Right as I sit down to write it starts raining.
I baked, cleaned, laundered, dished, mommed all day. All I wanted was to tap keys on a dry deck. But here I am having done my duties feeling discouraged by not being able to take my pleasures now. So, I’ve scooted under the awning. While I’m pouting about it a little, words are flowing over here like they would out there.
Thank you, Lord.
Marriage. I want to write about it today. Derek is aware and urging me on to do it, so our story sprawled out here has his exuberant okay.
Let’s not begin at the beginning though, as that would be arduous and boring and it wouldn’t serve us well. Let’s start a few years in.
We had been married for three-ish orbits. We had been parents for one.
We didn’t know who we were, what we wanted, or why we were there. He wasn’t much interested in me or anything I had to offer, and I wanted to cut loose over it. I’d already left in my head, my heart just needed to follow, because there are few things worse for a woman than being over-looked by the one she loves. So, why linger? I had other options, if I’m being honest.
But, I also had fear and respect for the vow.
And I had an underlying hope for the future.
Unfortunately though, I also had an unhealthy belief that if I was just better, smarter, prettier, sexier, more exquisite… I wouldn’t have had to suffer the neglect, that it was all my fault somehow. That last part there was nonsense. That first part – about the vow and the hope – that was good.
And it’s what got me through.
There are a lot of God-stories I could tell you about the years that followed. I’ll spare you their detailed descriptions.
Just know that Derek was undone and then redone again. It felt like a reweaving.
I had a whole host of issues to work through too. Still do. But D’s change was fast and dramatic. Sometimes when I watch him preach I feel a happy pang of whiplash. How did we get HERE? How is he doing THIS? Who is THAT person? I’m married to A PREACHER? The man that hated public speaking and despised reading books is teaching every week and soaking up his Bible all the time now? Has been for ten years? It’s weird and fun and terrible and strange and amazing and divine all at once.
A few nights ago I was lying next to him in our bed as he read a book, and I watched in silence, wondering what would have happened if I’d have left. I would have endured the worst days only to have missed out on the best. I would have traded his struggles and fallacies for new ones. I would have lost. I never could have imagined then, this man I have now. He is far from ideal (as am I), but in pursuit of my heart, and that draws me in.
Before I close, I feel like emphasizing that one word there: missed. Again, if I had jumped ship when things were lonely and rocky back then, I would have robbed myself of the relationship and oneness I have now. And that would have been a devastating forfeit.
If someone is reading this who did leave, please don’t feel condemned. We all have our own reasons and seasons and stories, and glorious things are ahead no matter what. If someone is reading this that is in an abusive or unfaithful marriage, this is NOT your cue to stay. If someone is reading this who is having a hard time, feeling hopeless, wandering what to do – maybe it’s for you.
Prayer and time will tell.
May your marriages be strengthened and filled with power and turned right side up again. Amen.
This Post Has 8 Comments
I get it ! Next week my husband and I will celebrate our 45th anniversary. Whe had both been married before and had a child from those marriages..I also moved many hours from my family to be with him. It was difficult on so many levels. Many nights I lay awake and wonder if I made the right decision..I felt that he spent too much time away from home, between work and his buddies. I wouldn’t have bet you a nickel that we would see a 5th anniversary. We hung on and took it a day,week and month at a time.
What a pay off ! I still adore him and get excited when it’s time for him to come home. God has blessed us in soooo many ways.
We all more than likely have gone through those upside down times. Thanks be to God, it has worked for the better.????????????
Thank you Kate! You and Derek are such an inspiration!
Wonderful to see this. Growing up in a Christian home, cleaning the church, teaching Sunday school, and I had a drug problem as my kids tell everyone… Seeing as I DRUGGED then to the church every time the doors were opened while my husband then stayed at home and never went with me. I assumed I was to stay in that marriage cause after all, I was a chirstian and that was the BAPTIST thing to do.. right? Even after he cheated on me while I took care of my dying father. Moving ahead…. I had gastric bypass and lost weight to show him I was going to be the woman he wanted. Not knowing I needed to be the woman I wanted to be and wanting to love myself for who I am. He became verbally abusive and soon pulled a gun on me. Long story, and many court dates and restraining orders I got divorced. I hated him, I was mad at God I was mad at myself. One day it was like God said .. Tawana, you are going have to forgive him and yourself before I can bless you again. And it wasn’t easy, but I started praying and asking to forgive him and me and one day I had that peace. I’m still learning to love myself and to stop being the person who always heals someone or helps someone other than myself.
Wow! Great read! I have been there and have asked myself the same questions. I stayed, I fought hard, and now see the fruits of such battles won. In time, new battles appear and of a whole new caliber ????… This post is encouraging! It doesn’t give an answer but more like a nudge to keep going forward. Not to give up.
I am happy I found your words. I love to read and grow. Continue to write.
Oh yes. No marriage is spared – highs and lows and ups and downs or ALL. Thanks for reading!
Thank you Kate! Your words speak deeply.