10 years! It has been 10 years since Mike and I said I do. 10 years of marriage and friendship. I’ll be honest it is an incredible feeling. When we were married not many people thought it would last. Some were very vocal about that and some kept it to themselves but it showed in how they acted around us. We were told we were too young, we didn’t know each other well enough and it was a mistake. They were right and they were incredibly wrong.
In the last 10 years we have had:
- A pregnancy with a lot of complications that left me on bed rest and in the hospital for months. In fact there was no amount of time during my first pregnancy that I actually felt good. I was sick the whole time. And a non serious heart defect began to get worse.
- Our beautiful daughter, Amadia Marie, was born premature. When we took her home from the hospital she was 4 lbs 8 ounces and was only home with us for a day or two before she was rushed back to the hospital for emergency surgery. We thought we might loose her. Her life was saved by an incredible doctor who listened to God and ran an unwarranted test. The beginning of her life was filled with health complications. With surgery, seizures and a weakened immune system, her life is a miracle.
- Job losses that resulted in a lot of financial uncertainty and a period of time where we lived with friends and family because we had no where else to go.
- Our incredible son, Ty Thomas, was born. We lost his twin, its not something I like to talk about much. Due to a horrible boss who wouldn’t give Mike the day off, he missed the birth. It was heartbreaking for both of us.
- Cancer. One day I will write all about that. I will tell what it was really like but that day is not today. I will just say it was an incredibly difficult and painful time for both of us.
- Heart problems. As a result of difficult pregnancies and cancer treatments, what should have been a minor heart defect turned into a serious issue.
- Sleep apnea and kidney stones. Serious sleep apnea, the “can we present your medical records to students, because this is crazy” sleep apnea.
- Difficult extended family relationships. The kind that wear on you and can easily cause contention and strife within a marriage.
Wow, I picked and chose what to share. Some is too personal, some just seems to trivial but even what I shared seems like a lot to me. We’ve been through so much. But here we are. We’ve gone through things that might have broken other people. In fact a few times we thought it had broken us. But here we are.
By all accounts we shouldn’t be here. It was too much, we were too young. We’ve had 10 years together. Six years that felt like we had to struggle and fight for every month together. And four years of more happiness and peace than I could have dreamed. You see four years ago, we were done. The health problems, financial issues, family contention and more was just too much for us. We wanted to call it quits. In one very dark night, on our front deck, we talked about throwing in the towel. We were just too different. We were unhappy. No matter how hard we tried we just couldn’t make it work. A lot of tears were cried and the decision was pretty much made….
BUT GOD. Those two words are my absolute favorite words in the scripture. Because those two words saved my marriage and my life. Our minds were made up, we had chosen our direction, but God had different plans for us. In our despair we began praying. Praying for help, that if it was possible for things to be different that he would show us how. And in one night God opened the flood gates and poured truth, understanding, love and forgiveness on us. He opened our eyes to our own faults and showed us specific areas that we were wronging each other in. But more specifically he showed us the biggest problem of all, we were trying to do it ourselves. We were trying to fix our marriage on our own, we were trying to be happy on our own, we were trying to be a family on our own. We had forgotten that he was the most important piece of the puzzle, the cornerstone.
Right there on that deck we handed our lives over to him. Not in the, we got saved, way. We both had been saved for many years. What we realized was that we had stopped trusting him. We talked at him all the time but we had stopped listening. We committed it all him that night; our problems, our marriage, our children, our families, everything.
We asked him to guide us and we actually went where he led. We moved to a new town and got a fresh start. Everything changed. Nothing I could type here could explain how beautiful that last four years have been. My home is filled with so much love, understanding, friendship, trust, faith and prayer. It’s not always easy, life isn’t that simple. We still have hard times. But we have learned that during the hard times we have to lean on each other and on the ROCK. Everything is easier when we just let God.
I know this is a lot to share. Its all very personal. Normally I am not one to dole out these kinds of personal details to the masses but lately I have felt led to. I’ve seen marriages that are hurting. People who are trying to do it all in and of themselves and they are failing. I wanted to share this small bit of truth from Mike’s and my life: it’s never too late and it’s never too far for God. I don’t care how hopeless you think your situation is, God can and will help you if you let him.