Where there’s smoke…

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10 NIV)

A few weeks ago, Ashli approached me and asked me to start writing for WifeCode828. Anyone who knows me, knows I usually do not lack when it comes to saying what’s on my mind. But here I was excited to do something, and yet every time I would try to get my words out, I just couldn’t. Finally this past weekend while digging into the word for many of the bible studies I’m currently wrapped in, it dawned on me: SATAN. Satan is the reason I’ve been speechless. He KNOWS that I am trying to have a spiritual impact on wives. Hopefully I will bring spiritual comfort and knowledge to marriages. I nipped satan in the bud, reminded him he has no hold over me, and well, here I am writing my very first post! I figure I will try and keep it simple for the first time around. Give you a bit of insight as to who I am, and use my go to verse for everything in a marital aspect! Something simple, but something that will hopefully give you all a bit of a ‘wifely’ refresh, so to speak. My ‘get to know me’ will be a bit lengthy, but everything I tell you will pertain to why I can use my favorite verse for everything, including my marriage!

So, my name is Ashley Seale and I am married to my very best friend Josh. We have been married for 7 years this year (let me process that real quick, it’s gone by so fast!). We have 3 children. Brad (9) is my step son, Rylee (4) my oldest daughter, and Mackenzie “Mac” (1) is my youngest daughter. Josh is a local police officer, and you will probably hear me speak of how gorgeous he is in uniform, quite a bit. I love my man in uniform! Being a police wife isn’t the easiest life. It takes a lot of prayer, and a lot of patience. Patience is something I lack. We constantly butt heads over his work schedule, time management, and the kids. You see I’m a planner, and I tend to get upset when things don’t go as planned. I tend to forget through my own selfishness that when he comes home late from a day of dealing with criminals, alcoholics, drug addicts, sex offenders, etc., that he needs his time to wind down. He needs to regroup before he jumps into family mode. But I am selfish, I expect him to come in and take over the girls so I can have 5 minutes of sanity. I expect on his days off, that instead of being lazy, we do all sorts of family stuff to make up for time lost. I want us to run errands and just go and go. He never gets a break. But I’m thankful that despite my selfishness, I found a man that loves to make me happy and does it anyway. 

Okay, so I’m not sure where all that information came from. But, I’ll go out on a pretty thin limb and say that before this very moment, I have never admitted that I’m selfish when it comes to dealing with my husband. If he was reading this right now I would hear him say something like “Well Ashley, congratulations! It took you long enough to admit it”. He would say this while laughing and I’d probably roll my eyes.

I grew up in Canada with parents who were divorced. It’s imperative that I tell you I was not raised in a Christian home. My mother took me to a Catholic church as a child, but we never lived a life where our Savior was the center of our focus. That is not to bash my mother or say she raised me wrong, because she didn’t, she always did what she felt was right, and sacrificed a lot. She was truly the only stability I had growing up and for that I will forever be eternally grateful! My mother stayed single for the first 10 years of my life. She remarried a kind and patient man. I thank God everyday she found someone who could not only put up with her drama and quirks, but who was able to give me some semblance of what a real marriage should be like. My dad on the other hand has more of a common law marriage with a woman. A very toxic woman. A woman who did not set any kind of good examples of how a marriage should be. When I think of my childhood at their home, all I think of is fighting, fists flying, name calling, my father going to jail, and me being pulled out of my bed in the middle of the night to leave. It wasn’t always my dad being the aggressor, she was probably the aggressor more than 50% of the time. I remember the times she kicked me down the stairs, the time she spanked me for over 30 minutes until my bottom was black and CPS threatened to take me away. I was a victim of her verbal abuse as well. I remember a lot more, but it’s irrelevant. It wasn’t until I was older and accepted Christ as my savior and realized, that was a home that was run by the devil himself. The devil had a hold on that house, that relationship, and he was thriving. Unfortunately, he is still thriving in that home. I’m not telling you this to feel sorry for me. I feel that by knowing my background, maybe someone can learn from my story and grow in fellowship with Christ, as a person and a wife.

Quick note: I don’t feel that it’s my place to tell my husbands story. But I will say that he too came from a non-Christian background and struggles as well. And for any family reading this I say this with peace, love, and chicken grease okay? =D 

You hear a lot of those psychology reports about how it’s hard to break the cycle of abuse. I can honestly say I agree, but what a lot of people don’t realize, if you have Christ, all things are possible. Anyone can be healed and restored! Because of that upbringing, I struggle in my own marriage to keep Christ in and the devil out. Satan loves to put those thoughts in my head. Thoughts like, I can’t be better, I can’t be the biblical wife, and that Josh and I will be like my father and step mother. For the first 5 years of our marriage, there were times it was a miracle we didn’t divorce or plain out kill each other. While we were never physically abusive (maybe some pushing and shoving here and there), the verbal abuse was sickening. We were both guilty of this verbal abuse. There were times that I considered leaving him. There were times I would wake up and wonder why I ever married him. He was clearly not the man I dated. We were truly the products of our upbringing. Eventually we would be doomed and just another statistic. Scratch that though, because you really don’t have to be the product of your upbringing. Satan makes you think you have to be. He puts these thoughts in your head that are damaging to anyone in your path. Satan thrives on conflict. What he didn’t realize in our case, was that there was this pull to each other within us. A pull so powerful that when we realized that it was the Holy Spirit calling us home, you could feel the silence in the walls. The devil fleed at the mention of His great name. Doesn’t he always??

