The Beauty of Perseverance


My neighbor has vines growing up the side of her house. In the fall it can be a spectacular view from my writing space. They are only just starting to turn color but I found this vibrant red part while out taking a walk with my dog.

These vines are beautiful and year after year they climb higher and higher. The main stems grow thicker and stronger. They can cover up windows and block doors if left unchecked. But as seasons change they become more and more beautiful.

They persevere. They stick to stucco and defy gravity. Squirrels climb them and birds perch in the leaves. You cannot rip them down with your bare hands. They are too strong.

Strong, beautiful and persevering.

The longer I walk with Christ, that is how I hope I  become. I really have no choice but to grow if I truly obey Him. To disobey though is the equivalent of taking a saw to separate me from him. Should that happen, I would wither up and die. Ugly and useless to everyone. Something to be burned in my neighbor’s fire pit.

See, I am not passive, a victim or a martyr in my difficult marriage. I chose to stay out of obedience to Christ. I know full well the consequences on both sides of the fence (staying or leaving) and neither one is a very appetizing picture. Should God ask me to take a leap of faith and separate then I will, but I will remain clinging to the vine and not be cut off if HE is the one directing my path.

Oftentimes, when a woman is in a painful marriage, her health issues increase. Mine have gone away. The ones I do have are genetic. I was going to have those issues regardless of what was going on in my life.  So I praise God for the work He has done and is doing. I won’t be perfected until heaven, but hopefully I will grow in strength and beauty as I cling to the vine.

If my husband had a broken back. If he had a stroke. If he had a traumatic brain injury. What about Alzheimer’s? Would I be condemned then for staying and honoring my vows even if my spouse could not fulfill His? Even then I would need to have good boundaries, a healthy support system, prayer and time away to refill my cup.

I may not always be the strongest branch on the vine, but I’m here and I’m clinging for all I’m worth because some days, it is ONLY by Gods’ grace and mercy that I obey, and stay.


Lilly Grace


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