Valentine's Day

Happy spend your money day Valentine’s Day. Sorry. I don’t mean to sound so cynical. It’s just you hear about a new holiday where you’re supposed to buy a card every year. It can get old. (Unless you make and sell cards, flowers, candy, or gift trinkets/stuffed animals. Then, you relish every new holiday, and have probably created half…if not more…of them.) Okay. Rant done. Thanks for bearing with me for a minute.

Seriously, I would like to take a moment to say that I love my Valentine. We have been married for 11 ½ years and have probably been through more in that 11 ½ years than most couples hope to ever go through in a lifetime. And that’s okay. What we have been through…the good, the bad, the ugly, and the really ugly…has made us who we are today. Our marriage is stronger today because of what we have been through.

I say on my front page in the “About Me” section that I wish more people would realize the value in troubles. If one can see a trouble not as an obstacle that means the end is near, but an opportunity to make themselves and their situation stronger then our world, and the people in it, would be a much different, stronger, better place. Dare I say the reason more don’t see the mountain and think it can be moved is because they don’t have God in their lives? Frankly, without God, every mountain will stand. You might find a way around it, but it’s in conquering, in moving that mountain that things don’t just exist and make it through, but that they get stronger and become more than we could ever ask or think.

I had a good friend ask if I would have a perfect marriage if given the chance to go back. I told her that wasn’t a fair question to ask because I don’t believe anyone has a “perfect” marriage. Every marriage has an issue. Granted some issues, like ours, are MUCH more severe than others. Despite that, though, people have divorced for much less than we have been through. I’ve come to realize that it’s not what we face in marriage that determines how the rest of our marriage will be, but how we choose to handle what happens to us.

So, would I change what I have been through? I was asked that about my childhood too. If I said yes that I would change my childhood, though, then I would be taking away a part of me that helped me get through my marriage. If I take away what we have been through in our marriage, then what will I be taking away from my future? Who has God called me to help because of what we’ve been through? There have already been women that God has brought into my life. I have been able to minister to those women because of what I have been through.

I’ve also been asked this question before: Does that mean God caused what I went through? ABSOLUTELY not! But the Bible says that He will work everything for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. I don’t believe for a second that God “caused” what we went through to happen. However, I DO believe that He knew it would happen and already had a plan in place to turn it not only for MY good and for the good of my marriage and family, but for the good of others who love Him and have been called according to His purpose.

I know. I still haven’t answered the question. That’s because asking whether you would change something that has made you who you are today is one of the toughest questions anyone could ever ask. Would I ask for the pain again tomorrow if given the chance. NO! I don’t think I could handle that pain again. It was horrific. I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t see the next minute let alone the next day. My entire world came crashing down. No. I wouldn’t ask for that ever. In the middle of it I would have told you that I didn’t ever want to go through that again and wish I wasn’t there at that moment.

I believe that’s why God doesn’t lay it all out for us in advance like we’d prefer. He knows we’d take the good and try to change the bad. The problem with that human attitude, though, is that it’s the bad that makes some of the good come about. In the middle of pain, we can’t recognize that. We just want the pain to stop. We want to go back and change time. We want to never feel that way again. Ever. No matter what. We can’t see how any good could possibly come out of that situation.

That’s why God is God, and we’re not. We don’t know what it will take to make us who God has ultimately called us to be. Again, I don’t think He causes the bad, but He DOES know it will happen. Why does He allow it to happen if He knows? Couldn’t He stop it. Yes, He could…but God gave us free will which means He can help turn our bad choices into good, but He won’t stop them from happening. And I don’t think we’d want it any other way. I guess that means that as hard as it is to say it; I would not change what I have been through.

A year ago, I didn’t want look my Valentine in the face and tell him I loved him. I was angry at him. I was hurt. I wanted to throw him out the window, so-to-speak, of course. I did say it then, but it wasn’t because I felt it. I was speaking it in faith because I had made a commitment to him. He knew that. He also knew that I really did love him or I wouldn’t have still been by his side at that moment…even if I wasn’t expressing it in the most heartfelt way. At that point, my “heartfelt” way of expressing my love was by still being his wife and standing by his side, despite everything.

Today, I can honestly say that I love this man beside me. He has become more of a man through this than he ever was before. What we have gone through has changed our family dramatically. God has done an incredible work in our family. He can do the same in yours if you’re both willing. Twelve years ago, if you had asked me where I’d be in 12 years, I’d have told you a happy wife with lots of children. I am a happy wife with lots of children (3 so far), but I didn’t get here through the perfect path I had envisioned. By the same token, though, I don’t think I (or our family) would be where we are today had we not been through those trials. Each one led to another blessing in our family, and has made us the family we are today.

If you can’t look at your Valentine today the way you thought you would when you married him/her, don’t despair. Go to God. Ask him to help you move that mountain. He can, and He will. I have seen it first-hand. Our God IS an awesome God. He was and will forever be my first love, and it is by His grace and mercy that I have the family I have today.



Anonymous said...

This is a very beautiful post. My husband and I have been through some ups and downs as well and I still love him very much. There are some things I'd love to change about myself, some choices I made that I wish I hadn't, but they did make me who I am today.

I'm right there with you on Valentine's Day though. My hubby calls it a "Hallmark holiday" and I tend to agree. We went to Walgreen's last night and they had a whole aisle of V-day candy and novelties marked half off. All I could think was "what a waste."

I have to ask when your anniversary is. Hubs and I will be married 12 years come June 14th.

Thoughts of THAT mom said...

Heather, we're VERY close! June 28th is our anniversary.

I'll assume you're 29 like me...which means we were 17 when we got married. Gee, I think we'll get younger every year! Do you like my math? :-)

Thank you for the compliment. It was my heart. Sometimes it's hardest to share what's closest to you.

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

**Happy spend your money day Valentine’s Day. Sorry. I don’t mean to sound so cynical.**

::snort:: It's MY anniversary and I feel the same way. It's our 25th and I didn't even WANT to go buy anything - all these "buy, buy, buy" ads and commericals.