As a part of our Seasons of Life blog series, we have asked Dr. Kim Kimberling of Awesome Marriage to tell us about a recent experience where God showed up in his marriage. Dr. Kim has been a professional counselor for over 35 years, and has been married to his wife Nancy for 50 years. We have had the pleasure of knowing and partnering with him for a few years now, and we cannot say enough good things about him! Dr. Kim is a fountain of wisdom, especially when it comes to marriage. We hope his words and experience bring you hope wherever you’re at in life. Dr. Kim writes:
A few years ago, as a new year approached, Nancy and I started talking about ways we could grow in our marriage and with God in the coming year. We wanted to take a big step forward together with Him. One of us was reading Galatians 5:22-23, where Paul lists the fruit of the Spirit. For years I have challenged couples to use those as a template for their marriage. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. So we decided to pick one of these and ask God to grow that area of our marriage as the new year began. We picked “love.”
About six weeks into this experiment with God, Nancy quit sleeping. I mean, she literally was sleeping so little at night that she was a walking zombie during the day. We met with doctor after doctor and nothing was working. I was watching her fade away in front of my eyes. Finally, we found a new doctor with a new approach and it finally worked. After almost a month of very little sleep, Nancy was sleeping again.
We were back on track. At least I thought we were. In the past, I had battled depression on a minor level off and on for a few years. It was a genetic thing in our family but with sleep, exercise, and eating right, I was always able to fight it off. This time was different. The depression hit me hard and I was barely able to function. I didn’t want to get out of bed and I didn’t want to be around anyone but Nancy. Thankfully, my relief came easier than Nancy’s as the first medication my doctor tried on me worked. It still took a few weeks to get back on track but I knew I was coming out of it.
All this time we were continuing to pray for God to grow our love for each other. With everything going on, we were just including the “grow our love” request in our prayers at night. About a month after my depression improved, it hit me. My love for Nancy was stronger and deeper than it had ever been. She said the same was true for her with me. Here is my take on this. I don’t think God caused Nancy’s sleepless month or my fight with depression but because we were praying that prayer God used that period of time to answer us. Looking back, those couple of months were hard. At times we were at our wits end. We could have turned away from each other. Our marriage could have suffered. Yet, it didn’t and God did something beautiful in our lives and our marriage. He laid a foundation for our love that continues to grow stronger every year.
Here is what I want you to take away: God is always working – even when we don’t see Him or feel Him. He answers our prayers. He shows up in ways we cannot even imagine. Our role is to open the door to our hearts and let Him in our lives and in our marriage. He cannot wait to show you what all He will do!
How can you take a simple prayer like “grow our love” this month and watch what God does? Oftentimes, we pray scattered and forget to even look back to see how God answered that prayer. We would encourage you to choose something even now to pray all month. It could be like Dr. Kim’s prayer, “grow our love.” Or something all your own! Feel free to comment below with how you plan to pray this month, or even ask for prayer requests! Just as Dr. Kim said, God cannot wait to show us all he will do!