Sam and I are going to a marriage conference this weekend. They asked us to send in a picture from our wedding day. After YEARS of being missing, my wedding album was found when we moved to the new house. It will be 27 years of marriage in April. We have shared the details of our marriage struggles with very few people, because marriage is sacred and needs to be protected. But perhaps by showing some vulnerability, we can encourage someone else.
Like the album, our marriage relationship got lost in the day-to-day struggles of babies, homeschooling, jobs, teenagers, farm, and general life. About a year ago, through a series of “only-God-could-do-that” events, Sam and I fell in love with each other again.
Falling in love sounds so easy, but it took real effort: conscious and deliberate work. It required humility, grace, and mercy from both of us as little by little, like peeling the layers of an onion, we unwrapped years of hurt and unmet expectations.
Marriage is hard. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying or fooling themselves (or selling you something). The idea of two flawed, imperfect people attempting to coexist in the stressful environment of “life” is challenging enough, but asking them to thrive and live abundantly, is monumentally difficult! It is a task that requires deliberateness and intentionality. For Sam and I, it required God. Only in surrendering our intentions and desires to Him were we able to gain the necessary humbleness. By accepting His grace and mercy for our individual failures, we were equipped to demonstrate grace and mercy for the other’s failings.
Can every marriage recover from a nosedive into lethargy and apathy? No. Sometimes the answer is to walk away from the burning wreckage assured that you did everything you could to survive.
Do I have the magic recipe for healing trauma and deep hurts? Can I say, “If you do thus and so, you will see positive results”? Nope again. I can only share what worked for us and believe me, we made many wrong turns and poor decisions along the way.
Twenty-seven years is a long time, especially in today’s environment. I am thankful that we pulled out of our ditch in time to spend another 30 years together. If the last year is any indication, the next 30 will be epic!
“Better than our promises, is the day we got to keep them. I wish those two could see us now. They never would believe how there are different kinds of happy” ~Sara Groves “Different Kinds of Happy”