Wednesday, July 1, 2015

When 15 Years Go Differently Than You Planned

I love to make plans.

I also love to break the mold and go against the flow.

I love to be spontaneous at random moments, and other times I absolutely cannot stand it and need everything just. so.

One minute I love to be in the spotlight. The next minute I can easily hide in the corner.

I enjoy parties and mingling. But I also have streaks of shyness that make me want to avoid such situations altogether.

I'm indecisive, yet assertive. I'm spunky, yet quiet. I'm brave, yet afraid. I'm friendly, but fearful of what people think of me. I'm crazy and boisterous, and torture myself later about how much of an idiot I must have looked like.

And yet, ironically, I also don't care.

I am an extroverted introvert. I love people but I don't always want them around. I need my time and space, my introspection, my chance to breathe and heal and move away from chaos.

{I know, right?! Can you believe my poor husband has to keep up with figuring ME out?!?!? Oy. He did not really know what he was getting into when he signed up for that job.}

Fibromyalgia has taught me that more than anything else. I simply cannot function if I'm always around people, always going, doing, living. I cannot recover. My body is broken and always sick. Always. I don't have a day off. I don't get a chance to fully unwind. My body will never be fully healed on this earth, as far as we can tell.

I'm okay with that and have generally made my peace with it {though yes, I still have my moments!}. It took years to get here, so don't think that happened immediately, not by any means!

I feel badly for my husband. I'm not always so sure he's made his peace with it, but he does his best.

We didn't choose this and we don't want it. We could never have known to plan ahead for this. It's not that kind of thing. Yet, it's here.

And so is Tim.

That says A LOT. About him. His character. His faith in Christ. His love for me. His unwillingness to bend to promises he made to me in front of over one-hundred people on a stage in a little midwestern Baptist church.

Tim has stuck next to me, living out this messed up reality in ways neither of us could have even imagined when we promised "for better or worse, in sickness and in health". There's no way back to before Fibro days.

We were young and naive. Those 15 years ago, June 24th.

We knew what it meant but we didn't KNOW what it meant.

We get it now. In ways we wish we didn't have to. But maybe it's also just what we needed to bring us together more.

All up for honesty here? Some days, it tears us apart.

There, I said it. Firm grip on reality. We are not a couple that just jumps in head first, ready to roll. Making all the right sacrifices at the right times. This marriage thing is mad hard.

Then you put two completely 100% OPPOSITES together.

Haha. It's insanity.

There are days I was not sure we would survive. I wasn't sure I wanted us to. I could dream up and imagine ways out. {And I'm sure my husband has too!}

But as I dug deep into God's Word, shared my story with others, had believers holding fast onto me and reminding me of God's truths, and as I prayed and pleaded with God to change my marriage, He did.

Because He changed ME. My heart. My ignorance. My selfish pride.

Marriage isn't about getting what I want. It's about laying down what I want. For the one I love. Even when I'm mad. Even when I don't feel like I really love him in those small, fleeting moments. I see the truth.

That I love him every moment, of every day. No matter what happens. No matter how I feel.

God promises a good result. When we listen and obey.

How many times am I going to tell my 2-year-old son to "listen and obey, listen and obey" without also being the one who does that with my dear Savior?

I don't want to just say it. I want to live it out fully in front of him. Laying my life down. Setting my desires aside for what they want and need and desire and care about.

15 years.

It's been so crazy hard. And unbelievably amazing. A roller-coaster ride of joys and tears, happiness and sadness, safety and fears. Sin, repentance, and forgiveness on both our parts.

We both have a long way to go and are not perfect. We know that without Jesus as the head of our home, we'd be an even worse mess. If we were not Christians who didn't even allow divorce in our vocabulary... I truly do not believe we'd be together still today.

I'm surprised and delighted that we are. Amazed by God's grace and goodness.


Thank you honey, for staying. For being by my side, even when the going has gotten rough. Downright rotten, in fact. For dealing with the Fibromyalgia as a part of who I am, not just treating it as this unfair thing that happened to us... but for embracing it with me as a part of what God has allowed to grow and change us.

Thank you for keeping your promises. Thank you for doing life together with me, even when all we want to do is crawl back into bed sometimes and SLEEP!

Thank you for the years of killing creepy nasty crawlers, for protecting me, for praying over me when I'm scared, for the times you've had to help me get dressed and do all the housework, for the love you've showered over me even when I didn't deserve it, for letting me get my way more often than I know you'd care to, for letting me control the remote so often, for believing in me when I had nothing left, for knowing just what to do when I have a panic attack, for pushing me to climb up a mountain when I was so sure it might kill me, and for staying by my side regardless of the way the years have impacted my body and shape.

Also. 13 years it took. 13 years before we were given the sweet blessing of adding a child into our family. Many years of waiting, longing, hoping, praying.

And Elijah David came along.

Our lives were rocked. Radically changed. So much harder than we'd imagined. So much better too.

Our precious, adorable, lovable, sweet boy. Oh how we love him so! He brings us together in so many ways, and yet being a parent is one of the hardest things we've ever done.

Parenting has certainly added a whole other dimension to our lives. Our lack of energy and comfort, our inability to communicate effectively, to listen, and to tend to each other's needs. Our ability to see straight and be good parents on the hard days.

So challenging, but the rewards are oh so very sweet!

By God's grace, we keep on keeping on... one foot in front of the other. Until God calls us home to be with him.

Here's to at least 15 more years together! Love you babe.


Anonymous said...

What a sweet honest post :). Thank you for sharing.

Katie Mieras

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

Happy anniversary!! Marriage is stupid hard - but worth it. Hope you guys get time to celebrate and enjoy this milestone!