I love Top Chef (for those of you that aren’t familiar with that show, it is a reality cooking competition on the Bravo channel). My freakish devotion to the show makes no sense to my husband since it is widely known that I don’t cook well.
I think he encourages my Foodie-Fan dreams because he wants some of the cooking techniques to rub off. I am almost certain he wishes I could to turn a can of chickpeas into an elaborately spiced Greek Falafel.
But to date no such Falafel has emerged.
Even though I can’t master the skills of the culinary chefs I still get caught up in the competition. There is a tremendous amount of stress, anxiety and fatigue during the game.
Contestants go without sleep and allow themselves to be pushed beyond exhaustion on a regular basis. Difficult personalities must learn to compromise and work as a team, while wall flowers learn to take charge and deliver harsh criticism; day in and day out contestants max out their endurance.
Near super human strength is needed just to get through the first few rounds, and as I watch game from my sofa buried in the warmth of a Snuggie I wonder how in the world people can put themselves through that kind of torture.
The answer is Hope.
Hope is the single motivating component for every player. Each one desperately hopes that they will take home the top prize, and many times the compensation is well worth all the difficulty it took to earn it. After I pondered that thought for a while I realized that my life has been somewhat similar to a reality competition.
My own battle for hope came in the form of my marriage. While my life hasn’t been filmed by a camera crew I have endured many pain laced challenges and seasons of outright despair in hopes that God would grant me the reward of a healthier marriage.
My husband and I suffered from many outside influences and painful circumstances that reeked havoc in our marriage. We struggled through years of personal resentment, hardheartedness and bitterness. We distanced ourselves from life, from people and, at times, from each other. Before we knew it, all that hurt put us in marital counseling.
Our disposable society would have advised us to walk away and start over, arguing that no one should suffer misery if they don’t have to. From the cultural standpoint everyone has the right to live a tragic free life. But an even greater hope than the kind that gives stamina to reality contestants is the hope that Christ offers in scripture.
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FaithBarista Bonnie says
Wow, Ginny. This was a COURAGEOUS post. You have definitely reflected your trust and hope in our Lord because you can just let it out on the line, sharing your struggles in such a personal area.
I grew up where it was a big no-no to talk about private pain. You’ve inspired me to be more open about my own areas of battle. Blessings!
What a great post. I, too, am a HUGE fan of Top Chef and dream of one day making a dish suitable to serve to Tom and his crew. THank you for encouraging me in my battles of life. Hope! I love it.
donna o says
Thank you for you candid sharing. It is so true that we live in a disposable society! I commend you and your husband for rebuking that view and seeing that a marriage IS worth all the fight you have within you. Praying your marriage will always be on the continual path of HOPE.
Awesome post Ginny! Great reminder about hope! 🙂
Thank you for testifying to the fact that there ARE broken marriages that can be healed. Very refreshing to get that point of view! 🙂
Mine is one as well! Praise God!
Thanks Ginny. I love this because no matter how long your married life happens to all of us. But its true though God we are healed.
I love Top Chef, but wasn’t expecting this to touch so close to home. I am in yet a 2nd attempt at making my marriage work. I’m not finding a lot of support in my decision to honor God and continue to work at this relationship. Thank you so much for allowing God to speak to me today through you.
Thanks for sharing. Walking through the difficult times is a huge leap of faith and it is one that God honors. I’m here to tell you that it means a lot to Him- and He blesses your commitment. I know he has done super natural things for us! Fight the GOOD fight, you won’t be disappointed 🙂
Peace and Blessings,
Mary @ Passionate Perseverance says
I too am a Top Chef fan. What came to mind when reading your post was beauty rising from the ashes. Your marriage has been overcooked and burnt by the world and all it’s temptations and pressures. But by being patient and continuing to work together and learn, God will honor that suffering with a beautiful meal at His table.
May you and your husband be blessed for remaining committed to the vocation He has called you to.
Blessings and Grace…
Ginny Martyn says
That was so beautiful! Thank you- I just read your post to my hubby and he loved it too.
My husband and I have suffered through tough times a son with a heart operation, his cancer and my cancer but we held on. And we are OK I’m sorry to say my son was married for less than a year when his wife left. We thought she was a good Christian but the young generation doesn’t want to wait and work it out. Thank you for reminding us to hang on to hope and wait To see your son hurting is hard but we continue to pray and thank you for reminding us of that
That is the strange thing about my generation. While problems might not be MAJOR no-no’s they could be the kind that wears couples down over a long period of time. Illness, money and other similar issues can be just as harmful in a relationship if there are not tended to. Thanks for your post. I’m sorry about Chris, but I also have friends who were only married for a year or two. It is a sad trend.
Sugar Jones says
Awesome. God is so good. He planted that hope in our hearts so that we could always have something to hang on to when everything else around us tells us to let go.
Julie Pippert says
Oh wow, I SO agree!! Thanks so much for writing about this and sharing — it’s always so inspirational to hear others speak openly about challenges and sticking to hope and working things out.
Secret Agent Mama says
I absolutely ADORE the last line. The message here resonates loud within me. Thank you!
Top Chef is just about my favorite show. You’re right, it must be hope holding them together.
Thanks for the reminder.
And if you figure out how to turn those chick peas into falafel? Can you please illuminate me? I can’t cook to save my soul.