Tools to Bridge the Gap and Find Hope in Your Marriage
The longest our family has ever lived in one house is about two and a half years. My husband is in the Air Force, and we’ve grown accustomed to packing up, relocating, unpacking, and settling in with each new assignment and move. A few years ago, he transitioned from active duty to the reserves, and while he still serves in the military, we haven’t had to move since returning “home” to the same town we first met during high school a couple of decades ago.
For years, I dreamed about planting roots one day, and now that we finally have the chance, I’m realizing this may not be the right place for our family to do so. We’ve been back home for a little over two years, and to our surprise, we are contemplating moving again. My husband’s new job is remote, and he can work from anywhere. So recently, we spent weeks looking at new houses, schools, and churches and began to plan another move. But as much as we wanted to pack up and move again, I felt God tell us it’s a season to be still.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
(Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV)
Stillness doesn’t come easily to me. I’ve had my fair share of seasons of waiting between military life and our son’s adoption process, but being still is different. It’s a laying down of desires, while still allowing ourselves to dream, even if we don’t know if the dreams are part of God’s plans. It requires patience and surrendering.
It’s challenging to be still, and motherhood makes it nearly impossible. But I’m reminded that stillness doesn’t equal a surplus of time or a slowness; it’s an intentional quieting of the heart amidst the noise that constantly surrounds me and my full spinning plate. It’s an awareness, a knowing louder than it all.
Are you struggling to be present in your current season? Longing for something it’s not yet time for and wondering if it ever will be. Maybe you’re overwhelmed by a difficult decision or need clarification about the next steps in a relationship, job or an upcoming transition.
What is one thing you can do for the next thirty days to help you be still?
Here are a two ideas that seem to help me:
- Try slowing down and getting rid of unneeded distractions.
The world can be so loud these days that it drowns out our ability to hear God. I love to be entertained, almost to a fault. Give me any kind of background noise when folding laundry, making dinner or chauffeuring our kids around. Often, I’m listening to an encouraging podcast, book, or even music. And while these are good, sometimes we need to break away from even the good distractions when we struggle to be thoroughly grounded in our here and now.
- Try reflecting on past seasons, and remember what God was doing in you that you couldn’t see at the time because you were in the thick of it.
Write down any themes you’ve seen displayed. And ask God what He is asking of you this season. It was a continuous conversation through multiple prayers before I felt Him say, “Be still (See Isaiah 46:10).
If I’m honest with you, it hasn’t been easy. I still find myself on Zillow and Google, researching a move I don’t know will ever happen, but that doesn’t count as being still, and He gently reminds me of that. Don’t get discouraged; sometimes, I want to figure it all out so I can move forward with whatever He’s trying to teach me. But I’m reminded, listening doesn’t require more work but instead, more reliance on Him.
Sarah Nichols is a writer who loves encouraging women by sharing hope-filled stories that point others to Jesus. She lives in Tucson, AZ, with her husband and four kids. You can find more from Sarah at http://sarahnicholswrites.com.