For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health.
That is the bottom line of every wedding vow. Sounds sweet and cheesy but we haven’t felt the real weight of that vow until this August. The past months have been extremely challenging for us. I guess this is what adults warned us about; how marriage is not easy and you have to go through everything together even when it gets ugly. It wasn’t the kind of hard where we have to deal with romance and affection towards each other. It was the kind of hard that deals with the reality of life. It was about one of the long-time prayers we have ever had- a career break through. We want to be fully independent from our parents so that we could soon start taking care of them as well. We have the best and most supportive family ever and we’re just so excited to get in the next season so we could also be a blessing to them. This was a big consequence of our decision to start a family when we weren’t ready career-wise yet. But even in this trial, there were a lot of lessons, growth, and miracles. We were able to see more of God’s power and His better will for us.
Anyway, that’s another topic. Hehe. This post is about why I haven’t been blogging as much, why we weren’t okay, and why that made me love my husband more.
Mark was discovering more about himself and his life. He just graduated this April and has been learning about what it’s like to work, what to expect in a workplace, what full independence means, and most of all, how to deal with mistakes. He was going through another level of adjusting on “adulting” because he is after all, the head of the family. It’s not entirely about him anymore because he already has a family to nourish and provide for. I admire my husband for having worked so hard and having the heart to take care of me and our daughter but at some point of our decision making, he made mistakes.
Mark felt so positive about his decisions that I couldn’t help but just support him all the way. I believed in everything he believed in because I am his number 1 fan. Weeks passed by and something started to feel wrong. It felt like he needed to make big decisions and take risks in his career so that God can work in him and through him better. The more Mark tried to make things right, the more he ended up being wrong. And the more this happened, the more I started to get disappointed.
I started giving him the cold shoulder. I didn’t mean to. I just can’t help it because my mind was filled with, “I wish he did this instead. Why doesn’t he see that there is a problem in this area? Isn’t he bothered at all? I know I should believe in him more but I’m just really starting to get disappointed”.
My expectations of my husband rose beyond reality. I wished he was perfect. I wished all the decisions he made was right. I wished he never stumbled in life. I wished he knew everything and understood everything. No wonder I ended up being more and more disappointed in him. We had a lot of good times together but because of what he was going through in his career, I was more easily agitated, and he was more sensitive. It was easier for me to not be in the mood to talk and be loving to him while Mark was becoming careless with his tone. There weren’t any serious conflicts, but we were really starting to feel the gap. The situation was stressful and we didn’t know how long we were going to wait for a break through. In fact, I wanted us to be okay WHILE waiting for the break through. I didn’t want the joy and intimacy of our relationship to depend on external factors. I want our joy and intimacy to be always within us.
So, on the middle of August, I opened my journal and bible. I literally told God, “Lord, I am really not okay. In fact, I’m not even in the mood to do my devos today but I know that apart from You, we can’t really get out of this problem that is now affecting our marriage. I don’t feel like loving my husband at all and I keep wanting to take a different path from him. Please guide us”.
God answered through 2 Timothy 1:7, “For I have given you a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self control”.
That felt very personal and it struck my heart.
That day God revealed the three most important things He has given me this season: power, love, and self control.
I have power over my emotions. My emotions do not truly have power over me- when I think they do, that is the lie of the enemy. I can make wise decisions that aren’t rooted to my emotions especially that during moments when I am filled with fear, doubt, worries, and anger. I have the power to make decisions based on truth, love, joy, and hope. So on that day, I claimed that power and decided to be with my husband in all seasons of his life. I made a covenant with the Lord that no matter what my husband goes through, I will always be his partner. When he makes mistakes, I’ll be right beside him reminding him that there are lessons in failures. When he falls, I’ll be quick to extend my hand and help him get back up. When he gets tired and weak, I’ll be his rest and strength (with God as his main, of course). And when he succeeds, I’ll celebrate with him. I’ll believe in him, encourage him, and strengthen him all days of my life. I’ve started filling my mind the truth that my husband loves us though at times he may fail while in pursuit of giving us the best. I’ve started being joyful again though we still face the same problem because I am hopeful that our God is faithful and I believe that break through awaits the both of us. I’ve stopped being enslaved to fear and doubt, I started believing in my husband, his love, and our God more.
I can love my husband at this moment. I can and I will love my husband ESPECIALLY at this moment. I don’t have to wait for perfection for me to love him. I can love him on his bad days. That was my promise to him from the very start. I will not give him conditional love. My love stopped being “I love you when you’re okay. I love you when you make good decisions. I love you when you make me happy. I love you when you have everything figured out”.
My love for my husband started being “When you are not okay, when you make wrong decisions in attempt to make the best one, when you feel sad, and when you’re still trying to figure things out, I will show you my love even more. I love you the same on both good days and bad. Nothing you do can lessen my love for you. But on your bad days, I’ll make sure to shower you with even more love so that you know you are never alone in this”.
I didn’t have to go with the flow of my fears and emotions. I can always control myself. In fact, that is the one thing I am always surely in control of: MYSELF. How I respond to trials, what I fill my mind with, what I believe in… these are the things within my control. The external factors in our marriage shouldn’t be in control of how I would treat my husband- I should be in control of that.
These revelations instantly changed my heart for my husband. I started seeing him more as God’s beautiful creation than a perfect fictional character of my mind. I’ve learned that our life doesn’t have to be in a perfect place for me to be in love with my husband. I love him in all seasons of our lives. I also learned to show more mercy and grace to my husband. I became more flexible in giving more allowance for mistakes. I am nowhere close to perfect, so why do I expect my husband to be perfect?!
I look back to all the times I made mistakes and failed in life. Mark never held anything against me. The only things embarked in my memories is that during those moments, he held me, comforted me, encouraged me, and loved me. Mark’s love inspires me. I want to be that kind of person for him as well.
Again, God has shown His faithfulness to us in the midst of trials. It seems that in every trial Mark and I encounter together, we grow closer and more intimate together.
So, how are you? I haven’t blogged for a while because I needed to take a step back and connect with the Lord so I could surrender all my burdens to him. I didn’t want to blog when I didn’t feel like it. I always wanted to blog with heart and joy to share with you guys. If any of you are married, have you gone through something similar to this? If you have or if you are, it’s okay. You can always turn things around by loving your partner even more during times of trouble.
If you need someone to talk to, I am always here!