You Are More Than What You Do
2020 was the hardest year of my life and it had nothing to do with a virus. As we entered our 25th year of marriage, I knew my husband, Chad, was going through some challenges. He had always been a bi-vocational minister but had stepped down from his role as an associate pastor to go back to college to complete a degree in business. He had recently turned 45, a milestone that seemed to distress him and set him on course for a mid-life crisis, questioning every aspect of his life. I just didn’t know that, included in his questioning, was us.
Chad began to open up about his feelings and questioned at this mid-life age what he has accomplished and the uncertainty about what he saw himself doing in the future.
We’ve always viewed therapy as valuable support of mental wellness and I suggested he go talk to someone. He suggested we needed to talk to someone and even said he would not agree to therapy unless I first agreed that if it wasn’t successful, we would go our separate ways. That was devastating! I felt like everything I have ever known was swirling out of control. I had never questioned whether or not we were meant to be together. We’ve never fought about anything. Sure, I noticed things we had not been seeing eye-to-eye on the last couple of years but we always seemed to walk in a peace-keeping mode that was inevitably unhealthy. Having both grown up in dysfunctional homes, we came into marriage knowing more of what we didn’t want our home to look like. We understood how vital it is to protect the peace of our home above all else so it would be a haven for us and our children. And yet, we still found ourselves ill-equipped to traverse the changes in our life as our children were now both young adults and we were slowly approaching the empty nest.
The year was filled with pain, confusion, loss, heartache, anxiety, and uncertainty, and yet, I have felt the love of the Father like never before. I knew that God didn’t cause this pain, but that He wouldn’t waste it. What the enemy meant to steal, kill, and destroy, God would use to reveal, shore-up, and cause new abundant life to course through! Everything I had learned about faith was for this battle and I knew that I couldn’t remain in faith with an unrenewed mind. That whatever I allowed my mind to feed on is what would dominate me. I was going to have to constantly be in the Word in order to keep my mind renewed with God’s thoughts and daily remind the enemy he had no jurisdiction in my marriage! The enemy will always accuse your spouse, just determine not to join that team. When he speaks against your spouse, he is speaking against you because together you are one. Nobody else has vowed to take their entire life and join it to yours for the rest of your life. Value that! I knew I had to forgive my husband for having doubts and recognize his humanity. I forgave both of us for not having the tools necessary to navigate the complexities of relationships.
After eleven months of therapy, God is healing, equipping, and fortifying us. It has not been easy, but I believe we are worth it! Our marriage and God’s plan for us is worth it! Because God’s plan is never just about us, there are always other people connected to His plan. And we are so much more than what we do. Our gifts will open up many doors throughout our lifetime. The things we do may change, but it doesn’t change who we are. If you feel that you’ve gotten off track, don’t worry, God is an expert at redeeming the time and making the rest of your days the best of your days. What the enemy meant to be our undoing place, God has turned into our launching place! In 2021, the best is yet to come!
About Jenny Rieflin
Jenny is a writer, teacher, minister, mentor, and encourager. She has been married since 1995 to her best friend, Chad. Jenny graduated from Rhema Bible College in 1997. Together, she and Chad, also a Rhema graduate, embarked on an adventure in ministry, servin in just about evrey capacity in the local church. Her highest calling was as a stay-at-home mom and homeschool teacher for twenty years to their two treasures, Landon and Cosette.
To learn more about Jenny and her ministry, visit www.jennyrieflin.com