In February of 2013, Josh and I gave our lives to our Savior Jesus Christ. We washed away our past and started a clean slate in Christ. We were baptized in water at Hiland Park Baptist Church. We forfeited OUR plans for our marriage. We decided that God’s plans for our marriage and family were of much more importance. It still took us a long time to start cutting the strings of our own selfishness. We needed to put Christ first in our marriage. I just want to say, if anyone ever tells you that as soon as you give your life to Christ, you will live a completely biblical life, they are dead wrong. When you don’t know what a biblical life looks like, and when you don’t know what God’s word is, you can’t just change. HOWEVER, do not confuse this with WANTING to live a biblical life. You have to work to shape your life like Christ. You will always fall short, because no one will ever be exactly like Christ. He was the only perfect person to ever walk this earth. That means you have to step back and accept that even as a follower of Christ, your marriage will never be perfect. It took me a long time to get to that point, and to this day my husband struggles with it as well. But that is what is so great about having fellowship with Christ. He doesn’t expect you to be perfect. He wants you just as you are. He LOVES you just as you are.

Did you know that just as God knew who we were before our parents or grandparents did, He knew who we’d  be married to? Did you know that He designed us to be two different people? But those differences are what create our union as one flesh. Isn’t that amazing? I’m going to leave this paragraph as it is and not add to it. 1-) I have a fear that I’ll mess up what I want to say, 2-) I have plans for another post on this, 3-) I want you all to sit and think about that for a while before I write another post on it!.

Okay, so I’ve given you the run down on the beginning of my journey so it’s time for me to get out my favorite verse. This verse is very dear to me, and I can literally go to it with everything. But for  blog purposes I am going to do my best to put it in a marital aspect.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 ~ I REALLY LOVE THIS VERSE!!!

Are you struggling in your marriage? Do you feel that there is no hope and that you’ve been abandoned? Do you feel that you’ve tried everything you could to fix that problem that is causing havoc? Isaiah 41:10 has been my go to for every problem I have in marriage and every other problem I have in life. When I feel that my husband and I aren’t on the same page spiritually, when I feel afraid that the devil is trying to wreck havoc again, and when I feel like I’m failing my husband in areas he might need me the most. I recite this verse.

So do not fear for I am with, do not be dismayed for I am your God;

GOD IS ALWAYS THERE. He never leaves. Even in our darkest of hours with our spouses when we question it all, God is there. Do not be afraid of what the future holds with your spouse. The future holds great rewards for those who have the Father. Leave the earthly worries to Him. Our fears stem from whispers from the devil that we can’t do it, that God isn’t enough. HE IS ENOUGH. HE IS HE IS HE IS! Deuteronomy 31:6 reminds us that “the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you”. Ask yourself this. What in your marriage is keeping you from furthering your fellowship with Christ? Do you fear that it’s not enough? Do you fear that maybe your problems are too far gone and not fixable? Everything is fixable through Christ. Cast your fears on Him. Allow Him to be the controller. After all He is the everyday handy man and Fixer of all things!

I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand;

Having a personal relationship with Christ is enough to give us strength in our times of need. When we try to do our marriage on our own, and be strong in our marital trials by ourselves, we aren’t giving God the opportunity to use his strength through us. When you feel weak, when you feel vulnerable, spend time with God. Get on your knees and pray. Open your bible and study! Allow God to work in you so that you might gain the strength to push forward. God will always give us the strength we need to get by. All we have to do is ask and receive. God will always uphold us. GOD WANTS YOUR MARRIAGE TO WORK. Do not believe false thoughts. Thoughts that say, well God wants me to be happy so I need out. I have been there, and it is not true! NO NO NO. Remember God planned for you to be married to your spouse. He will help you uphold those precious vows you said to one another. A marriage is not two people. It is three. You, Spouse, and God. You and your spouse are the workers, and God is the support. His righteous hand will give you all the support you need. Keep going!

Remember pray for your husband. Encourage your husband. Tell your husband he’s hot, sexy, handsome at least once a day. Show him you love him. Do it all for him. Even have the conversation with him in your head. You’ll be amazed how reminding ourselves of those little things can give us those butterflies all over again. THANK GOD FOR HIM EVERYDAY!!!

💛 Ashley S.

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