Love & Marriage Blog Series: Overcoming Hard Times

Hello again!  Jenn, Megan, Lindsey, Jenna, Mandy and I are back this week to discuss how we have overcome hard times in each of our marriages (if you missed our posts from last week, click here).
This guy and I…
…are funny.  I asked some of my closest friends to describe our marriage, and this is what they said…
In my opinion, it’s the hard times that really show who you and what you stand for.  Like every marriage, we’ve had our times of turbulence.  The time that stands out the most was the summer of 2007.  We were trying to get pregnant and undergoing massive amounts of fertility drugs and procedures, plus working together to build our business.  
During this time, we were both waking up at 4:30 in the morning, going to the gym together, coming home and having breakfast together, going to our office together, working together all day long and then coming home from work together late at night.  Andrew was also injecting me with large doses of hormones in my stomach four times a day.  A lady trying to get pregnant, recovering from a miscarriage, having her stomach poked 4 times a day by her husband with large amounts of extra hormones (because apparently, I needed more!) and then seeing her husband 24/7 is more than a perfect storm…it’s a flippin’ tornado!  To say things were a wee bit tense would be an understatement….
Yes, Andrew was extremely patient and supportive but when you’re an emotional wreck receiving extra hormones, it’s really easy to get ticked off.  And perhaps once or twice (or 682 times), I might have gotten a little irritated irate furious over-whelmed irrational crazy upset at him.  It was a tense time…
The good news is that we stuck together, we weathered the storm, we grew so much as individuals but also in our marriage.  Not being able to get pregnant was a huge burden we carried but with the help of the Lord, we overcame it…and not just by eventually getting pregnant but by sticking together and being a team.
I am going to be very honest with you.  That was not our biggest storm…I have a feeling that our biggest storm still lies ahead.  Life is complicated and we live in a fallen world…I do not live in some la-la land where I feel like everything will be cheery and rosy for the rest of our lives.  I have no idea where the next storm is coming from…maybe it will be our health?  The health of our kids?  Our finances?  Our relationships with others?  But more storms are in my future…they’re in everyone’s future, so it’s what Andrew and I do right now, today, that prepares us for weathering what’s ahead.
For us, we are both diligent in staying in God’s word and reading our Bibles every day.  We both focus on having the closest relationship we can with Christ.  If our eyes are both on God, then our marriage will be strong.  
We pray together and apart. 
We pray for each other and our marriage.
We forgive easily, and we don’t hold grudges.
We talk about everything (even if we know it will make the other person upset).
We spend time together every day without the kids.  For us, it’s watching an episode of Real Housewives and eating a brownie together every night.  We laugh, we gasp, we have fun…every night.
We do all of this, so that when the next hard time hits, we’re prepared.  We’re already praying for each other, reading our Bibles, spending time together and forgiving.  It would be hard to start doing that during the middle of a hard time, so we practice now…to prepare us for the future.
Next week, we’ll talk about how we keep our marriage interesting…and trust me, we keep ours very interesting!
Don’t forget to link up with your marriage post today…
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  • Ashley Brickner April 10, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Inspiring – thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

  • Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} April 10, 2013 at 10:55 am

    SO SO Good!!!!!!

  • Kelly Jo April 10, 2013 at 11:24 am

    What a great series. Perfect topic for me to read about this morning. My hubby and I did many cycles of fertility drugs. I had a molar pregnancy, miscarried, and then shortly after we were blessed with our son. We have been trying for baby #2 for about 18 months. I recently found a lump that needs to be biopsied, so for now our focus has shifted. Very true that our biggest storm lies ahead.

  • Alison @ Get Your Pretty On April 10, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Beautiful post, Shay. I love that you pray together for your marriage. This is so vital. Your description of your relationship sounds so much like my husband and me. We have our evening time every day too. It's absolutely necessary! What a great post.

  • Aubrey April 10, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I totally understand your feeling that hard times are yet to come. I know that makes me sound like a pessimist, but it's completely the opposite. Nick and I have been completely blessed in our lives thus far — so much so that our "hard times" have been blips. I am so deeply thankful that we've been able to grow together and strengthen our relationship over 10 years of relatively easy experiences. Your idea that what you do today prepares you for the road ahead…sheer genius. Thanks for sharing!

