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julie portrait3BW[From Julie]  We’ve got the second of our responses to the goals challenge today on the blog.  I hope you’ve all been getting some ideas for your own marriage goals for the new year ahead.  I’m generally not a goal or list oriented person.  That’s Noel’s department. 🙂 He’s the type A.  Me, not so much, but he’s more fun than I am.  I have to say that a list or writing down something you are trying to accomplish is a great way to stay focused and actually make your time count for something worthwhile.  I know it’s a little intimidating to put it out there and we really appreciate the two couples who have made their goals public for the rest of us to benefit from.  You are brave souls.

This post is from a young couple at the beginning of their marriage journey and they are a terrific example to those coming along behind them.  We are blessed to have Cindy and Dana as part of our church family and I think they are just terrific.  I know God has great plans for them in 2012.  You both will be blessed this year as you seek to live in God’s plan for you.  Just as a side note that made Noel and I feel a little bit old, Noel taught both Dana and Meg (from yesterday’s post) during his years as a teacher at Great Lakes.  So thanks guys for that humbling realization.  It was awesome.  🙂  Anyway, take it away Cindy and Dana.

Cindy and Dana_rThe year 2011 seemed to be the year of uncertain circumstances in our marriage with new careers, a new house, decisions for returning back to school and many other forks in our marriage road. As a couple, we look for guidance from God and we understand that God has a plan for us as individuals and as a couple. It wasn’t until the end of this year that I realized that while we were dedicated to following God’s plan for us, we stressed over God’s timing. Have you ever had a prayer like this: “God, we know you know best and please show us your path for us”? This was our prayer of 2011. However, once we prayed that prayer, we stressed ourselves out trying to “discover” what God’s plan will be for us. We were searching everywhere to discover God’s plan as if He was playing a game of hide and seek that no matter how many pro/cons lists we made (read: Cindy made) the stress of trying to map out God’s path for us took its toll.

It was late in the year when a personal circumstance really challenged us, that we discovered that God’s timing and His plan was not only to use us through all our circumstances, but it was to provide peace to us knowing that He is in control. It was while we were praying through this situation that our mindset toward God’s plan and timing shifted from stressfulness to peacefulness. How amazing is it that the creator of the universe has full understanding of His path for you? How comforting is it knowing that while hardships do not always make sense our God is bigger, greater, more powerful than any struggle you face? The fact that we are able worship the Almighty, the Beginning and End, the most Magnificent is amazing enough, but the fact that He loves you and loves your marriage should create a peace that passes all understanding.

The goal for our marriage in 2012 is to live under the peace of God’s plan and timing for us. I still foresee some pro/cons lists (they do serve a great function for a type A like myself) and moments of stress, but we are excited to focus on living under the peace of God and allowing Him to SHOW us His path in His time in 2012.