First of all – how amazing is this scarf? It’s as cozy as it looks. It was snowing (yes, snowing) during this shoot & this scarf actually kept me really warm! Use my code: vogel20 & get 20% off anything here: ilymix.com 🙌🏼 🙌🏼
Fall is an amazing time of year. The leaves are changing, the air gets cooler. There are real pumpkins and pumpkin flavored everything again. The sun rises and sets earlier, the afternoons are 60 degrees and dreamy.
I’m currently sitting outside admiring yellow and red trees that used to be green – their beauty is mesmerizing now, but two months ago I would have looked past them.
Life slows down a little in the fall. I stop to look more. It’s a beautiful time.
With the changing of the seasons, it got me thinking about how God gave us the seasons of weather & He also gives us seasons of life. Weather seasons can last different lengths of time – summer is usually 3 months, fall only a few weeks in some places. In Utah, winter is 6 months and spring is a few weeks.
So is life.
This past year, I’ve been in a season of grief and processing. It has been a long, drawn out season. It has had moments – bursts of sunshine – that pick me up and remind me that it won’t last forever. I think this is why people say time heals wounds.
Luckily, we don’t live in Westeros, so winter doesn’t last 6 years. The weather we experience is somewhat predictable – its changes are familiar.
Life doesn’t always work this way. Changes in life can come quickly and catch us completely off guard, like snow in the summer.
For the last year, Nick has let it be my season. He let me complain and be angry and cry a lot. He listened to my frustration and supported me in the process. He didn’t try to force a change in me. He listened and encouraged me through it.
I am beyond grateful for this.
And lately, I have felt lighter. I’ve been a little stronger and felt better day by day.
At the same time, I’ve noticed Nick struggle a little. I’ve come out of my season of pain, and he is in a tough season of growth right now.
There are a lot of questions you find yourself asking in your twenties. What is my purpose? Where should I focus my energy? What do I want my life to look like?
The answers come easily to some people – Nick is learning he is not one of these people. This is normal, of course. But it is a difficult process and can be frustrating.
I’ve noticed a pattern in our 3 years of marriage that God definitely does on purpose: He allows difficulty to come to one and gives strength to the other.
While one is in a good season of joy and peace – the other is struggling with hard questions or experiencing..growing pains you could say.
He gives us alternating seasons.
How beautiful is that? Instead of two people struggling, (which can also be beautiful if done in tandem) He allows the struggle in one and places the other in a place of strength, joy, and encouragement.
That way, one can be there to hold the other up.
Especially at our age, this is crucial. The 20s are for figuring yourself out. Society paints it as a time of expression and discovery.
But what if you get married in your twenties? Are you exempt from this?
Of course not. This still happens – our minds are finishing development and we need personal, individual growth just as much as we need to grow together.
Nick needs me to listen, to just be okay with his struggle. I want to give him the room to spew that he gave me, regardless of what it’s about or if I have advice I want to give. There’s a balance here – learning when to speak and when not to. This is a skill we’ve both had to learn – just listen, don’t fix.
Nick has a gift for caring for other people and noticing their need. I have to learn this a little bit. There’s always room to grow and improve on our weaknesses! (Reminder I have to give myself about this kinda stuff)
I’m grateful God gives me opportunities to grow and mature. Selfishly, I could see this as a burden. I could feel overwhelmed by trying to care for him while I try to survive not having a job. I could, and I do struggle with this in some moments.
The time will come for sharing my thoughts and advice. The most meaningful thing I can do for him is pray. I have the ability to see pieces of the other side of his situation when he doesn’t – how he’ll grow, how this will help him in the future. So I pray God would make all those things reality for him. I pray he’d be strengthened, more like Christ. I pray for God’s will to be done in the meantime. There is nothing done in life without purpose. No matter what is going on, there will always be a purpose for it, but we can’t always see this when we’re in the midst of it. We need someone else there to lean on fully, to trust to love us when we’re at our worst, and pray for our best.
I feel so honored to be this for Nick. Whenever I experience this, I think of how God created the first woman and her purpose.
Specifically, the Bible says Eve was created to be Adam’s helper.
Genesis 2:18 says “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'”
In the older versions like the King James, the term for “helper” is “help meet”, or “a counterpart, suitable to his nature and his need.”
Matthew Henry’s commentary says “In our best state in this world, we have need of one another’s help..we must therefore be glad to receive help from others, and give help to others, as there is occasion.”
The seasons of life – need for help and giving it.
My heart feels full when I pray for Nick, when I am his helper – his counterpart. I am here to be the things he can’t be, as he is for me.
God created marriage so beautifully, so perfectly and intricately.
I am entrusted with this man’s heart – to uplift and encourage him, no matter what season we’re in.
I’m not crying, you’re crying.