February 29, 2012

A Broken Memory

I first wrote this blog a little more than three years ago as part of a memory meme. I don't know why, but last night I just really began to feel impressed to post it again today. My Dear and I have now celebrated our 23rd anniversary, we have a child in college and our baby is wrapping up her senior year of high school. The truths learned through this time in our lives, '94 & '95, continue to shape and mold our marriage and I fully believe that is what God desires! A quick glance back to remember where He brought us from but always looking forward to the path He lays out each day!

I pray you are blessed today and can see that ONLY GOD can resurrect a VERY dead marriage!

After 20 yrs of marriage, I have learned that most every marriage hits a brick wall within the first 10-15 yrs that humanly speaking, seems impossible to overcome. These times usually come when you have small children...and that adds a stress of its own! But, what I have seen is that God usually allows these times to grow us up into Him and into who He is calling us to be. Some of you know, though, it is really hard to walk through those times!!!

I KNOW WE ARE NOT ALONE!!! If you are walking through a hard time in your marriage right now, please know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!! Not only is God right there, holding you every step of the way, but a lot of marriages around you have walked through something so similar. If you need help, please search out someone that you can talk to and lean on in order to possibly save your marriage and your sanity!

I'm not saying that every marriage is salvageable...that is simply not true. However, God's grace is there just for you to hang onto, no matter what happens in your marriage and your life! Knowing just what we have walked through, I have a soft spot in my heart for marriages and I would love to see them all continue...but I know that is not always possible. No matter what is going on in your life, you are in good hands as long as you are in God's hands!

Okay, now for my memory:
In the mid-90's, God began to reveal heart issues between dear hubs and I that we could either ignore and kill each other, or deal with and continue to love one another...and did it ever get rough to actually live in the same house!!!

Christmas 1994 - the girls were 4 and 1 and life seemed simple, not easy but simple. I knew what our days looked like and I loved being a Mom of young children. However, like I said earlier, God was beginning to reveal deep heart issues...and it hurt.

By late '94, I had realized that my dear hubs was running from the hand of God! I was also beginning to realize that my marriage could not survive without leaning on God and His word! One Sunday morning in January '95, I was getting me and the girls ready for church and hubs was sleeping soundly in our bed....and I do mean soundly! It bugged me that we were struggling to make it through the days together and yet he chose to sleep on Sunday morn...and that is where I found hope - in the community of church and digging corporately into God's word.

We lived in post housing at the time, a 1940's duplex that had a long hallway from which you could look from one end of the house to the other. Standing at my bedroom door, I could look down the hall and see all the way to the outside wall of the dining room with no obstructions. On the outside of the dining room wall was a small storage room connected to a carport. I know this is a boring description but if you can follow this, you will understand just how big God was on this particular day!

On this particular Sunday in January 1995, I was walking from my bedroom to the girls to begin getting them ready for church...only a few steps away....but before I could even get to their door, I watched as our wedding cross-stitch, made by my Mom, literally jumped off of the outside dining room wall! I heard the crash before I could move my feet down the length of the house - a very loud crash for a simple 8x10 photo frame! There was a picture right next to this frame that DID NOT MOVE at all! To this day, it is still a mystery to me how this particular decoration simply fell off the wall! We were all on the opposite side of the house and no one, not even the dog, was in the dining area.

When I made it to the mess on the floor, I realized that the glass had shattered into little tiny pieces....lots of them! I simply sat down and cried!!! The cross-stitch itself was fine, only the frame was broken...but it was not just broken, it was shattered. I thought, "This is what has happened to my marriage. Our marriage isn't just broken, it is shattered." The reality of that broke my heart into those same little pieces! As I sat there in my tears and sorrow, I felt God say, "Yes, this is what your marriage looks like and there is no way that you can just glue the pieces back together. But I can!!!"

Then God gave me a verse. It had been used in our wedding, along with many others, but now that we had been married for 6 yrs, it started to make sense in living daily life...not just a flowery verse at a wedding.
Matthew 19:6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.
As I went through that week, I found myself meditating on my verse. As a young bride, I had heard that verse warning others to not try to tear apart our marriage. That week, I began to see the verse in a different light...let man not separate. This didn't just mean others, it also applied to the two of us!!! I began to realize that if anyone could tear apart our marriage, it was us!!! Our selfishness, our past wounds, our stubborn pride! Those were the things we needed to guard against...things of ourselves!!!

Present day - we just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary on Dec 27!!! I love this man more now than I ever could have imagined on our wedding day! It is truly a privilege to be his wife!

The road to this point was NEVER easy!!! We have both had to learn to give up those icky parts of our hearts and let God bring in the new attitudes that He had for us. Hubs now attends church with us and while it is not always perfect, he tries very hard to be the spiritual leader of our home. I could take the easy road and tell you what HIS problem was that almost destroyed our marriage but that would not be fair....he was not alone in that! I had some really deep wounds myself. Some places in my heart that God had to expose and heal and boy, did that hurt some days!

WE ARE NOT PERFECT!!!! We still have days that we struggle with those old hurts and attitudes! We still argue...sometimes selfishly! Please hear me, the only way that we could have made it here is with the hand of God guiding our steps! With God holding our hearts and our hands, we can give each other the grace needed to make it through those rough days!

The cross-stitch??? Well, I never did put it back together! It resides in one of those boxes in the garage. I know it is there!

Would I trade those struggles??? NO WAY!!! It is during these struggles that I have learned to lean even more on the arms of our Lord! It is because of my imperfect humanity that I see so deeply my need for our Savior!

I pray that you have been blessed today. I know this was not an easy read...it was really hard to write! However, I pray that you will be encouraged to hold onto your faith and hope in our precious Lord...He is always right by your side, no matter what you are walking through!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....like my marriage and my dear hubs!

God's girl, Pamela