“Life’s not fair!” I heard these words probably a MILLION times from my Dad. However, I really thought my life was pretty GOLDEN. I married the Love of my Life; we were finishing our education, and having a baby. What could be better?
Then we hit the Heart Defect Jackpot………..
I was in survival mode at first and Scott was my right-hand man. He let me be emotional when I became overwhelmed with the thought of it all; came to every appointment, helped me do normal things like put together Emma’s nursery, and took care of me when I wasn’t feeling well. After Emma was born, Scott was my rock. We went through so much together, but looking back, we were pouring everything we had into Emma. Although we went on occasional dates, we were going through the motions. We put brave faces on just to get through the day. Don’t get me wrong, we loved each other, but OUR relationship was most definitely on the backburner. Conversation revolved around Emma and her care….anything else just felt forced. We slept in the hospital, ate in the hospital, showered in the hospital…well, you get the picture…private moments did not happen much and most of our schedule happened in shifts so someone could be at Emma’s side at all times. Imagine living like that for a year. LIFE’S NOT FAIR!
The fallout really happened when we got to leave the hospital after Emma’s Glenn. Emma was 18 months old and for the first time in almost two years (diagnosis and infancy) we were alone to truly face what had/was happening in our lives and how we were going to cope/live with it all. Scott was/is working in Oklahoma, so he traveled a lot. I began to resent the fact that he got to leave the house, have adult conversation, and get a mental break from the day-to-day. My fuse was short and I did not have a lot of patience with Scott. I spent a lot of time criticizing his way of taking care of Emma, his lack of concern for my needs, and his constant time away from us working. See a pattern here……ALL ABOUT ME. Scott was tired of my constant attitude and he began pouring himself more into work and staying out of my way. His patience was wearing thin. Fast forward Fall 2012 and I had enough. Enough of the hot/cold, enough of keeping up appearances, and enough of getting by, so we met with some dear friends and mentors to get advice. Let me interject for a moment and say that it was not all bad. We had our happy times, we laughed, and we loved, but it wasn’t how it needed to be and most of those times were during our "get-aways". Maybe that was because we were in a momentary fantasy world where the "life's not fair" didn't exist.
We attended a marriage seminar this past weekend. It was entitled a Marriage that Endures. We really focused on Ephesians 4:17-5:33. I highly suggest you read through it. The end of Ephesians 5 focuses on marriage and Christian households, but if you go back and read from the middle of Ephesians 4 then you will clearly see how it applies to the marriage relationship.
Areas of Importance:
Give Daily Compliments and Attention
Find Time to Talk Alone
Never Ignore Partners Feelings
Live Like Christ
Tenderly Forgive When Wronged
Scott and I are now INTENTIONALLY working on our marriage. We have a few books we are going to begin reading through, but more importantly we are going to refocus our lives on God and read HIS book because, no matter what is happening in your life, if your eyes are fixed on the Cross of Christ and the eternal then the list above will more easily fall into place.
Our speaker, read this quote from Tertullian in 202AD:
"How beautiful, then, the marriage of two Christians, two who are one in hope, one in desire, one in the way of life they follow, one in the religion they practice.
They are as brother and sister, both servants of the same Master. Nothing divides them, either in flesh or in Spirit. They are in very truth, two in one flesh; and where there is but one flesh there is also but one spirit.
They pray together, they worship together, they fast together; instructing one another, encouraging one another, strengthening one another.
Side by side they face difficulties and persecution, share their consolations. They have no secrets from one another, they never shun each other's company; they never bring sorrow to each other's hearts… Psalms and hymns they sing to one another.
Hearing and seeing this, Christ rejoices. To such as these He gives His peace. Where there are two together, there also He is present, and where He is, there evil is not."
This was written so long ago yet has so much pertinence today. We are not promised that life will be easy, but maybe instead of focusing on the negative I will focus on the blessings, both big and small. After all, I do have an amazing husband who works hard for this family and can make me laugh when I can't seem to find a reason to smile. We are together forever...through the good and bad and sickness and health. As our dear friend Steve Minor told us years ago, we burned the ship (story here) and no matter what we will find a way to get through it and come out stronger.
Once again, thank you for allowing me to be vulnerable. And I challenge you to be INTENTIONAL in your marriage.
As always, God is Good! All the time! God is Good!