Marriage Matters

Sometimes we share our stories for no other reason than to encourage others. Our day-to-day lives tell those who see us only a part of who we are, unless we are willing to reveal even the darker, more vulnerable parts of our story.

For those who may need to be encouraged today, here are a few thoughts about love and marriage based on my story.

I am not one who planned out a wedding or thought about getting married when I was younger, like teens or even college. But I did want to get married as I got older. For me, this came after a good chunk of time on my own – I lived in Connecticut on my own and then moved to Boston. I was fiercely independent always {from childhood} and interestingly, many guys found that intimidating. Surprising, right?

I dated here and there, and even so, none of those men ever made me think, “I wonder what it would be like to be married to this man.”

Long and short, I met my now-husband when I was 33 and we were married when I was 34. Marriage was definitely an adjustment, but we had spent time in good pre-marital counseling and we spent a lot of our courtship in conversations over the telephone and email because we met in Alabama, he was moving to Kentucky and I lived in Boston.

Our relationship was what I call a God thing. David is the person for whom God prepared me and who God prepared for me; I firmly believe that. It was a long journey that included a refining and transforming of me and especially my heart before I met him.

Marriage is not easy. Marriage takes work, sometimes a whole lot of it. Marriage is not 50/50. Marriage is 100/100 at the very minimum. It involves a lot of communication and a lot of vulnerability and a lot of risk because my husband and I are both flawed and we are in need of grace, forgiveness and God every day.

Love, once you’re past the dating & romantic, movie love stuff, is work. I believe it’s also a choice. One that we get to make every day. I started blogging a few years back and the focus of the blog was writing about one reason each day that I loved my husband. I’d heard so many husbands and wives lamenting the shortcomings of their spouses, and I didn’t want to fall into that trap. So, I decided to focus on why I love my husband. It included big and small things, but mostly a lot of small moments. Because that’s what it’s really all about for me.

life is good

My husband and I are in a difficult season. If you’ve read Rhinestone Jesus, we are in a similar situation: my husband has battled pornography in his past and it resurfaced not long ago. This time it manifested itself in an online relationship that initially crushed my heart and tore apart trust. But I am still here and I am in this for the long term. It’s not easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.

Love is what happens in the trenches and in the trying times. It’s what you get to choose when the world says you should simply jump ship and move on. It’s not easy, but God is in the middle of it and so I let him take it all, including my husband and his choices and his need for redemption. That’s not mine to withhold from him.

All I can do is choose to love him. And forgive him. And sometimes that has to happen daily. But that’s a part of staying committed to another person.

My actions do not depend on his. It’s not, if he does what he’s *supposed* to do, then I’ll do what I’m supposed to do. It’s, I’m going to do what God calls me to do no matter what. Because that’s what love does.

A Budding Marriage

Spring is starting to show up in subtle ways. A few vibrant daffodils along the roads. Several purple crocuses mixed with a few white ones. Busy birds beginning nests.

New beginnings.

Glimpses of hope.

Whisperings of promises.

I don’t know if this is actually the time of year that Jesus was crucified or not. Maybe it was chosen by the church a long time ago. But it makes perfect sense, either way.

Spring is about all about new beginnings. About new life. About miracles. About resurrection.

It’s about coming back to life. What once was lost is found. What once was dead is alive.

So many people talk about seasons of life. Seasons of motherhood. Seasons of marriage.

Honestly, I cannot think of a better season than Spring to undergo this season of *my* marriage. My broken marriage. To undertake mending the things that are not working. To undergo the difficult work of sowing new hope.

Spring. Our spring. A time to begin again. To plant new seeds. To start new habits. To nurture much-needed, too-long overshadowed opportunities for growth.

Because they are there. They’ve been there for a while. In need of attention. But as they sat neglected, they, much like the buds of spring, were buried under layers of fallen leaves {of neglect} and last year’s mulch {busy-ness}.

They were covered by yesterday. Many, many yesterdays.

But much like those vibrant daffodils that have pushed their way through the layers of debris {and death}, resurrection {new life} hails.

It calls to us. It invites us. It whispers promises of hope to our weary souls.

And, it is Spring.

Beauty abounds beneath all of the yesterdays. Today brings another sprout, another bud, another blossom.

There is no need to let yesterday define my marriage.

We may have been languishing in yesterday, but today, we are choosing to languish no more.

It’s Friday {death claims the win}. But Sunday is coming.

And like Jesus, my marriage, *our* marriage, is coming back to life.

New life.