Hey there, I have posted a few posts the last couple days, much more than I have previously. Well, that’s because I got quite fired up about a couple discussions I had, and I felt the Lord wanted me to say a couple things.Of course it could have been some bad food, Ha Ha. But, seriously, I am trying to follow Gods promptings so if I seem all over the place, its because of that. So, I probably won’t be posting for a couple days unless I am clearly prompted by the Lord to do so.
But before I take a couple days off from blogging, I wanted to share something with you that may encourage you in your life…
I have been married to my husband 9 years today. This may seem like small potatoes, but we were not sure we would get past 2 years. The first challenge was we were unequally yoked. He was not Christian and I was. He is 5 years younger than me, and at the time was 24 yrs. old , and I was 29 yrs. old with a 6 yr. old. I was raising her almost the entire time by myself (her biological father was seeing her 2 times a month from Friday night to Sunday afternoon). So, we were on different wave lengths from the start.
I told him he would have to become Christian for us to stay together. So he came to church with me. If you asked him, he would tell you he wasn’t very serious about being Christian at that time, but he didn’t like the way his life was. Apparently, that’s what had drawn him to me in the first place , I was very serious and working hard to take care of my daughter (2-3 jobs at times just to feed her [not me]). I was also, lonely and he was funny, fun, caring, worked, and seemed to be up to being the man in my and my daughters life forever. The issue was he was a weekend, and sometimes weekday alcoholic. He spent Friday to Sunday afternoon drunk as a skunk. This curbed when we met, and he agreed to give it up but it was a long, and exhausting struggle till he did. I know we could not have gotten there without God interceding to make it happen.
When we started dating it was about 1 month in and he moved in. Mistake. I being Christian was very guilt ridden. So I did what I had to, and told him we either marry or you leave. Keep in mind that now my daughter was attached to him (as kids do ). I had never let anyone meet her prior to him for this reason. So to run the chance he would leave, was devastating on many levels. But, I told him the choice. To my relief and a bit of shock he said we should get married. But that act of living together, and being intimate introduced more sin and issues into our relationship.
So we married. The issues that were difficult when dating remained. I had copious amounts of baggage from my childhood to adulthood, and my previous marriage. He also had baggage from his childhood to adulthood, and previous relationships. These things caused a lot of discord in our marriage. We went to counselling, and watched every Christian video we could to help us get our marriage on track. To add to the stress I went back to school for a 4 year Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Smart…not really…my being in school made things much more difficult as money, and time were very strapped. We hardly saw each other, when we did we fought, and he was left trying to run the house with my daughter who was becoming a teen. They butted heads quite regularly. Of course I was monkey in the middle.
We got through all that and my daughter decided to move 2.5 hours away to her fathers to try it there. OUCH! I was, and still am hurting from this decision, but now its me missing her instead of being angry, as I don’t get to see her very often (teen at the end of high school with a boyfriend …visiting is not the primary concern now.) but she is turning out to be a pretty good kid so I just keep praying for her to be wise,and make the right decisions. Side Note: if you are a Mom remember this: it really is the only thing you can do at times. Especially when they don’t want your input).
When this first happened. I was so hurt and angry, that I started back in counselling independently. That’s when I learned about praying off stuff , and choosing to forgive people . It was the second round of counselling after I became sick, and was put off work that I read Peter Horrobin’s book on forgiveness, and learned to pray for others to be forgiven. My daughter moving away, before going to college was devastating. I would go to see her with my husband, and I would cry all the way home, and for the next 2-3 days. He actually still drives me to drop her off because I still cry (not as long, or as hard, but I still do).
When this happened I thought it was horrible I could not understand why God would allow this? With us she was an Honor roll student, wanted to be in medicine. When she went there she failed classes and gave up on medicine. I just didn’t get it. Why was God punishing me? My pastor explained that because of free will, what others choose, ripples to those around them, and sometimes those ripples hurt the other people. So this is what was happening to me. My daughters decision was causing me pain due to her choice, and God didn’t stop it because she has free will. I thought “How unfair! I do all that I can to raise her, and she gets to hurt me because she wants it her way?” But God does turn things for our good.
