Sharing God's love with the world, one heart at a time.

It Is What It Is…Except When It Isn’t


More and more lately, I am hearing people say a common phrase in a dejected kind of way…”It is what it is.”  I understand what they are trying to communicate, and many times they are correct in their assessment of a situation they are engulfed in.

Whenever I hear that phrase, it just doesn’t sit right with my spirit.  Because I know in my soul, the truth really is “It is what it is…except when it isn’t.”

You see, I have learned many lessons throughout my life, many of which took more years than I want to admit.  There have been countless times that my life seemed hopeless, and it seemed as though I was in a dark hole with no way to escape.  My personal reality during those dark times was filled with  seemingly hopeless situations that I allowed to rob my joy, and a life permeated with helplessness, confusion, pain, guilt, shame and no sense of self at all.   After the many times I tried to employ the “self help” teachings I learned about, and even made some progress, I eventually sunk back into the familiar black pit.

Looking back, I can see clearly when the changes started happening, although while I was living those years I did not “see” it.  When my oldest son was a year old, my husband and I had been married for three years.  We were going through trauma in our marriage, and at that time I was really sinking fast.  I loved my son, and my husband, but I was miserable.  Yes, the situation “was what it was”, but my eyes and heart were blinded to the miracles that were happening in the unseen.

While I was swirling around in the darkness, I was guided to attend a Renewal Weekend with my best friend at our Church.  I did not fully understand the concept of totally accepting Jesus into my heart and life on that weekend.  What I did understand was that God loved me and wanted the best for me.  All weekend I prayed only for my marriage.  I remember that I prayed that God would help my husband to love me even half as much as I loved him.

A simple prayer.

After the Renewal Weekend, our marriage and my life did not seem to change much.  I often  questioned why God wasn’t answering my prayers.  However, there were more little “miracles” that peeled layer upon layer of gunk from both of our hearts.  I was led to another Catholic Renewal Weekend, about 10 years later than my first one, and this time my heart and soul was touched in a way that is indescribable.  I understood what my stumbling block was from listening to the testimony of one witness.  My whole wall that I had built up around my heart was shaken when I heard one sentence that she spoke…

“I forgive you, daddy.” 

These words tore into me so hard that I ran out of the room, and was not only crying, but heaving and releasing pain from deep within my being.

That weekend started a new journey of healing and trust in God, and the decision that my husband and I made to dedicate our marriage to the Lord.  We made the decision to trust him to guide us, and teach us to be happy in our marriage…for neither of us had a clue how to be happy, and did not understand what the sacrament of marriage truly was.

This April, Joe and I will be married 37 years.  We have a marriage and relationship that I never even could have imagined or comprehended.  The Lord blessed me with a husband that is loving, kind, patient, trustworthy, and lots of fun.  We are best friends, and although enjoy spending time with our family and friends, our favorite place to be is with each other.  Our marriage is the crowing glory of our lives…it is our vocation and an important part of our ministry to share Christ’s love.

Now I look back and know that all through the years, the Lord was working all the stuff and gunk in our lives into good…totally in the “unseen.”  He was weaving a beautiful tapestry from the tiny little scraps we were able to offer him.  Because he loves us THAT much.

He loves YOU that much too! 

Always remember, “It is what it is…except when it isn’t.”  For the Lord works all toward good for those who love him…even when you can’t “see” it.


Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.   Hebrews 11:1

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.    Ephesians 6:12

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.    Colossians 1:16;

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans  8:28






19 thoughts on “It Is What It Is…Except When It Isn’t

  1. God Bless you both.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This April Marilyn and I will have been married for 36 years – just one year less than you and Joe. We are able to echo your words. God has truly blessed our marriage. We have been more than aware of God’s hand on our lives from the way He brought us together for the first time in 1973, and the way in which He worked in our relationship during our courtship (much of it conducted by letter as I was serving at sea) and then our marriage. God is very very very good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Truly a wonderful post. I have been married almost 15 years myself and certainly understand the issues of an early married couple. I am so glad that you found your way 🙂 God bless

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re so right. We give in to our emotions. Allow them to enslave us rather than CHOOSE to be different. Many people don’t know what a happy marriage looks like, but it doesn’t happen. We choose how to respond to our spouse each day. We choose whether we need to seek help as you did by going to the retreats. Congrats on your lengthy marriage. A wonderful testimony of your love and loyalty to one another. A wonderful testimony of God’s faithfulness to heal and build relationships that bring Him glory.


    • So true! So many people have asked us what our “secret” is – why are we so happy together? They will say, “You are so lucky!” We just smile to ourselves. If they only knew the struggles and pain we worked through:-)

      We love to share the truth…the Lord needs to be the solid foundation of marriage in order to truly appreciate the sacrament that it was meant to be. When both spouses open their hearts to the Holy Spirit, and offer their lives to the Lord, the Spirit will change each one from the inside out. When each has the love of Jesus within them, that joy and love can’t help but overflow into the marriage. Suddenly, they find themselves focusing on their own need to change, and at the same time, start really seeing and appreciating the strengths and goodness in their spouse.

      You may enjoy reading one of my posts about marriage. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment:-)


  5. Very nicely done,

    I suspect that a great many have forgotten that “TRUTH” is as it must be: singular per defined issue.

    I Love the prayer of Saint Francis:

    “God grant me the Serenity to change the things that I CAN

    To accept the things that I cannot change

    AND the Wisdom to know the difference” Amen

    hank you,


    Liked by 1 person

  6. I LOVE your reminder!!!! You are so right. While we such messes, God loves us so much to give us one another to help us see what love looks like worked out in the day to day. I am grateful that He is patient and kind in teaching this stubborn heart … even after 27 years of being married, there is still so much to learn … each day! I am glad it does not always is (or stays) the way it is 🙂


    • Hi Heidi,

      We are all on a journey, and are so interconnected with each other. Each of us have our own struggles, and our own strengths. I really believe it is good to share our stories and journeys for the edification of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

      There is something to learn about love, ourselves, our marriages and spouses every day. Such an exciting journey as the Lord slowly reveals truths to us as He gently peels away layer upon layer of darkness and stone that we have built, or allowed to be built, around our hearts.

      If you would ever like to “talk”, feel free to email me @

      You may enjoy this post…

      Love and blessings to you and your husband!


  7. Oh…I love this post Bernadette! Your devotion to your marriage and to God are unmistakable. To live a life in total faith is a very beautiful legacy!! Thank you for sharing. And happy anniversary coming up…I think your union is so wonderful!! Much love ❤


  8. Thank you for such kind words. I pray for the Lord to strengthen my faith and thank him for all he has done, and is doing in my life. The difference in my life since I opened my heart to Him is amazing, and I just desire to share the Lord with those who are searching.

    Thanks so much for the good wishes…funny thing, our anniversary is April Fools Day. Needless to say, my hubby will never forget the date:-)


  9. Thanks for sharing, my life turned around when I learned to forgive after praying for so many years for God to help me. Sometimes we wonder why was our life was the way it was. God answers our prayers and turn things around for the good. Praise God.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Beautifully written as always 🙂


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