We Are In This Together
by: Saleama A. Ruvalcaba
In my last post, When the Bough Breaks, I ended by sharing the heartbreak me and Omar have faced dealing with one financial disaster in our lives after the other. Fear, anger and sadness gripped us.
On a quiet afternoon one day, I sat alone on the sofa heartbroken and scared. I walked to my bedroom and went inside my closet. I screamed so loud my throat hurt. How could God continue to allow these problems to happen to us? How and why were we continually living in a threat of survival?
My emotions were valid, but it’s easy to think sometimes; ” I go to church, and serve God, why is this happening to me?”
It’s also easy to forget the stories of the Bible. There are times we forget these stories aren’t just encouraging feel good stories. These stories were real. The fear and emotions were real. Many Bible leaders faced horrible persecution, and death as they faithfully served God – yet thousands of years later, their lives give us hope.
Let’s consider King David. David was ‘king” of Israel. David was chosen by God because of the innocence and purity in his heart. Yet, David finds himself running for his life from King Saul and then from his son Absalom. Have you ever paid close attention to the Psalms of David? He cries to God, yet, he almost always ends with a praise. Read this Psalm from David:
Psalm 13:1 “How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
But this Psalm ends with; 13:5 “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD for he is good to me.”
The Apostle Paul
Read Paul’s words here from Philippians 2:14-16:
“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like the stars in the universe.”
Paul wrote the book of Philippians, while in Rome, chained to the ground in prison.
Paul, contributor of the vast majority of the New Testament, a faithful obedient servant of Jesus Christ, was beaten almost to the point of death on many occasions yet writes the book of Philippians – a book about having joy serving the Lord. What if King David and the Apostle Paul had cultivated the attitudes we have? “I deserve better God!” “I’m your servant!
The Easy Way
It’s easy to think as Christians life should be easy . In marriage when we face difficult times it’s also easier to blame each other. It takes a lot of endurance, determination, and grit to serve God in marriage as King David and the Apostle Paul served God. The hand of God upon your marriage will guide you and your husband during life battles.
Or you end up taking the easy way out.
Back to Dr. Gary Chapman’s The 4 Season’s of Marriage; Truett had a job offer in another state. He and Mary discussed and agreed for him to take the new job and move. However, shortly after moving, Mary missed her friends and became irritated by the move. She complained to Truett. He felt betrayed. They agreed on this move. He couldn’t quit this new job and simply move back! Mary’s negative complaining did not change. They were on the brink of divorce within a year.
“In the winter stage of marriage, communication fluctuates between silence and arguments. Critical words are spoken that further hurt the relationship.”
As I shared in When the Bough Breaks, before me and Omar were Christians we blamed each other for the financial issues we faced. We called each other names. We used harsh words toward each other. Our needs were never met. We’d pay bills late or not at all. We had collectors calling our house all the time. It was so bad we had to unplug the phone. Omar would leave sometimes to stay with his parents. The pressure of our situation was great. Our marriage was bad!
However, look what happened when Jesus Christ became our Lord and Savior.
The Narrow Way
Me and Omar had finally come to a place where we trusted our walk with God. We began to trust God’s call on our lives. We were in this together. God had not made any mistakes with us and therefore, we would seek God together when were under pressure and faced issues.
When we lost our home in California and moved to a new state, we needed new furniture for our new home. We had only $300 to furnish our home with. We had some bedroom furniture, but we needed living room and kitchen furniture.
We prayed together that God would help us furnish our home.
On a Friday evening, I found a garage sale online happening early the next morning. I saw a kitchen table for sale.
We woke up early that Saturday morning and it was pouring rain! We weren’t sure if the garage sale would still happen, but Omar decided to drive by the house to see. When he arrived, the family had all their furniture in the garage, so he asked about the table. The owners sold him the kitchen table. In the process of Omar putting the table in the minivan, he and the owners struck up a conversation. They were moving soon to another state. Omar mentioned how we had just moved in town. Omar then loosely mentioned the other needs we had for furniture.
Because of the pouring rain, very few people were out and no one else had stopped by for the garage sale. The owners decided to ask Omar if he would also like to buy their living room table, two end tables, matching television stand, entry table, bookshelf, and a dresser. They sold all of this to us, plus a six-person kitchen table for well under the $300 we had.
We praised God! We were so excited! We figured it would take us six-months to get furniture, and we had almost everything we needed within a day!
That’s not all. God continued to provide. Remember when I shared in When The Bough Breaks, how Omar lost his contract while we were expecting our fifth child, which resulted in the loss of our income? Well, one Thursday morning we prayed together, like always, for God to provide for our needs. That afternoon, Omar was going over our bills. We were $400 short for the month and we had several bills due that Monday. I was out with our children at a school event. When I arrived home I took the mail out of our mailbox and handed it to Omar.
Omar opened the mail. He called me over to him.
He had a huge smile on his face as he handed me what appeared to be a check.
A check had come in the mail from a claim we filed two years earlier, while still living in California when we lost our house. The check was in the amount of $456!
We had forgotten all about that claim. We never called and gave them a forwarding address.
Can you imagine how happy we were at that moment?
Instead of arguing, fighting, calling each other names, and blaming; we prayed together for God to provide. Instead of malice and hate during that situation, we were jumping up and down like children with joy as God moved in our circumstance.
Me and Omar rejoiced!
Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again; Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
In my last post, When The Bough Breaks, I ended with a series of questions on trusting God and keeping your marriage strong in the midst of trials.
I can share so many stories with you how God provides for our family. I believe God continues to provide in these miraculous ways because God honors marriage! Me and Omar still face battles today. We don’t have the type of income where we know each month our bills are paid. We rely solely on God for wisdom every single month. Some months we have no idea how we will make it. Even so, me and Omar do not mistreat each other. We do not blame each other. We love each other during the hard months. We lift each other up to God when we are afraid. We don’t neglect our prayer time. We don’t neglect our prayer and devotion with our children. Me and Omar still enjoy our evening walks together during the tough months. We still sit up at night before bedtime talking and laughing. We don’t neglect our physical intimacy during the tough months. We pray together for God’s provision every single morning.
The home is the foundation of salvation.
Three of our children came to know the Lord this year on their own through our prayers for them – and were baptized.
And guess what? Despite the fact that we have plenty of months where we have no idea how we are going to make it – God provides! We never have to pay any of our bills late. We never have collectors calling our home. Every single month – WITHOUT FAIL – GOD PROVIDES!
And guess what else?
Our marriage is strong.
We are in this together!
I believe God always provides – because God honors marriage! And when we live in obedience to Him – He is faithful!
Your marriage might not endure financial issues, but your marriage has a story. Whatever your story is, you and your husband are in it together.
Let God reveal His glory in your marriage.
-Saleama A. Ruvalcaba