After she left, I was talking to my mother who said ” Maybe you should look at this as a chance to actually get to know what its like to be just the two of you married. You guys have never had that, you have always been the three of you”. It was then that I realised my husband, and I were alone in the house together, and needed to create a new normal. Right down to who did what chores now (my daughter always had chores). So we started adjusting to being just the two of us. It was during this time that we started to really implement all the stuff we learned watching DVDs, movies, reading books, and from counselling. It really started to change the dynamic. I should add that we did become closer due to the pain and hurt I went through around my daughter leaving. He actually was able to be my strength and hero, and he was able to see my vulnerable side. I had built a great big stone wall around certain aspects of myself so as not to be hurt again. He actually for the first time got to really see this side of me, and protect it. This made him feel like my protector and hero, and it made me feel safe for the first time.
So, when I started having issues with my work and became sick , and when my NP placed me off work to get healthy, we addressed it together. We continue to address it together as I wait to figure out how God wants me to make an income. (Really hope he reveals that soon, prayers would be appreciated). My husband and I went from thinking “we were not going to make it”, to now being determined to make it with Gods help. We took the “if” out of staying together, and changed it to “we will stay together”. Is everyday a picnic? no, but its not the roller coaster it used to be either. Satan will try and destroy us, and our marriage will be the first area he tries to destroy, I am sure. So, my husband and I need to be diligent in praying, and seeking the Lord for guidance and help. God has healed me emotionally so much, yet there is a lot more to do, and he delivered my husband from the addiction of alcohol, to where he doesn’t have an urge for it very often, and when he does he talks to me about it. He has also , taken a very difficult and painful situation and gave me a better marriage from it (by the way I had been praying for him to perform a miracle in my marriage before everything went south), he made sure that the time without my daughter would not be without use, nor would it be only filled with pain. He used my pain from that to bring me closer to him and my husband. Side note: I actually went to my church and just sat in front of the “pulpit” crying, with my husband holding me. I just felt an overwhelming need to be in Gods house.
Now, my husband and I like being around each other, we like to talk, we like to do things together. Our friends comment on how much we spend time together. Well, we really are best friends now. We are one, just like the bible says:
“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” Genesis 2:24.
We have decided to intentionally think about the other one ,and to cherish them as we believe this is what God wants marriage to be. That means I work to show respect, and he works to show love. We actively try to re-word, or approach issues differently. Now, we only started re framing our speech in the last few months, but you gotta start somewhere. God can make anything turn for our good.
So, if you are struggling in your marriage, and you think it will never get better, and that no matter what its never gonna work, I just have to say that you are short changing God. He is the God of the impossible, and he can fix anything, but you and your spouse need to get out of his way and lay it before him. That doesn’t mean you sit back and say “Ok Lord fix my spouse”. He’s not a genie to get wishes from. What it means is you seek to do what God wants you to do even when you don’t feel like it. Worry about treating your spouse the way God wants you to, and he will take care of the rest. If he wants you with your spouse he will help. But you must pray diligently and regularly. You must also read his word daily. How can you possibly know what is from God or from Satan if you don’t know the word? That’s why Jesus knew it, and used it while being tempted in the garden. It reveals lies from truth. Remember, partial truths are not God, he is truthful , and doesn’t need to deal in half truths, that’s Satan’s game, and he play hard to win. Especially, when its in relation to marriage, and the family, because its the foundation. Pray for guidance and the right responses, and humble yourself by apologising when prompted. In Love and Respect by Dr.Emerson Eggrichs, he states that the person to stop the crazy cycle, and make the first step to repair is the more mature one. L.O.L.! I love that ! I and my hubby are gonna continue to better our marriage. We believe its never “done”, your never “safe”. Its and on going thing. It needs to be cultivated and weeds removed to make it really beautiful.
So , take heart and don’t give up. Listen to God and act on what he says. It may take time, but he WILL turn everything to our good.
P.S. I put up a drawing I did of two work horses pulling a load together for this blogs image. Work horses must pull together to move things , and they are matched to have complimenting personalities so they will work best. This drawing is a reminder that my husband and I can do anything working together under Christ who strengthens us.