Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again; rejoice
– Philippians 4:4
This month my husband and I are celebrating 20 years of marriage and 22 years of being together. As wonderful as things are now in our marriage . . . around the 7 year mark, we stumbled onto a rough patch of road. We found ourselves sitting in front of our pastor with a plea, “help us”. We shared with him what we’ve been going through and what seemed confusing to navigate. After he asked a few questions, and we told our story, my pastor simply said, “You need to go home and celebrate your marriage”. I remember leaving the church thinking, “did he hear a word we just said?!?!” Being somewhat confounded, we followed his advice.
We had a few nice dinners, a weekend trip, and we began to remember the loving, sensitive, graceful person that we married 7 years prior. We were blessed with an amazing opportunity to catch a second wind in our marriage before having our children. This is a joy beyond understanding, feeling both like newlyweds while having the comfort of knowing each other so well.
“You need to go home and celebrate” has now become much of my philosophy in life. When things seem impossible . . . Rejoice. Sing. Celebrate. While there is often other hard work to do and counsel to seek, the core of happiness in our relationships is a grateful and graceful heart that knows the blessing we have in Him and each other.
While working at an alternative school, Dr. Beth Ackerman
completed her Master’s degree in special education at Lynchburg College and a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Virginia. She is currently an associate dean in the School of Education at Liberty University. She has developed a love of sharing what God has laid on her heart over the years as a follower of Christ, a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and educator.