  • Tara G. April 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Rejoicing with you that doing it God's way reaps amazing blessings- chief is that your marriage reflects Him and how He wants to be in relationship with us!

  • Aubs April 10, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Such a great post!! Love the idea of preparing today for what is to come tomorrow ~ working at keeping your marriage strong & Christ centered in the good times so you are prepared to weather the hard times ~ such wisdom in that!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Lauren April 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    I'm just loving this series! Thanks for sharing!!! πŸ™‚

  • kj7 April 10, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Thank you for sharing and to say you inspire me is an understatement. Shay, thank you for yours and Andrew's example. Your faith is tremendous and I long to have half the faith you do. I'm weathering a pretty tough storm right this moment and I know that God is here with me holding my hand! I've just never thought I'd be faced with cancer at the age of 33.

    Thanks again for sharing your heart and your family! You are a blessing.

  • Anonymous April 10, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Great post and so true!! Just wondering when your dwts post will be up this week?

  • Rebecca Jo April 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    I can tell you have a winner just in the sentence that he watches the Real Housewivse with you πŸ™‚

  • aprilparrish April 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    I really needed this today! Marriage is so hard and it takes working at it every day, but first with GOD!!!!! You should never sit back and wait for the storm when you can be ready and prepare diligently for what may lie ahead!
    **Just what I needed today, thanks for sharing!!!

  • Mandy Rose April 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I love the way you wrote this Shay! And you couldn't be more right about the storms that are in our future, but what an amazing job you are doing at preparing for those hardships to come. God is using you in big ways girl! I am blessed to have met you through blog-land and I am inspired daily by your faith and trust in God. Keep sharing your love for Jesus! It's such a light in a world of darkness!

  • Kat April 10, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Shay – you are so right….the things we've been through are one thing but the unknowns to come could be worse. I am thankful for my husband but no rosy glasses here either.

  • Kristen @ notsodomesticated April 10, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Love this! πŸ™‚ My husband and I have made a habit of praying together every morning before he leaves for work. It's typically not a long prayer, but just something to start the day off correctly together. And this is just one example of how we TRY (we're certainly not perfect) to keep our marriage Christ-focused. πŸ™‚

  • Stacie April 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I'm doing a GREAT James McDonald study on trials that puts them into perspective: if you're a child of God, he's going to use challenges to help you grow πŸ™‚ Yay! I have a feeling I'm going to be nearly perfect if I ever make it out of mine! I'm happy to see the outcome of when two people center their lives and marriage around Christ and hopeful that being faithful can yield the same result in my own broken marriage. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Olivia April 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    God is the creator of marriage, so it only makes sense to live it by his standards. Even though we will always fall short, I believe the Lord blesses those who follow his manual on marriage, whether it's eternal blessings or earthly. Keeping it Christ-centered, like you said, is your best assurance in making it successful! Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Jess :) April 10, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Praying together and for each other has always been something that I pray I'll be able to experience with my spouse someday – Lord willing.

    So uplifting to read that marriages like this DO exist!

  • Jenn @ Munchkin Land April 10, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Wait… You mean to tell me that its going to get harder?! πŸ˜‰ Ha! I love the realness of your marriage. In fact, I just love real people. I love seeing other couples who just dang enjoy each other. But I'll be honest, I'm fairly certain if Jon and I saw each other 24/7, I'd kill him.

  • Linds April 10, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I love all of the ways y'all stay close and how you said you're preparing for the storms ahead. So true!

  • Audrey April 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Shay, this is my absolute favorite post of yours. As wonderful and fulfilling as marriage is, it's also HARD, and without the Lord's help, nearly impossible at times. Thanks for being such a great example of what a Godly marriage is supposed to look like!

  • Anonymous April 10, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    This is a thoughtful post. It emphasises why it is so so important for us as Christians to not be unequally yoked. Working together, in faith and love, really helps to weather the inevitable storms.

  • Livia Carpenter April 10, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    What a really good post. My husband and I married young (21 an 19) and then soon after he joined the military. Let's just say that can make for one "stormy" relationship- and we have only been married for 7 months! We too just continue to look to the Lord in all things. My mom told me when I was engaged "If both of your eyes are on the Lord first and each other second then there is no way you can fail."

