Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Our Story: Young & Married

June 11, 2016 - Our 5th wedding anniversary! 


For those of you who do not know JB and I, we grew up in the same town. We didn't know each other until high school and started dating April 9, 2006 (the day after JB's senior prom)! We attended the same college, and on January 1, 2011 (last semester of undergraduate school) JB took me to the YMCA field in our hometown and proposed with a beautiful heart shaped diamond ring. We decided that night after our engagement party, we would get married in just 5 short months. We got our degrees in May of 2011 and were married on June 11, 2011. I was 20 and JB was 23. All I knew was that I loved him, and I wanted my wedding to be on the beach. We had internships to go back to after our beautiful wedding in Orange Beach, AL, and our honeymoon in the Bahamas. Internships, ya'll. Summer internships at that. We had all these dreams and plans of moving to Atlanta, GA, but didn't have jobs or potential jobs, and our lease was ending at our apartment complex. I think we were jobless for two weeks before we both landed secure jobs. From years 1-4 of marriage, we went through many transitions. We have gone from a studio apartment, to a one bedroom apartment, to a townhouse that we currently own. We have gone from two functioning cars, to both of them acting stupid-thousands of dollars spent on repairs, having to get rid of one car, buy a new car, just to have the other car we have not work. Financially, we have seen overflow and favor, to dry and weary, to we doing alright. And then the Lord decided to BLESS us after 3.5 yrs of marriage with a beautiful baby girl; Makenna Jo!

(Makenna Jo with her favorite stuffed animal at daycare. She's 17 months old!)

What I failed to mention in our story above is how we almost quit on each other during year 2 of marriage and that I suffered with depression during that time. And to be perfectly honest, physical intimacy was non-existent and our emotional and spiritual connections suffered. I'm not sure that you could call this thing we were doing in life together, marriage. And lets not talk about credit card debt, student loans, different bank accounts and the "my money" issues we had!

I had gotten so disgusted being married that I hated to even look at my husband. My hair was falling out (seriously, alopecia ya'll),  and I was having anxiety attacks probably twice a day at one point. Then one day, I just left.  I met two friends of mine at the beach to "get away." Well that didn't work so well because I couldn't mask the pain I was feeling. At this point in my life, even my family members were noticing how unhappy I was.

My mom sat me down and talked with me like any good mother would, and in the middle of our conversation and me crying, I heard God say, "I didn't tell you to leave your marriage."- God
"Wait, what? I'm miserable, clearly he's not the person for me." -Me
"No Brittany, get your stuff and go to your husband. I did not tell you to leave your marriage. Go home." -God

Ya'll, I could have punched Jesus at that moment. I was livid that God wanted me to be miserable. Little did I know, I was fighting the one thing in my life that was solid; our COVENANT I made between God and my husband. I was fighting a PROMISE that everything would be alright, and I was fighting AGAINST the very thing I should have been fighting FOR.


We were comfortable during year 4 of marriage with good jobs,  a nice home, an amazing baby, amazing support, then the Lord decided to make us uncomfortable as he began to share his will for us. Our good isn't good enough for the Lord. God is challenging us in our finances, our prayer life together, our health, businesses, and simply moving forward in any area of our lives that we are stagnant. So cheers to this new phase we have entered into during our 5th year of marriage. The year of pursuing EVERY thought the Lord places on our heart. Not asking any questions, or delaying our obedience as we both pursue the will of God for our lives individually and as a team! 

I would like to share 5 life changing lessons I have learned from being married 5 years.

1) DEAL WITH YOU! I had some issues that I assumed were my husband's fault. The Lord had to show me that I was unhappy, because I was choosing to be unhappy. God showed me that my husband wasn't responsible for my unhappiness. You must deal with YOUR demons (ex. anger, self-consciousness, depression, addiction, father and purity issues)...or they will show up in your marriage and it usually manifest in unrealistic expectations you place on your spouse. Your spouse is not responsible for your insecurities! FIGHT YOUR DEMONS, OR YOUR DEMONS WILL FIGHT AND DESTROY YOUR MARRIAGE.

2) GOD RESTORES. News Flash: Trouble and pain does NOT last always! Yep, ya'll may not like each other right now, and I know all too well what that feels and looks like BUT the storm will calm, the winds will become a breeze, and the rain will eventually cease. If you close your eyes in the middle of the storm and quit, you will never see the rainbow and the promises of God. STAY THE COURSE AND WAIT FOR RESTORATION.

3) IT'S NEVER ABOUT "WHAT" YOU ARE GOING THROUGH, BUT HOW YOU GO THROUGH YOUR TOUGH TIMES. You can either be nice, or mean. You can choose to be hateful, or helpful. You can choose to pray and intercede for your spouse, or bash and disrespect them. You can choose to communicate, or continue to make assumptions about each other. I'm going to leave you with this: You are one in your marriage, so what you do to your spouse, you are doing to yourself. You are as good to yourself as you treat your spouse. Do good to each other no matter what ya'll are going through.

4) STOP TRYING TO FIX YOUR MATE. I remember being so mad at JB one time and the Lord told me not to say anything to him and to pray. I felt like I needed to tell JB about himself, but I didn't. I casted every care I had about the situation on God and was very open with God how it hurt me what JB had done/said. I kid ya'll not, that night JB came into the room and apologized for EVERY detail of my prayer that I said to God. Ya'll can not tell me that wasn't Jesus. God can do more with a truly repentant heart, than you can with your complaining. LET GOD CHANGE YOUR SPOUSE. PRAY FOR THEM.

