Thursday, January 29, 2015

THE GREATEST OF THESE《2》

THURSDAY, JANUARY 29, 2015


Hi friends,
I shared a bit ago that I would be speaking about marriage.
As scary as that was to me, 
sharing about my own has been more.

I've attempted to post plenty of times,
satisfied with what and how much I've shared;
then the Lord nudges me towards more.
I guess I'm not running the show haha.

pt1 pt3 pt4 pt5 pt6 pt7




>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<

My primary reason for doing this is obedience.
My 2+ year delay came from judging the condition of our hearts/marriage,
unspoken/unresolved issues
and concluded it was of no worth to others.
At least not until more of the "kinks" got worked out.
I learned the hard way that
my opinions and assessments aren't the Lord's.
He doesn't gauge value as we do
(thank the Lord!)
and unless He asks, He's not interested in our version of things.

 Secondly, to encourage anyone who is struggling in their marriage.

The marriage posts will be condensed,
 honest accounts of situations we experienced
and verified for accuracy by hubby.

They'll include music to encourage, remind and assure you,
that others have been where you are
and overcame through the Lord.
They'll be linked in bold, within the post,
relating to the issue/situation;
in hopes that you will listen and be ministered to.

My prayer is that these posts/songs speak to your heart,
direct you to the Lord,
reveal His amazing power
and encourage you to trust Him for your very need.
>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<

The beginning:

We met while I was in my senior year of high school (12/94)
and expressed equal desire for friendship;
we'd both had enough of dating and its issues.
We became great friends, laughed, talked for hours 
and genuinely enjoyed each other's company.
As our friendship grew,
 found we liked each other much more than friends,
WHAT a predicament;
(didn't help that I found him attractive, kind, funny,
a gentleman, etc... still is.)
and with some clear boundaries/guidelines began to date.

(that was so cut & dry...if you could hear me tell it,
I'd give you detail, emotion and all the mushy stuff haha)
Summer of '97- Dating a little more than 2 years.
We didn't want to lose our friendship or be a part of anything
that resembled our old relationships. 
Three years later we were certain we wanted to marry,
were engaged on February 14, 1998 and then wed months later on August 15.


That was 20 years ago,
20 YEARS!

<<<<<<<<<<

In our 16+ married years,
 weathered plenty of ups and downs:
early religious differences (a biggie),
lack of premarital counseling, 
weakened friendship,
marital/intimacy issues,
1 lost pregnancy, 3 beautiful littles,
strained/blessed finances, difficult lessons, wonderful blessings, etc. 
and did our best to rely on the Lord
and live a Godly life.

>>>>>>>>>>

Early in the marriage:

We were young, excited to start our lives together
but completely unaware of the hurts/baggage we were holding.
The lack of marital guidance/wisdom 
and difference in beliefs (Christian/Catholic) proved to be challenging.
I was thankful that hubby desired to know the Lord for himself
he just didn't want any labels to define that.
I KNEW from the start that being unequally yoked would create division
(I'd been taught that early on)
but we had invested time and emotion into each other,
 to stop short of the wedding.
Instead we compromised by NOT hosting our wedding in a church
and chose a non-denominational minister to preside over us.
I was willing to endure hardship with my best friend 
as long as it was together and focused on the Lord,
from that point on.

I know this is NOT the way to do it.
In fact it's the opposite way
and I advise people against it.

<<<<<<<<<<

Lots of issues arose, yet we never regretted our choice.
What we regret is not earnestly and tirelessly
seeking the Lord for healing and direction.

Knowing I came from a divorced household,
wanted the Lord at the center of our marriage,
and save ourselves the possibility of a similar situation.
We both started attending services together to:
1. Get lined up with the Lord
2. Be in His will for our lives
At first hubby went to the Christian services to appease me
but then it changed and he began attending for himself.
(not too long after become a born-again believer)

We didn't know anyone at the church we were attending,
even after three years.
(FYI, we had settled in a new city away from home)
I spent time praying, that the Lord would do something in us
or where we were attending because we were missing something.
I don't think we knew what it was then
but that "something" was fellowship.
We were missing the support 
and friendship Godly connections provide.
Even though we're extremely private people,
 fellowship with other couples would have given us perspective 
and sense of community.
SO, important.

>>>>>>>>>>

Some of the issues:

Still, being the more "seasoned" believer, 
I knew I was suppose to be trusting the Lord for everything,
responding in love and letting no offense take root.
Except I was caught up in my own insecurities and
unsuccessful attempts to prove my worth,
to do any of that.
Christmas '00- Married a little over 2 years
I didn't realize it then or acknowledge the possibility,
that having one parent had an effect on me.
It had been years, I was grown
and had done a "great" job of casting it off.
 How could it have any hold on me?

I felt forgiveness in my heart towards that situation
but struggled with a void;
the desire for hubby to fill it,
 validate me as a person and make everything OK.

From a logical perspective I would have denied it
yet, emotionally and unintentionally, lived in that pit.
[Psalm 34:18 says, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted]
   and saves those who are crushed in spirit." NIV

It took me years to acknowledge the damage my heart carried,
the wounds it created in my marriage,
and the deep need for the Lord to heal me.

Even so, we'd check in regularly, see how the other was doing,
evaluate where we were and try to make changes.
Sometimes our efforts paid off, other times fell back into old habits.
We loved each other very much
but couldn't get on the same page, at the same time.

Just as detrimental and unknowingly tied to those issues:
 not being vulnerable to trust our feelings, desires 
and fears with each other.
It allowed misconceptions, assumptions and expectations of marriage,
rarely communicated;
 to thrive, hold the other fully responsible for
and create a bigger wedge between us.

We'd talk a lot and accomplish very little.
Thoughtless word exchanges cemented my self doubt
and weakened my perceived value as a wife.

We weren't even the yelling type,
didn't use foul or demeaning language
 (perfect for the later years when we had kids)
but at times would raise our voice, use sarcasm,
and almost always end in silence.
We'd walk away hurt, misunderstood and defeated.

 I wish prayer would have been our #1 response
but it wasn't, not until much later.



Sometimes the silence lasted a few days, other times longer;
speaking only to communicate the necessary.
It was lonely and damaging.

To deal, hubby worked longer hours;
his work didn't sass back or have issues that weren't easily resolved.
I depended on Matilda, our 1st (canine) "child" for comfort;
she loved unconditionally and was always happy to see me :)

Eventually, one of us would break the silence.
We'd attempt to sort through it, apologize for our part,
any offense or disrespect;
and get back on track for a good while.

>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<
I'll continue soon.
>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<


Lord, none of us can do this alone,
our pains and struggles weaken us 
and become stumbling blocks.
Help us to place them into Your hands,
seek Your peace and wisdom
and trust that You're working in us.
Teach us Lord, to love and forgive daily
and release any offenses before they take root.
In your name, Amen





1 comment:

  1. Marriage is some hard work! Especially with Christ at the center. Loving another person as selflessly as Christ loves us is deep and challenging stuff! But foremost, we are sisters and brothers in Christ, and then second, we are spouses who must serve one another in marriage. I can see, despite the vagueness (for obvious privacy), that you both have been through a lot. I am encouraged by your hints at a happier and more fulfilling marriage! Can't wait for the next installment! :)

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