Hey, friends. I always try to come to you with raw honesty yet hope.

Not rah-rah-false-cheer, mind you.

That is just implausible.

Plus, it unhealthily glosses over troubles.

Of which, yes, I do admit to many.

But, I strive ever for that underlying joy of the Lord that rests in the heart despite hard times.

Yet…lately, I have to say I am having major struggles tapping into it.

Yes, between covid fears, grievious tension in our country, and grief striking agonizingly close to our church home, it’s not unfathomable to have reasons why.

Yet, all that I have been enduring and still finding reasons to praise.

No, the source of this growing grayness inside feels much more selfish.

However, I can no longer deny it’s there.

So, I will do what He has put inside me to do.

I will write about it and pray by the end the joy kicks in…

Eight years into my second marriage-that which I have counted despite every struggle a gift from a gracious God-I am lately feeling more and more broken.

Oh, I have had bouts of this before.

Coming together from our respective, extremely wounded pasts has not been the proverbial picnic.

Unless you count one with ants carrying your cake away. 😏

But, this. This feels deeper.

Differing ideas, differing parental tactics, differing opinions, differing desires…

Things I should be mature and wise enough to figure out how to dovetail by now!

Yet, I am finding myself at an impasse to be able to do so.

And, I can see on the other side, my husband does, too.

Perhaps, it is the sheer weariness of the deadlock.

The idea that this is indeed how it will always be.

But, really, I also think part of why this is so hard is I have been here before. The eight year mark was my last the first time.

The last and then, he was gone to another.

Eight years of hopes and dreams crumbled-though I know the crumbling began long before I could recognize it.

Long before I could acknowledge my place in it, though I no longer blame myself entirely.

At any rate, it is always such an incredibly painful place to be.

And to be abandoned in

Alone with two tiny boys and a daughter still on the way.

I admit, fifteen years down the road, there are days the scars still twinge mightily!

Oh, but, we are not looking at that exact situation this time, I must remind myself!

Infidelity, frankly, is sometimes feared by me in my tendency to apply ugly past to present circumstances. But, it has not manifested in reality.

Divorce has not really cropped up in our conversations, though I do have disconcerting thoughts of wanting to be the one to run this time.

Not to escape so much but to provide escape to him, he who I view, rightly or wrongly, as too honorable to do so.

You see, due to my limitations-some of which we really didn’t know he was signing up for at the time-I can feel like a millstone around his neck at times.

He will usually flatly deny this verbally, but actions sometimes-honestly, more and more-say otherwise.

And, in the heat of anger, his verbal will even sometimes slip and remind me of all I seem unable to fulfill.

I can feel like a shell of a partner in those times.

Even like he got a raw deal.

But that’s not a Godly way to think of oneself, Marisa!!

Yes, I know. I also am aware after counseling galore that my abusive past from childhood on points to deep-seated self-esteem quarrels.

It’s all in my book, even.

Meaning what, exactly?

That I should be better at all this?

Yeah, I think that sometimes.

Ok. Lots of times.

And, yet, I am reminded of my humanity.

Fragile. World-worn. Just not there in the well-muscled spirituality department, though I ever long to be.

And, maybe, just maybe, that is the place to begin in.

Admittance I am just not there.

That weakness needs a Savior.

That marriage needs more than two googly-eyed people who like all the same things and do things the same way.

That marriage is not doomed to impasses even when it involves two people marked up by hurtful, hair-raising pasts.

Not if we keep remembering this key thing:

1 Peter 5:7, NIV: “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”

It is not an automatic grayness-lifter, to be sure.

But, as I keep casting, He keeps listening.

And as He keeps listening, I do feel less alone in these gray times.

So…am I feeling that joy that abides just yet? Has it kicked in?

Perhaps a smidge more than when I began this ramble.

Rest assured, I will be all right in His hands.

Thanks for listening today, friends. Blessings and prayers to you!

23 thoughts on “When Joy Gets Lost in the Gray

  1. It seems we are both looking for that joy in the greys, but for different reasons. Andrew and I both have health challenges, so we likely understand each other better than most couples. So my greys are in the problems that are created due to twice the health challenges, rather than the marriage. Every ones story is so different, yet similar in how we feel and respond. I’m sorry for your struggles, but we can do this with God’s help, and I can see that you see that too. That’s a very good start. Jesus will guide and help all of us. I’ll keep you in prayer, Marisa! ❤ Keep casting.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Marisa, I pray that the Joy of the Lord will fill your heart and He will strengthen you and help you in the greys of your life. Thank you for being honest and transparent! God bless you and help you!! Lots of love to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good afternoon, Marisa. If grayness is depression, I know that grayness. Whether we have the same struggle or not, I hear yours here in your words. There is an enormous amount of stress surrounding you, including the 8 year mark. Praying right this moment for God to lift the fog, for you to experience a wave of joy to remind you are known by Him. Love in Christ, Julie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Julie. Yes, it’s definitely depression. It’s something I have battled for a long, long time. Thanks so much for your understanding, support, and prayers! Much appreciated. Love in Christ to you as well. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Marisa, my heart was moved to pray for you as I read through your blog. What God has put together, may nothing tear it apart. Marriage is hard! People who have been arrived 10, 20, 50 years are there because they held on! The enemy makes it his business to tear up families. You are doing the right thing by fighting back with the Word of God! Be strong and courageous, my friend. GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for sharing so honestly Marisa. I pray that the Lord will guide you and bless you with wisdom and discernment as you face your challenges. May you both be sensitive to hear each other out and work together to stay united and strong. May you lean on Him for strength, comfort and encouragement at this time.
    ‘If God is for you who can be against you’
    Remember that you are not fighting for your marriage on your own. He is with you. As you already know and probably doing, take your burden to God and He will direct your path step by step.
    Sending you some love and hugs 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

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