Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Anniversary of the Hardest Year of Our Marriage

Today my husband Kevin and I have been married for 23 years.  I am blessed with a Godly, hard working, compassionate and wise husband who loves me well.  My friends have been known to comment about how obvious it is that he's crazy about me or how lucky I am to have such a wonderful husband.  This is true indeed.

Sometimes I'll share a particular struggle in my life with my mom and she always finds a way to add "Just be thankful that you have a good husband." I'm not sure why my being sad because my friend is moving to another state or my struggles with getting an IEP for one of my children relates to me having a good husband but she always says that.  And then I think about it and realize she's right.  Life is hard but somehow with him by my side, it's just a little bit easier.

That's not what I'm going to talk about today.  As we celebrate another year of marriage, we both can agree that it has been the hardest year of our marriage.  Not the hardest year of parenting, not the hardest year financially, but the hardest year of our relationship as a couple.

There isn't one thing in particular.  We are busy parents, we struggle with communication.  He forgets to tell me things and I think if I've thought it, he should have read my mind and know it!  His work is very demanding of his time and I'm a little lonely and bored without a job outside the home. Then the evening comes and we meet the demands that come with having a big family.  We are tired and it has become more difficult for us to have the quality time that we need to nurture our relationship. We have shared many years of much worse so I don't know what has made this the toughest year.

Sometimes I think we sound like a grouchy old married couple.  We tend to give each other less grace and patience and kind words than we do the rest of the world.  Ouch!  I'm often irritated with how easily he can become distracted and because of that things tend to take him a lot longer to accomplish because his brain works differently than mine.  He gets frustrated with my resistance to change and my impatience.

I remember the hardest year of college and how I pressed on, then the hardest year of parenting when it never crossed my mind to quit being a parent. I have no intention of quitting my marriage.  We made a covenant 23 years ago and to not continue in this journey together is not an option.

I believe that anything worth doing is going to be difficult and hard and will require perseverance, patience and a lot of faith and trust.

I love my husband.  We are both broken people.  We don't let the brokenness keep us from moving forward together.

I have this visual picture of my marriage.  We are on a roller coaster together and sometimes the climb is slow and unsure.  Sometimes it is fun and exhilarating.  Sometimes it's a bit scary or even terrifying and then other times we plummet with the things that can threaten to derail or knock us off course.  That's the thing about a roller coaster, just when you think you're not going to stop falling, you're heading back up again.  We now know this roller coaster very well and the course it takes.  It gives me hope through the valleys to know that if we stay on course there's a new hill just around the corner that will bring us back up.  It's all a part of the ride.

I chose to share this with you today because I read so many "flowery" stories that can often make me fell inadequate.  I want to be honest that we're just normal people dealing with the ups and downs that life brings.  We are keeping our hands held tightly together and our eyes focused on Christ as we continue walking forward through our life as a married couple.  I hope that we can be an encouragement to anyone who is in a hard place in their marriage.  You are not alone friend.  It will get better.

Kevin sat next to me as I wrote this after we spent an entire day together doing very romantic things.  We went to lunch, to Lowe's and a few other shops where we could take our time and look and dream and shop a little.  We went to dinner and we laughed and we even showed some public displays of affection(Kevin says until the cops came). It's funny how over time what is considered romantic can change.  I had my man all to myself for an entire day and it was good!

"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." Galations 6:9