The Only Way Out is Through

Sometimes you cannot go around a storm, or wait for a storm to pass. Sometimes the only way out is through.

I have mastered the art of avoiding a storm.  I love my intuition, and my intuition loves me.  When I sense a storm coming, I head the other direct post haste.  I actually shut down when I find myself in the middle of a full fledged storm.

I feel like there are other methods that life can use to teach me the same lesson.  I feel like the storm is completely unnecessary.  I glare in disgust;  I sit; I mope; I scream; I cry…

***

When I was 19, I met a boy.  We dated for 5 years.  The last 2-3 were disastrous, but I hung on for dear life.  I attribute my aversion to storms to those last 2-3 years.  I vowed I would never put myself through that much chaos again.  I told God that He could have saved me a lot of trouble and heartache by just telling me it was not going to work from the beginning.  Then, I gave Him my 20-something shallow, self-centered list for my husband to be.

He had to be handsome.  He had to be athletic.  He had to have a bunch of girls that would want him, but only have eyes for me.  He had to be willing to deal with my crazy.  He had to think to world of me.  Oh yes, and he had to think the world of God too.

***

When I was 21, I met a boy.  (Yes, I realize the overlap in dates here.)  He was everything on my list, and I asked God if I could have him.  God politely shook His head no and insisted I stay with my then boyfriend.  I sighed, and rode out my storm of a relationship until all I had left was the shell of the person I used to be.  As I walked around picking up the pieces of myself to rebuild a bigger, better Brittany, in walks the same boy.

“He’s perfect,”  I tell God.  “Can I have him now?”  God adamantly shakes His head no.  And I cannot understand…

…So I block and delete.  I live my life, and years later, in walks exhibit A.  God says, “Brittany, it’s time.”

I giddily respond, “I thought you told me it was not him. ”
God answers, “It’s not.”
Me: *rolling eyes*  “So what’s the point?”
God says nothing.

For the first time in years, I fearfully walk head-first into a storm.  God gives me all the time and space I need to figure out what is going on with this guy.  All the while, I make sure He is sitting in the boat.  I refuse to ride out the storm alone…

“And He said…“Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then He rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.”  Matthew 8:23

I wake up one morning, and it is over.  The storm is over.  I am over it.  I am over him.  He is everything I never wanted, and I throw my list in the trash.

Cue my husband.

Some of God's best spouse surprises are on the other side of a raging storm.

It is God’s turn to speak first, “Brittany, there he is.  Isn’t he beautiful?  I made him just for you.”

“What in the world is this, God?”  I ask…not at all convinced.

“Go get your list,”  He responds.

I dig my list out of the garbage:

Handsome – Check
Athletic – Check
A bunch of girls that want him with only eyes for me – Check
Deals with my crazy – Check
Thinks the world of me – Check
Thinks the world of God – Check

“Oh yes,” God continued, “I threw in some more for decoration.”

Kind – Check
Loving – Check
A good father – Check
Comes from an amazing family – Check
Has the motto “happy wife, happy life” – Check
Accepts your hair in all of its styles – Check
Takes in your sister’s African-American son – Check
Willing to take in your sister’s African-American daughter – Check
Gets the kids ready in the morning – Check
Washes dishes – Check
Cooks – Check
Makes sure we attend church weekly no matter what – Check
Makes sure you have me time – Check
Makes sure you have girl time – Check
Your friends love him – Check
Your family loves him – Check
Passionate about his career – Check
Passionate about his family – Check

“I could go on, but you get the picture.  I was unconcerned with your list at 20-something.  I knew what your list would look like at 30-something.  I know what your list will look like at 40-something…and 50-something…and 60-something…”

Interracial Couple celebrating their 10-year anniversary of marriage

Then God goes silent.

I embarrassingly ask, “Then why the storm God?”

“Simple.  Through was the only way to the other side.

“In your mind, you thought that My word was enough for you, but, in reality, you had to see it for yourself.  You thought you could appreciate the other side without the storm, but without the storm, THERE IS NO OTHER SIDE.  Without going through the storm, you cannot even see the other side.  You could only see…and avoid…the storm.

“You were stuck in your old ways.  You were stuck in your mindset.  You were stuck in your superficiality, but you made ONE good request.  You requested I pick someone who would think the world of Me so I had to get you out of stuck.  But, THE ONLY WAY OUT WAS THROUGH.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” ~ Isaiah 43:2

“The storm was the only way I could meet all of your shallow demands and all of My much more demanding ones.”

