The Movement of the Spirit
It’s snowing, and I’m curled up inside with a cup of coffee thinking over the last year. I’ve been wracking my brain for the right words to wrap around the experience of being a part of Not Easily Broken Ministries this year, and I’m at a loss. Words are too trite to express the grandeur of what God has been doing, too intimate to reveal what has been happening in our couples’ lives, and so I have to be discreet and general, which really just means vague. And I hate that, because my head is still spinning. Still spinning from the immensity of the experience and I hate trying to reduce it to a few simple sentences that I can easily share with others.
But the more I think of it, the more that seems appropriate. Like the snow settling in white flaky layer after layer outside my window, the work we do each week is seemingly small, and can feel insignificant in the vista of someone’s life. We are working towards transformation – hoping to replace a grey landscape with a crystal white one that reflects the light of the Son. So, we sit with couples. And I could describe that with words like “we help couples build trust” or “increase their communication skills” or “prepare for marriage” but any one who’s been in any relationship ever knows that so little of those things happen inside of a one-hour session. Those things happen in the thick of life, in a mass of small choices spread out over days. Meeting us for a session is more like receiving a dusting of snow on your lawn, that you’re going to have to add to consistently until we meet again, than being part of a blizzard.
But even though adding that thin layer of snow is all we do, that is ALL we do. We sit with couples, week after week, and we work on their (sometimes upcoming) marriage. Because while marriage is designed to paint a portrait of Jesus’ limitless love, it’s HARD. So much of it happens in the core of your being where all your baggage and insecurities and addictions lie and it can become a tangled mess fast. And doing marriage in a vacuum only makes it harder. Sin and heartache festers in isolation. So, we sit with couples. And layers upon layers of snow start to add up.
Armed with 10 years of being together, and some formal education in relationships, and banking on the fact that Spirit will show up and bring freedom, we sit with couples and talk. We unpack what they’re experiencing. We remember feeling the exact same ways. We teach from our experiences and knowledge and give them tools to problem solve and create a better future. And week after week, layer of snow after layer of snow, God comes in and repaints marriages. And there are no words to describe what the Spirit does. I’m humbled and in awe of how He’s paved highways of trust where there were only broken promises and shattered expectations. How I’ve looked in someone’s eyes and known their pain before they’ve expressed it, so that when they do I’m prepared with His words to comfort. How He’s broken the shackles of addiction and set couples free. While we sit and talk, the Spirit is moving behind the scenes in big, BIG ways. And little bit by little bit the snow falls, until it’s crystal clear that marriages are “radiant… holy and blameless… a profound mystery.” His words, not mine. (Aren’t those always the best?)