“if all of these trials bring me closer to You…”

A neighbor and brother looked for the right clothes for their voyage as pirates. Their ship was leaving any moment.


A family hurried to pack for a journey where they would leave their home forever. There was no time for anything but preparations.


A woman stood by her car in the school parking lot and shared, teary eyed, how her children were moving away. Her youngest child, a daughter with energy and blonde hair, came and embraced her mother. This child would move to Florida soon.


A man in silhouette spoke to my friend with the beautiful hair, questioning her with all these circumstances about the importance of having a plan for your life. She gave testimony to the experience of her and her husband, how God had changed their plans, and how she rejoiced.

This was my dream before I woke up this morning. A lot has been happening in our lives lately, and this dream reminded me that our stories can encourage each other and give glory to God.

When I was nine years old, the song, “If You Want Me To” by Ginny Owens*, was released. I remember a girl singing it at our church when I was in middle school, and I thought it was such a beautiful song. I got the song on CD and played it over and over until it was written in my mind.

These first months of marriage have come with external trials of health, mourning, jobs. People have said to us, “You’ve been through the fire.” Ginny’s song has popped back in my head and I’ve been singing it like an anthem. I hope you will click the link and listen to it! You will be encouraged!

A few weeks ago our pastor shared a sermon illustration that was such a blessing to me and Kris. It was about Mark 9:49, “For everyone shall be salted with fire.” (You can listen to the whole sermon here or start at 1:09:38 to catch the part I will reference).

I’d heard that verse before and it made me think of God shaking a salt shaker with fire coming out on the earth. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know what it really meant.

Pastor Pat pulled out two pieces of fire wood. One was kindling and the other was a quality wood that would burn hot and long. He shared how these two pieces of wood had different purposes and compositions, but after throwing them into the fire they would be united in the ash in a way that could not be separated. How could you find the ashes that were from the kindling? How could you find the ashes that were from the bigger piece of wood?

God wants us to be unified as a church with each other and with Him. God also wants us to be united as a husband and wife with each other and with Him. Being united makes us salty!

This was the Jesus light-bulb moment for me and Kris after months of trials. Of course we were unified when we said our vows, but how much more now! How much closer is our relationship with God now! We were unified more in the fire! It’s been really hard, but look at the fruit of these trials! We are rejoicing with expectation!

Be encouraged! You might be in the fire right now, but you are going to make it through! Just wait a little bit longer. Stay connected to the people around you and to God. Reach out in a message or comment if you want to chat or need prayer.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:9

*Get the whole Ginny Owens’ album here. 

Featured image from: https://www.pexels.com/photo/fire-orange-emergency-burning-1749/


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