Good News! My book is officially able to be ordered for pre-sale! You can order it wherever you get your books:
The irony...or God-design of it...is that the release date is January 9th, 2024...Maria's birthday :-) Even though this is a book about my firing and the impact it had on my identity and purpose in life, woven throughout the pages is a glimpse into the pain Maria and I worked through in our refining season to find a greater purpose and joy in the midst of our marriage. Some days, it feels like that refining season continues on...which is why recently this "oldie, but a goodie" of a book caught my eye in the library... "When Bad things Happen to Good Marriages," by Les and Leslie Parrot.
This has been such a helpful resource to read because it has reminded me of the purpose of our marriage: to reflect the love of Jesus to those around us. In all of our interactions: when life is hard and we just want to feel a little happy and not have to choose joy, when our patience is tested because things aren't going as they "should" be, when grief and sadness overwhelms our hearts and it's hard to encourage one another, we know that our marriage relationship is best experienced when we choose to reflect Jesus' love to one another and to those around us.
The subtitle of this book is also what caught my eye "How to stay together when life pulls you apart." We have felt this reality and even understand the statistics that are working against us. THIS STUDY indicated that when a husband loses his job, they have a 33% chance of getting divorced within the first year of a job loss. And THIS STUDY indicated that when a couple experiences a still-birth, they have a 40% greater chance of divorcing than a couple who has a live birth, not to mention the decade-long effects it has on their marriage.
There's a lot that life has offered us that's tried to pull us apart. And if our marriage was based on how much we love each other, how happy we are, how well we treat each other, we very well could be a statistic. Not to say those things aren't important, they are, but they're not the foundation, they're not the purpose of our marriage. I really believe the Apostle Peter's words for our marriage:
"In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed" - 1 Peter 1:6-7 (NIV).
That's why I've resonated with this book...because it's reminded me of what our marriage should experience when bad things happen...a refinement, something that makes our marriage stronger and more pure in the long-run. As the Parrot's write "a good marriage is built by two people's capacity to adjust to bad things." When we see the bad as an opportunity for transformation, it allows us to grow closer to one another and most importantly, towards Jesus, the one who we are called to represent through our marriage relationship.
So, if your good marriage is facing something bad, whether the bad is caused by you or your spouse or someone else or circumstances outside of your control, believe that God will use the bad to bring out an even greater good. It was one of the things Maria shared with me on the first day I was fired that made itself into my book:
"While talking about getting fired, Maria came to believe it was another aspect of our wilderness journey. God was going to do a work in our lives through this difficult process. And time and time again, we reminded each other of this: that instead of praying only for God to heal and remove this hardship from our lives, we needed to lean in toward God and His presence, not running away from how we feel but processing the pain in our hearts and lives. We need to seek Him even more during this trial because He was obviously working out something in our lives. We didn’t want to miss out on how He might be making us more like Jesus."
Be encouraged good marriage. This bad will make you more like Jesus.