This is a guest post by fellow Redbud (and one of my best friends in the world), Sheli Massie.

He did the best he could.

That is what she said, in her brown cushioned chair, noise machine by the door.

He sat. Sat next to me in her office.

Months of pain unspoken hung between us.

I am not opposed to counseling. Not at all.

Not this one. This one was finally good.

She wasn’t telling us all the bull crap that many had told us before.

“Everyone makes mistakes, you obviously did”

“Walk away while you only have two kids, the damage will be minimal”

“Please think about having any more children”

I had stopped wearing my wedding ring by the time we walked into the first counselor and decided that I wouldn’t wear one again.

I believed I didn’t deserve to wear one.

We sat there sedentary. Watching the clock crawl, both fidgeting. He bites the inside of his hand when he is nervous. In between his thumb and first finger. I pick. My nails, hair, skin.

She asked,

How are we doing?

I started crying. Knowing that I was the reason we were here. I was the reason things were falling apart.

She sat there and said. He did the best he could.

He did the best he could, with what he had. With what I had never given him. Though I had given him every reason to leave. Biblically he had every reason. And no reason to stay.

You see the troubles we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Nehemiah 2:17

That was seven years ago.

But here is the thing. With me and him.

He and I.

Although more him, if we are telling the  truth.

He believes.

Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace. Nehemiah 2:17b

He believes in covenants.

He believes in keeping his word.

He believes in God, more than he believes in me. More than my addictions. More than my past. More than my mistakes. More than my mess.

I also told them about the gracious hand of God upon me and what the King had said to me. Nehemiah 2:18

More than he believes in our marriage.

He believes that God will bring redemption.

That God has a different plan for my life, for his life and he just needs to trust. He believes that the power that raised Christ from the dead is the same power that is fighting for our marriage.

The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding….Nehemiah 2:20

He believes that even if he never sees deliverance come in our marriage that he isn’t leaving. Because God will make something out of this mess. It isn’t his right to say that it needs to happen in his lifetime. He believes that he can teach me to trust more in the restoration than the struggle.

He does the best he can.

And his best is exactly what I need.

About Sheli

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I am a writer on good days when a child isn’t puking or screaming or the dog hasn’t run away for the zillionth time or when the house doesn’t look like a Hoarders episode or I didn’t forget to pick up one of the five children from school. I live in the western suburbs of Chicago with my husband who has pushed me to be a better version of myself for sixteen years. I adore my best friends and I get anxiety attacks around anyone pretty or skinny, so I stay in my yoga pants and write about my redemptive story as a proud member of Redbud Writers Guild and I am represented by the Steve Laube Agency




Life isn't always how we want it. When change seems elusive, and we're stuck in old routines, a gentle push or some self-reflection can make a difference. Let these questions be that nudge to get you moving.

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