5) GOD'S PLAN THROUGH YOUR MARRIAGE IS TO MAKE YOU BETTER. This is not about your spouse. This is about you; your mouth, your actions, and how you handle disappointments, and your character development. Cheers to growing. Pass the many test of marriage, so that you become a better person! Every issue is working for YOUR good! (Romans 8:28)

BONUS: NEVER IDOLIZE OTHERS' MARRIAGES. This fairytale life between a man and woman who are married, is non-existent. Marriage has both its highs and lows, and the moment you begin to compare your marriage to someone else's marriage, you will become miserable. You will begin to think only you two have certain issues. No, every marriage have their issues. PEOPLE JUST DON'T POST THEIR ISSUES! They post fun, family, and vacation pictures...which they are suppose to do. Just because JB and I don't post an argument on social media, doesn't mean we don't have them. Fix your eyes back on your marriage and make it what you want it to be.


(Hiking with the hubby two weekends ago!)

Happy Anniversary Baby! I truly appreciate you never leaving my side as we went through so many transitions being young and married. Sometimes you were silent, but ALWAYS there. Thank you! And now, cheers to being intentional with quality time, tackling challenges together, going on adventures, and pressing towards every promise God has for our marriage in year 5!

I love you forever!

Mrs. Bradley 

28 comments:

  1. This was amazing and open and much needed for someone in her first year of marriage. I could see similar things happening and I'm glad to have a testimony and witness that it can and will get better. I saw myself in your post and I am making a conscious effort to do my part as a God fearing wife. Thanks love. AMAZING!

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    1. Amen, to "it will get better!" I appreciate you reading my post!

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  2. I'm so proud of you two. Anyone whi said marriage is easy lied through their teeth! But it is worth it. To have friend that you share your aspirations, failures, accomplishments and entire life with is beautiful. Love yall!

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    1. Thanks friend! And yes, it's so worth it! We love you!

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  3. I thoroughly enjoyed this Brittany!!! I have always looked up to you guys, and you little lady continue to inspire me!!! Near or far you're always in my heart!!! Again this was a great read. We are definitely enjoying newlywed bliss, but already I can feel the Lord shaping and trimming us from our "me" mindset to our "us" mindset. We are one. What you said is SO true. What you do to your spouse you do to yourself! Let's treat each other with kindness! Love ya! Keep posting these entries are great! This is only the beginning to your greatness!!!!

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    1. Thanks Kim!! I'm rooting for your marriage!! God has a mighty plan for you two! Love you so much and thanks for reading!!

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  4. Well said Brittany. This is an awe inspiring message to the young and old.

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  5. I LOVE YOU GUYS!!! And pray much abundance for this journey you all are taking by restoring the faith of marriage in our generation!

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    1. Thank you so much Shonte! JB and I appreciate your support!

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  6. This....AWESOME!!! Thank you for being so transparent and honest!! If only more married folks would open up and be real about the ups and downs, we could really be a help to each other. Blessings!!

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    1. Thank you Mrs. Chrishan! I appreciate you reading my blog post! Blessings to your marriage and family!

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  7. This is awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your story and inspiring other women and married couples. I pray that God continues to bless your marriage and allows you to continue to bless others with your testimonies.

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    1. Thanks Keiana! I appreciate your comment! Love you!

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  8. Blessings to you Britt for your openness and sharing your testimony. This will certainly bless other married couples and those aspiring to enter into the sacred covenant. God indeed has his hands on you and my brother Joseph's marriage and the best is yet to come. Romans 8:28 indeed!!

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    1. Thanks for reading Skip! I really appreciate the friend you are to my husband! And we love you man!

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  9. This just literally wrecked me from the inside out. I can identify with every single word. Thank you Brittany.

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    1. Hey Alicia! My own blog wrecks me, over and over again! Marriage can get real! Praying for your marriage and family! Love you!

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  10. I can totally relate! Our 5th anniversary is less than a month away and I've been taking stock. God is so amazing because now I know that if you let Him, your marriage can bring out the best in you. Transitions and many interesting moments. But I wouldn't change it. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I wouldn't change a thing either! Thanks for reading! I appreciate your comment as well! I totally agree that marriage brings out the best of you!

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  11. I dont know much about marriage as I am not married yet but I definitely know about life ans it aure as hell can be a pain in the ass...Thank God for your marriage

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    1. Life can definitely be hard, but just as I stated with marriage, life and it's challenges are here to make us better! I pray that everything you go through prepares you for the blessed life you are meant to live!

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  12. Brittany, my sister, you have just truly touched my heart! I'm in tears! Please let God continue to use you! Thanks for sharing your story! Love you!

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    1. Regina! Thank you so much for your comment! JB and I love you and Fred so much! I pray God continues to bless you two! If you need anything, just hit my cell!

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  13. Glory to God !!! Im not married ,but I know soon I will be !! I thank God for your transparency which is very much needed in the body of Christ ! People are looking at the tv and movie version of love and marriage and doesn't realize it takes more than that !

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment and reading my blog post! Yes, tv will have your marriage messed up if you ever compare it to anything you see on tv, smh! God Bless you!

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  15. I shared this last year before I got married, and now I've been married for almost 10 months. This was so inspiring to me, and just helps me confirm everything will be okay, I just need to keep praying!!!

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