  • MorganizewithMe April 10, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    I loved what you shared here Shay! I even had my hubby read it! Thanks for being so authentic.

  • Jaylyn Bond April 10, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Love thisβ™₯ so inspiring! I just turned 20 and havent found "the one" yet so reading this and seeing that marriages like yours and andrews still exist is awesome.. I hope to one day have such a strong relationship with someone like y'all do! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    Oh and he watches the real housewives with you!! I need to find a man like that.. lol

  • Tiffany April 10, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    I love that you said you already pray and read the Bible together NOW before the storm comes. You are so right… if you are in the habit of it today then will be in the habit of it later, when it is 'needed' (although isn't it ALWAYS needed?). That's what makes a marriage strong. Great example to set for us all!

  • Paula April 11, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Great post! You are seem to have your focus right. The storms can be rough. I have a severely disabled daughter. By one, keeping our prayer & relationship with God in check was key. Two, making sure to prioritize the marriage and nurture was/is a must! It doesn't take the issue away, but helps you feel "peace that surpasses all understanding." His grace and love is good.

    Can't wait for more!

  • Anonymous April 11, 2013 at 1:19 am

    Hi Shay! I just recently found your blog through House of Rose and let me say that I love reading what you share! I am a stay at home mom and have struggled with infertility and am a christian and so I honestly feel like some of the words you write could've come from me! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!!!

    ~Kelly Rust

  • Torrie Oglesby April 10, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Wow!!!! So beautifully put! I especially love that you guys have a moment for each other EVERY NIGHT! Not just on date nights, but every night. Something my husband and I are learning! πŸ™‚ God is going to continue to bless y'all! And even when those future storms come you both will come out victorious!! Praise God! πŸ™‚

  • Christine April 11, 2013 at 3:03 am

    What a great post! I loved how honest you were in saying that we live in a fallen world and we all have trials ahead of us so the best way to prepare for the future is to keep our marriages and our relationships with God strong NOW, even in a time when things are going smoothly. I so enjoy your blog. πŸ™‚

  • Jaren April 11, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    This is such a great post and I really needed to read it today. I have been so blessed in my life and I have not had to deal with many struggles until recently. My mom has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Reading about how you stay focused on God in good times and in times of trouble is inspirational. The Lord spoke through you in this post for so many of us! Thanks Shay!

  • The Tomlinsons April 11, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Spot on about hardships coming. We've dealt with so much in our marriage, especially in our line of work. Our first year in Thailand we experienced an earthquake, our house flooding, and an emergency surgery for me while I was pregnant with our daughter…all with zero family around to share the burden of a 5 day hospital stay with a 3 year old. But, what rings true, through all of it is that God is enough, he is sufficient, and he has gone before us preparing the way. We went back to the states to have our daughter, and had the opportunity to share at a few churches, and one thing I always shared was how I am certain our hard times are far from over, but with God we don't have to fear what is coming! We can boldly move forward with confidence in HIM. Awesome to hear you express that, and know that so many will be blessed by your words.

  • Emily | Recently April 13, 2013 at 4:21 am

    All I can say is, Wow. I love this post. Beautifully written and beautiful truths spoken!

  • Tina April 13, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    I'm so glad you were chosen for this series Shay. I think you and your husband are a great example for your children, and anyone who is blessed enough read this post. I look forward to next week!

  • April 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I have been to your blog before but Sheaffer just mentioned you again so I had to stop my again … this article brings tears to my eyes, thank you for being so transparent! I got re-married a little over 3 yrs ago and trying to do everything you mentioned (except the 4:30 gym & all the shots .. ha).
    Plus you have cake blog? I made the mocha/choc bundt … wow!

  • Anonymous April 20, 2013 at 7:01 am

    I'm from Singapore (Asia) and a fellow believer in Jesus Christ. Thank you for your heartfelt sharing. I hope to be as awesome as you when I grow up!

  • Yasmeen Elsayed May 5, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    thanks …

  • Bhawna Bisht July 21, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Nice post !! Marriage…..Its an important and beautiful part of our life. Thanks for sharing.
    Shubh Sanjog