Thursday, August 23, 2012

bittersweet

I've written this blog in my head about a hundred times. I've struggled with finding the right words to tell our story. I've been wrestling with it awhile; but when it comes down to it, it's an issue of pride. What will people who haven't been walking with us this past year think after reading this? What will people who don't know us think?  And if I could, I would hide it. Truth be told, if I could, I wouldn't have lived through it. This morning I almost chickened out but Jamy encouraged me again to share what God has done in our family. We want to tell our story so God can use all of this brokenness for His glory. 


This weekend marks our eleventh wedding anniversary. To sum it up: year number ten in our marriage has been hard. Hellish is more like it really.

Last November our marriage hit the fan. I'm not sure if I'll ever get into details here, but suffice it to say sin entered our relationship and hit us hard. So hard that we separated for three months. Eleven weeks to be exact. Had anyone ever said that this was what we were in for ten years beforehand, we would have chuckled and dismissed them. And honestly, so would many of our close friends.  


We came face to face with the reality that our marriage was not perfect and was far from what God created it to be.  

During this experience, we've gone through incredible loss. I was a single mom for almost three months. I lost friendships. Our finances became a mess paying for individual therapy, marriage counseling, and play therapy for the kids. Pride? Out the window (that's probably a good loss though). And our marriage has been through the wringer.

But we also had incredible gain. Mostly in our relationship with Christ. When everything was ripped from me, I literally had no where to turn but to Him. My identity could no longer be found in "having it all together." My faith couldn't be harbored in believing God would make everything turn out right if I just made good decisions. I needed to trust that Jesus was enough while my life was falling apart around me.  

So our eleventh anniversary this year is bittersweet to say the least. I'm full of mixed emotions and there's been many times this week I've just wanted to skip this milestone altogether.   

But on Saturday, August 25, 2012, I'm choosing to celebrate. I'm not choosing to celebrate the heartbreak, hopelessness, and despair of marriage that has been turned upside down.

Instead, I will celebrate God's amazing redemptive power to heal a broken marriage. I will celebrate my God who forgives, restores, and makes things new. I will celebrate a husband who doesn't take the easy way out and strives to be the man God has called him to be. I will celebrate a family marked by suffering but glorying in our God who will make all things right.  


We're still in it. We're still in the thick of it some days riding a roller coaster of the effects of sin and betrayal and hurt. But we're still running to the cross.We're still learning about what repentance and forgiveness means in the most practical and daily way. And we've learned what real love is all about.  1 Corinthians 13 took on a whole new meaning when it wasn't our pastor reading it to us at an altar; when we're trying desperately to live out "love never fails" when the world tells us we have "good reason" to give up. God has been faithful in healing our marriage, in healing our hearts, and in healing our family. 



And when you get down to it, isn't that what every marriage is all about? Two broken, sinful people coming together to show a sinful, broken world what redemption really looks like.




I'll keep celebrating my marriage because God does. 

To see how we began our celebration, watch this short film. 

7 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this. It is a well needed reminder that no marriage is immune to the sinful world we live in yet with God's grace and our trust in Him, we can get a glimpse of what our relationship with Christ is like through marriage.

    I wish I could have been there to support you through the hard times but I will pray for your family (as well as my own marriage) for continued strength and healing!

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  2. God is the Healer. Thank you for sharing the truth that God is powerful enough to restore something humanity would see as broken for good. I need to be often reminded of how God restores. Praying with you as you continue to walk with the Lord through the process.

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  3. I just sat here at my table and cried while I read. Mostly because I am ALWAYS amazed when I get to hear of how the Lord redeems pain. What we do in our suffering is such a precious picture that you are right. . . it has to be shared. It needs to be told. And in the telling, healing abounds. Beautiful my friend!

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  4. thank you for being open about this. as we are facing a hard season in our own marriage, your story of endurance, hard worl, and clinging to Christ encourages me. praying for you when you come to mind, that you will see His goodness in ever-increasing measure. I think He is pleased with you as you clng to Him.

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  5. Hi Susan, this is Ross' wife Therese. He told me about this post and I rushed over to read it. Thanks so much for sharing. Praise God that on August 25 you will get to celebrate a NEW marriage that's so much better than the old one was!

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  7. Susan, Honey, I had no idea. I agree, I would never have thought, I would never have known. I am so proud of you for going through this and for sharing this. I just shared with Kelly this week that Mike and I are divorcing. I'm sure our reasons are different, but it doesn't matter. It is a hard season. I never thought this would happen to me, and for me, it is the right thing to divorce. I'm glad the right thing for you two is to stay together. Call me if you need anything.

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