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Ready For Whateva!

February 29th of this year we docked in the Port of Miami ending a spectacular Royal Caribbean cruise. The cruise was so fantastic that we decided to sign up for 2 more in 2021 before departing the ship. Two weeks later on Thursday March 12th I left work at lunchtime and we’ve been Sheltered In Place ever since. Let’s just say this was not our plan for 2020. There’s a saying that “if you want to make God laugh just tell him your plans.” None of us can realistically prepare for what is to come. In fact, in most cases how we react to unexpected circumstances is more important than the circumstance itself. In other words, in our marriages adapting to the situation at hand is what makes the relationship strong. I mentioned how we were interrupted by the pandemic. We had another set of circumstances that hit us with even greater impact 14 years ago. It was Joy’s breast cancer diagnosis. Then, just like this past March our reaction was just as important to the cards we were dealt. We are a much stronger couple as a result of the various challenges that have been introduced to our marriage. I hadn’t consciously thought about it in the past, but I guess we were ready for whateva’. How have we made it through and how should we react to challenges or circumstances that confront us? A few points.

Prayer – The first step whenever we’re confronted with an unexpected challenge should always be prayer. Praying as a couple is powerful. Praying to God for peace & calmness, for wisdom & discernment, for patience & direction.

Focus – Once you’ve taken the time to pray about the situation, hunker down and focus in on developing a plan to deal with the situation. Don’t allow outside factors to interfere with the plan that the two of you have developed.

Teamwork – One of the most rewarding aspects of dealing with a crisis as a couple is the opportunity to work together as a team. A three-strand cord is not easily broken! You, your spouse, and God together is a team that no problem can defeat. I can’t articulate well enough how much our relationship has grown as a result of working together as a team when we have joined together to tackle an issue. Have a plan and work the plan together.

More Prayer – At the end of the day it is not us but God who handles every challenge, situation, circumstance, or problem that confronts our marriages. Yes, faith without works is dead, so we must put in the work. But it is God who truly solves the problem. We must pray as a couple that after we’ve started with prayer, after we’ve focused in on a plan, and after we have worked our plan as a cohesiveness of great teammates, we must turn once again to God who has all power to overcome any obstacle that confronts our marriage.

Mike & Joy Watkins Atlanta, GA

(Mike and Joy Watkins will be among the number of facilitators participating in the 2020 Heart of Marriage “Virtual” Retreat. The Watkins’ workshop will focus on building a plan to confront challenges in the marriage.)

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