I’m excited to share a guest post from Candice Mummert today. This post was originally shared on her website. Candice stepped in to help me out when I needed a little time off writing to help my parents with their house fire. I have been truly blessed by her kindness. I know you will be blessed by her words. Be sure to visit her at http://candicemummert.com/.
Experience God Together by Candice Mummert
We were graduating from graduate school at the University of Missouri-Columbia as newlyweds! Aaron and I were so eager to walk across that huge stage to receive our diplomas and celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary all in the same week. On the other hand, we were nervous as we navigated the path toward our next step. Aaron’s job opportunities would determine our next step and our immediate, mountainous question was where that job would take us.
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I was raised an only-child and Aaron was the oldest of two boys. We were completely torn about whether to stay in Missouri close to family or leave the state and begin a completely new adventure. As young 20’s, we were literally visualizing the lives that lay before us. We would sit in our apartment and discuss what facts would help us make this eminent decision. Would we base it on salary, distance from family, promotion opportunities, job responsibilities? What was most important? Our conclusion: This decision was bigger than weighing out pros and cons! So we agreed that we wanted God’s guidance more than we wanted to sit on our 15 year old, hand-me-down, fuchsia couch and decide for ourselves. We agreed that our prayer would be for God to ‘slap us in the face’ with where he wanted us to go.
This is where it begins. Growing in faith with your spouse means experiencing God together. You can pray together, read scripture together, go to church together, talk about the sermon together and these are all good things. But have you taken the time ‘together’, and asked God to show up? One of the greatest ways to grow in your faith is to step out of your comfort zone and allow God to show up. He is always waiting, but a prerequisite for him to show up is for you to step out. Step out in faith! So if you want to grow in faith with your spouse you need to take a step together.
So Aaron and I agreed on the question and then prayed. I must admit, I don’t remember if we prayed together out loud for an answer but we both prayed. I still wrestled with all the above mentioned questions in my mind because Aaron already had a standing job offer in Missouri and in Wisconsin. But we didn’t spend anymore time talking about the decision because we had turned it over to God.
The waiting is hard, possibly the hardest part! THIS IS WHERE THE GROWTH HAPPENS. Doubt, fear, spiritual warfare, all begin to weigh on you. So you can give up and back track or you can press in and grow. You choose. When your fears start talking you must take action.
Take a step closer to God and your spouse.
- Begin journaling
- Choose a power Bible verse
- Pray out loud with your spouse
- Ask others to pray with you
- Find a friend gifted in encouraging and ask them to pour into you and your spouse
As you press into God and share the experience with your spouse, God will work magic in your marriage! I promise! Aaron and I have experienced it time and time again.
Bringing it back to Columbia, we were praying. Weeks passed and we knew we had a huge decision hanging over our heads. And then it happened! God slapped us. Aaron lost both job offers because the companies went on hiring freezes after 9-11. We had about 5 months until graduation, when one of Aaron’s college classmates who had started working, emailed about a job opening with her company. The job would take us to North Carolina and Aaron and I agreed right away to give it a shot. After all, we didn’t have any other options knocking at the door. So the following month he flew out for an interview and came home with a job offer. He had 3 months to finish classes and complete his thesis in order to accept the job they had offered. With that being our only offer and only 3 months to spare, we felt total peace that God had answered our prayers. He didn’t help us sort out the details, he took away our choices and ‘slapped us in the face’ with our answer.
This answered prayer propelled us into many other life changing decisions that we prayed together about and trusted God to answer. So now you are probably asking, “How do you know?” And my simplest answer for you is that you will learn to recognize God’s answers with experience. If you are praying with your spouse, God will put you on the same page to confirm an answer. That is one of the best feelings in the world for a married couple! I encourage you to start looking forward to it now. Being on the same page doesn’t mean it will feel good or there won’t be fear. Let me tell you, when God put Aaron and I on the same page about adoption I was terrified! But I had a peace that surpassed understanding and you will too. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Php 4:7)
The other important thing is to do it often. The more you step into faith, the more your faith will grow. The more you listen for God’s voice, the more familiar you will become with recognizing it. And the more you do this with your spouse, the more you will grow together in faith.