season of life. Yet it’s become increasingly clear to me over the past couple weeks that God now wants me to speak out to more than just a few friends. My husband has encouraged me to share how we’re trying to figure things out and press through this rough season of life in hopes that we can be an inspiration to other struggling couples.
But sharing your sins and sorrows is scary stuff, because you risk rejection and condemnation. When I mentioned to a few people that my marriage was in trouble, they responded with silence. They haven’t called to check on me, haven’t offered any encouragement. And that stings a little.
But everyone else has been quick to show they care, that they are available if I want to talk, that they are genuinely praying for me (as opposed to just saying they will). I’ve realized there are more loving people out there than those who criticize, and that gives me courage.
Scripture says that God “comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (I Corinthians 1:4)
That is my goal in sharing my struggles. Lately my marriage has been far from happy, and some days Tim and I just don’t have a clue how to move forward. I simply want to connect with others who are going through the same trials we’re enduring. I know there must be other wives out there who have remained silent about their own marriage issues. There is no condemnation here, no criticism, judgement or rejection. We are all sinners saved by grace, right?
Let me encourage you (and myself!) that there is always hope, even in the worst of circumstances. We serve a God who gives life to what is dead (Romans 4:17). Come along with me as I share my heart. We need each other. There is strength in numbers – you are not alone!
For more details, you can visit my new page: Marriage Trials
©Jen Cudmore 2015, All Rights Reserved #staymarried
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Category Encouragement for Wives/Moms, Jen's Journey, Marriage Trials | Tags: encouragement for wives, happy marriage, help for stuggling marriages, marriage advice, marriage struggles, marriage tips, perfect marriage, staying married