Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Marriage Doomed From The Start. {Marriage Mini Series}

Hello friends, and thank you so much for joining me today. I am so pleased, to tell you that I have joined up with a few other amazing Christian bloggy friends, to bring you a mini series (a post every Tuesday for the month of March) on Marriage. Check out the linky party below to visit each of my friends blog posts, and what they are sharing on marriage. We plan to bring you some some hope and encouragement, and how God has brought love and healing out of the times of suffering our marriages have endured. 

This series will be very personal, and even emotional. But its my prayer that God will use our stories to bring hope, and encouragement to others. We all have different stories, not just we who are sharing them, but YOU who are reading this. Though our stories may be different, there are a couple things that are the same... 1. We will all go through hard times and struggles, and 2. God can and WILL bring us through those rough patches, if we trust and rely on Him to do so.

A big part of me wants to dive right into the "good stuff"... Tell you that I have had more than my fair share of struggles in my marriage, tell you how The Hubs and I have come close to divorce twice... And tell you how after 9 (going on 10) years of marriage, The Hubs and I have an amazing marriage. Don't confuse "amazing" with "perfect". Our marriage is FAR from perfect. But by the Grace of God, it is far better now than it has ever been. #BeHopeful & #HaveFaith

However, I will get to the details of all that later. Right now I guess I should start at the beginning. Give you all a little peek into our start of our relationship. We met Sophomore year of High School (thanks to alphabetical order assigned seating we sat next to each other in 5 classes we shared) and we somehow became friends... Best friends, of sorts. It was definitely a unique friendship, but it was ours... And we truly cared about each other. We eventually tried the "boyfriend/girlfriend" thing which was just awkward and only lasted a week. Just friends, was right where we needed to be, though we both cared about each other as more than friends.

We'll fast forward quite a bit, since this isn't my complete love story, its one on srruggles in marriage. Two years out of High School, on  December 16th 2004 we got married. Our marriage was one that would seem doomed from the start. We were only barely 20 years old then. I was a Christian, he was not at the time. He had recently just gotten home from a year long deployment in Iraq. I was a feisty single mother, trying to get my life back on the right track. Both of those things alone are their own level of personal struggle!

Some time before asking me to marry him, he had done something that to most would be unforgivable. He cheated on me. I believe it was in an attempt not to lose me, that he asked me to marry him. Though I was hurt, I was young and dumb in love, but hopeful too. His actions, though, were not so easily forgiven by my family, so we got married in secret. So, like I said our marriage seemed doomed from the start... We did tell my family very soon after getting married, since it was already done and they couldn't stop us. It didn't go over very well, but everyone actually accepted it pretty quickly.

I'd like to add that in the mix of all this, he had started coming to church with me. And accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior.... Which I believe is a factor in the hope I had for our relationship. After all, we all make mistakes, right? Being a single mom, I knew first hand that, Christian or not, we ALL sin. Anyways, by the new year, our new little family was in a moving truck headed for Washington, where The Hubs was stationed. I had never been out of state in my adult life, and had never been so far away from my family. Still I was excited about our new life and the adventure ahead of us.

I know what you all must be thinking. How in the world did she forgive him so easily? How could she go on, and marry him like nothing ever happened? You may have been or currently be in the same spot I was in then, and wonder what "magical" get over it pill I took? Well, here is were I tell you that, I, in fact, did not just get over it. I did not just forget it. I had thought I could, and sort of did for a while... But what really happened was I suppressed it. I pushed aside my hurt feelings, ignored the pain, and just didn't allow myself to acknowledge the hurt that was inside of me. BAD!

WORSE.... It didn't take long for those feelings to explode out of me. They turned into anger, bitterness and resentment towards my husband, and caused major insecurities in myself. I was withdrawn, physically, and over dramatic emotionally.

Friends, I was a hot mess.

Though I tried to forgive and forget, and just get over it, I couldn't let it go... I held onto it for years. YEARS! Truth be told, I know now that part of me didn't want to let it go. I allowed the devil to convince me The Hubs didn't deserve forgiveness, he deserved to suffer. The Bible says not to let anger to cause you to sin, not to let it give the devil a foot hold. (Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV  “In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.) But that is EXACTLY what I was doing. I gave the devil a foothold, and let me tell you... The hold was strong.

Like I said, I tried to forgive and forget, but I didn't do the ONE thing I needed to; Surrender it all to God. Allow Him to work in me, and restore my heart. After all doesn't He know about suffering!? Didn't He send his one and only son, Jesus, to die and SUFFER on the cross for ALL MANKIND and ALL our sin?

Believing that The Hubs deserved to suffer continually for his mistakes was believing that Jesus' death on the cross wasn't enough to redeem him... To warrant him my forgiveness. So, so wrong. We all have and will sin, make mistakes and cause hurts to others and ourselves in our lives. We technically ALL deserve to suffer. But because of Jesus' salvation, we dont get what we truly deserve. We have forgiveness, mercy and grace, from our loving creator. With that, we have no right to with hold those things from others. And in fact we are commanded to forgive. Matthew 18:21-22 NIV "Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."

I love this verse though: Luke 17:3-4 (NIV) "So watch yourselves. If your brother or sister[a] sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.
This verse reminds us that we need to maintain an attitude of forgiveness, rather than have an attitude of revenge and hatred.. But it does not mean that we should foolishly trust someone who continually wrongs us. We must forgive, but we still need to be careful, we dont need to allow anyone to continually mistreat or abuse us. However our attitude must be one of forgiveness.

I know this all sounds easier said than done. Like I said, even I didn't do this. I wish I could say I realized this and lived happily every after. Sadly, this is something that had taken me years to really understand, acknowledge and live out. I also sort of wish I could say that was the one and only big struggle and conflict in my marriage, but it isn't. However, living these verses out, and relying on God is what has truly helped resolve other conflicts in my marriage... But I will get to those soon, and finish this part of my story next time, so stay tuned. Until then, feel free to leave a comment or email me to share your thoughts, prayers, concerns, lessons, etc....

Read part two here: "Marriage in the Midst of Tragedy"

And don't forget to check out what the other gals have to share:

Much Love & Hugs,
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  1. Thank you for your vulnerability to post what most would hide. It takes a lot to put it all out there.

  2. What a blessing to see this post and series amidst the beauty and fashion and to be reminded that the basis of all is the salvation I have through God! I eagerly await the continuation. We are who we are because of what HE has brought us through! Thank you for your honesty and beauty :)


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