Then He stops.  He lets me marinate on His extraordinary answer to my less than ordinary request.

And here we are, 10 years later.

***

Happy Anniversary babe.  You were my twenties.  You are my thirties.  You will be my forties, and 50s, and 60s…You are my forever.

You are my answered prayer.

***

What are some ways that you have learned to ride out the storm?  What was waiting for you on the other side?

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You thought you could appreciate the other side without the storm, but without the storm, THERE IS NO OTHER SIDE.  Without going through the storm, you cannot even see the other side.  You could only see...and avoid...the storm.

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***

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***

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***

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54 thoughts on “The Only Way Out is Through

Add yours

  1. Girllllll! This is a WOW, just WOW post!
    My favorite quote: “without the storm, THERE IS NO OTHER SIDE. Without going through the storm, you cannot even see the other side.” So true!
    And I love that God knows ahead of time what our list will look like at every stage of our lives! 👍 👏 🙌

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this, And Happy, Happy, Happy Anniversary!! I can relate so well to asking “Why the storm?”, when I know that my God can use other means to teach me many of the same lessons I learn in my own storms. Your revelation on the storm being the only way through is brilliant and beautiful! Again, loved, loved this – thank you so much for sharing it, and have a blast celebrating all your happy memories with the husband!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on 10 years! I ride out the storm by crying, screaming, complaining, then meditating, praying, reading the word, then finally submission.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are awesome!! I so relate to loving my intuition and running from storms. I loved this and your tribute both to God’s faithfulness and your awesome husband. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is SO beautiful, Brittany! We all think we know so well, and we don’t get it at all when we’re right in the middle. Only after we’ve gone through. I love this: “without the storm, THERE IS NO OTHER SIDE. Without going through the storm, you cannot even see the other side. You could only see…and avoid…the storm.” Well said! A beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful post! It truly is all about making it through the storm. I find that a positive, optimistic and most importantly, a faithful outlook is what will ultimately carry you through those difficult times. Much love. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Brittany!

    I also dislike storms. Storms in the Philippines have a different meaning than in the Western world because often it is a matter and life and death. I smiled while reading your self-centred wish-list because that’s how it is for me also most of the time.

    The place where we live in Greenland is a quiet place with few storms and nothing compared to what we experience back in the Philippines, so maybe this place is God’s gift for me 🙂

    Thank you for an excellent blog post.

    God bless,
    Edna Davidsen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a storm that was a matter of life and death outside of Hurricane Katrina…I have however experienced plenty of self-centered wishlists. Enjoy the gifts God blesses you with. Thanks so much for you sweet comment!

      Like

  8. Love the way you write. Love the heart you have for your husband! Sounds like the perfect man for you! Good point on going through the storm. I have been through many in my life, and I’m about to enter another. Thanks for your insight, love Isaiah 43:2!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy anniversary. I pray that God will continue to strengthen your marriage and that He will keep you and your family in perfect harmony. You wrote a beautiful love story. The storm is a vital part of our success. Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I loved this post! And I am truly humbled each time I am forced to weather a storm, screaming and crying and whining every time, at God’s immeasurable patience with me. When I stand on the other side of the storm and look back, I realize that He ALWAYS has a reason for the storm, and I am better off for having gone through it rather than avoiding it. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. I am ALWAYS better off having gone through it. How many times can I say that to myself? The more I remind myself of all the times that He has come through, the more I can truly hold on in those super rocky moms DURING the storm. Thanks so much Joan!

      Like

  11. There’s no other side without a storm! Love that. What a great testimony. God is so good to always give us what we need. Thank you for sharing. Stopping by from By His Grace Bloggers

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I had a very similar list when I was 18, and God gave me a man who was all that I’d asked for, and also all of the actually important things. It took me a few years to realize it, too. I totally relate to your story. Happy anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Well, I join all the others in saying, WOW! Yes, just wow! What a beautiful word of love, encouragement, and hope. This should be mandatory reading for any young woman setting her heart and mind on what future love will mean. BEAUTIFUL!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that thought – mandatory reading. I think God has some mandatory readings from some beautiful Christian authors that He needs me to pore over to grow. Thanks so much for stopping by. I love your blog and what you’re doing with the Blessing Bloggers group.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow! What a post, Brittany – The only way to the other side is through the storm.

    Reminds me so much of James 1:2-4(MSG version): “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”

    We’ve been so blessed to collaborate with you, Brittany. Your posts are so real, so true, and so insightful.

    Like

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