48: A Harvest of Blessing

48: A Harvest of Blessing

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Wives

A Harvest of Blessing

By Michelle Shocklee

Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.

~John 4:36

As a young bride, I had no idea what older women meant when they said marriage was hard work. “Hard work?” I asked, somewhat surprised. I was blissfully married to my best friend, my college sweetheart. We were having too much fun forging our new life together to consider it work, much less hard. We both had good jobs with comfortable salaries that allowed us to purchase two new vehicles, take weekend trips, and basically enjoy life. A year after our wedding, we bought our first house. Three years later, we brought our first son home, followed two years later by his brother. Life was very full.

That’s when the hard work of marriage slapped me in the face.

Consumed with being a good mother, I didn’t realize I’d stopped being a good wife. Raising well-adjusted, happy kids became my priority. Because I’d quit my job to stay home with the boys, finances were tight. Stresses we hadn’t experienced in our early years of marriage began to chip away at our relationship.

With my husband working long hours, and me filling my days with the boys’ school, church and sports activities, plus my own activities and ministries that kept me busy, it was shocking to one day discover how far apart my husband and I had grown. I clearly recall telling a friend that I felt like Brian and I were roommates instead of husband and wife. How had this happened?

Looking back, I see how I let everything and everyone take precedence over Brian and our marriage. I didn’t mean to do it nor did I even recognize that it was happening. But after eighteen years of marriage, we’d reached a place where we had to make a decision: Work on our marriage and move forward, or quit.

During those painful months, God made something very clear to me. He’d given me the desire of my heart, which was to be married to my best friend. Brian was my first priority. Being a wife was my most important ministry. I could not continue to put our two precious children ahead of my husband all the time.

With God’s help, we made it through those turbulent waters. It took both of us making changes. We had to learn to love and respect each other all over again. This year, we’ll celebrate twenty-six years of marriage. And I can honestly say our marriage is healthier and happier than it has ever been. We didn’t give up when things got tough, and now we are reaping a harvest of blessing.

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