Jonathan and Wynter Pitts had just celebrated 15 years of marriage and were preparing their family for a new journey as they moved from Dallas to Nashville. But, those plans changed in July 2018, when Wynter’s heart suddenly failed, leaving Jonathan and his four daughters bewildered, heart-broken, but also hopeful … knowing they would see her again one day.Shortly before her death, Jonathan and Wynter had completed what would be their final collaboration, their book Emptied: Experiencing the Fullness of a Poured-Out Marriage.
Jonathan celebrates their marriage by sharing the blessings and challenges of their life together through an unexpected perspective as a young widower.
“I turned the final edited manuscript of this book in to our publisher on an afternoon in July; a few hours later, Wynter entered into eternity. The timing seemed too intentional to ignore and God has used that story as a reminder that He is in control and that nothing happens outside of his purview. He will accomplish His plans and even in the insanely difficult, He is still good.”
In Emptied, Jonathan and Wynter reveal they both had high expectations when they married. But, reality gave them a wake-up call through their blunders, their challenges, and the joy they found in living and loving each other. The Pitts share their personal journey that highlights a three part process of being poured out of selfishness, filled up with the fruits of the spirit, and guided by God.
The title now resonates for Jonathan in a different way. Looking through the eyes of grief and brokenness, but never wavering in his faith and hope, he now understands how to be emptied of his own motivations in his marriage.
“In our lives and in our marriages. God is offering us the opportunity to be transformed. He is inviting us on a journey of having our minds renewed. But our emptiness is the only state where we will be renewed and transformed.”
Emptied is a call to readers to “Choose to be emptied. Choose to be poured out. Choose to die to all these things, knowing you can put your full dependence on the One who will give your marriage the twists and turns necessary to have that happy ending after you let go.”
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Be transformed. Whether you are single, married, divorced or widowed, God wants us to be transformed by the relationships around us. Sometimes it can be seemingly easier to avoid people so as to avoid conflict and drama, but ultimately God wants to use those people, even the difficult ones to refine us to be more like Him. Ask God to show you a recent conflict or challenge in your life and how you could have handled it differently. If need be, take the time to apologize to the other person or meet with someone who can help you reconcile the situation. It can sometimes be helpful to meet with a counselor or pastor to help be a mediator. Remember forgiving someone doesn’t mean that what they did was right.
Love one another. Love can be a difficult thing to do. Sometimes someone has deeply hurt us or sometimes we find someone’s actions annoying. Whatever the case, pray and ask God to help you love the people in your life that you are having a difficult time loving. Ask Him to give you eyes like the Holy Spirit to see the person like God sees them. Remember that every person is created in God’s image so when we have ill feelings toward another person, criticism them or put them down, ultimately, we are putting down God’s creation.
Persevere. You might be in a difficult chapter of your life. You might have just lost a loved one, battling a health scare or going through a financial crisis, whatever your trial might be, turn to God. Know that He is right there in the midst of your challenge. Cry out to him in your pain and frustration. Be willing to share what you are going through with a trusted friend, small group leader or pastor. Ask them for prayer. They might even be able to suggest resources that could help you through your difficult time.
Stay tuned for our interview with Jonathan Pitts.