Something I used to obsess over was my marriage. I was worried what other people thought about our marriage, worried about how much Nathan loved me, worried about our future, worried about his thought life, and on and on and on. Argh! I wanted our marriage to be perfect. I used to cry out to God to help me stop making my marriage such an idol in my life. He graciously has healed me of this struggle, although I struggle in other areas now. Having a child really helped me overcome this particular area because I ended up pouring myself into Logan instead. However, we will see that there is danger in that as well.
One thing you will learn about me is that I try my hardest to always be real. Not every day is sunshine and rainbows. And that goes for marriage and mommy-hood too! My husband and I celebrated 8 years of marriage last week. Our anniversary was July 1, and a few days ago we went into the city of Chicago to celebrate while my mom and dad watched Logan. It has been so fun being back in the Chicago area for our anniversary. We were married in Schaumburg, IL and then promptly moved to SC. We are on vacation this week visiting my parents which allowed us to celebrate in the place it all began!
Carriage ride. My first!
Our marriage has not always been easy. We have had some high highs and some low lows. I think marriage is a lot like parenthood in that before we get married or become pregnant, we have intense opinions on each subject. We think we have all the answers and that everyone else’s problems are not going to be ours. We quickly learn we have no clue, right?! Marriage is work. Bottom line. Hard work. And that is exactly what my husband and I have had to do. Love doesn’t come naturally. There are a lot of marriages around me that have been crumbling. It breaks my heart to the very core. And in some ways, I do actually get it (I told you I would be honest!) If it weren’t for the Holy Spirit living inside me, who knows where our marriage would be today. Yah, it’s easier to not have to work. Besides, when we got married, we thought it would just be breakfast in bed, foot massages, and cuddling 24/7, right? What happened to that?!
After we had Logan, we had an intense high period. Here we were – new parents. We just (together!) created this adorable life that we would do anything for. But soon after, I noticed myself pouring my life into my son. I worried about him, I nursed him, I gave him all of me. I was finding that I didn’t have much left to give to my husband. Here is where it gets dangerous. When we find ourselves giving everything we have to our children, we start to slowly stop working so hard at making things work well with our spouses. Yes, I stopped obsessing about my marriage. But I also stopped working at it. Years and years of this go by and all of the sudden, our children are gone and we are living with a stranger.
Recently, my husband and I sat down with wonderful friends who are older and wiser than us (By the way, I totally recommend this occasionally. We can learn so much from couples who are more experienced than us). It was a wonderful renewal for our hearts and a revival in our motives to love each other because of Christ’s love for us. I find much joy in my husband. He has stayed by my side for these 8 years, for better and for worse. He has always been willing to work at our marriage to make it the best it can be. He has put up with my lectures and my obsession with perfection. I am not interested in doing things half-heartedly. And he has come along side me and said “yes” to working at our marriage.
So we celebrate. We celebrate 8 years of love. There is so much love. But we also celebrate 8 years of work. 8 years of not letting our flesh win when it so desperately gripped at our hearts and told us lies.
You deserve better. Marriage is not supposed to be this hard. You aren’t supposed to have to give and give and give so much. Why don’t I feel anything anymore?
Lies. Lies. Lies.
Our prayer is that His Spirit will help us as we continue to work for 8 more years of happiness and joy! Because, we cannot work on our own. We do nothing well on our own. Any good thing we have done and worked for in this marriage has been by the grace of God. He has richly blessed us these past 8 years. I am in awe.
I think I will hug Nathan a little tighter today. Today I will find joy in the hard work my husband and I have put into our marriage. Don’t give up, friends!
Here’s to a day full of joy!