My friend Stefany refers to her treadmill as the “dreadmill.” I think that’s the perfect name for it; running endlessly and going nowhere is certainly dreadful.

Several years ago I found myself in a season of life where I was running on a “dreadmill” of my own making. I was scrambling to hold myself together, and instead of pushing pause, I frantically dashed through painful life occurrences.

My inability to step off the machine was an enormous factor in the collapse of my marriage. My husband, Jeff, and I lost our way on the path of marital unity. We married young—the month after my college graduation—and I had a lot of growing up still to do. In this season of stress, I questioned if I was really “in” this marriage. Was there some other life out there that I was supposed to be living?

Complicating all of this was our struggle with infertility. After medical intervention (and the loss of a baby) we eventually welcomed our two beautiful children. Even so, I desperately wanted more and felt that if God were truly good, we would either experience a spontaneous pregnancy or we would adopt. I waited each month for God to do the miraculous while at the same time we became stuck in the quagmire of an adoption process that ended up taking seven years to complete. To top it off, the precious church community that we’d helped form was going through a season of rough transition, and many of the relationships that we held dear were in tatters.

Learning to Surrender

I was a mess. I ranted and spewed toxic nonsense to anyone who would listen. I didn’t own my part in any of the relational tatters, nor did I acknowledge how amazing my husband was to be such a rock and source ...

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