love, actually...

"...for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part"

i remember saying these vows on my wedding day, but at that moment, i have to admit, the thought of "worse" was not on my mind...i could only think of how wonderful marriage was going to be, of how much i loved my DH, and of all the warm fuzzies that would come during our life-time together

i am not sure anybody really ever thinks about the fact that there will be hard times or bad times they will go through in their marriage, on their wedding day...the only things a couple in love can think of are wedded bliss, sugar-sweet honeymoons, and everything else that is heavenly

right now, i am definitely going through the "for worse" part of our marriage, and much sooner than i expected

as i was telling a very dear and special friend last night, marriage is great, and i love my DH with everything in me, but being married does not make life any easier than before marriage...people still go through hard times, hurtful times, stressful times, insecure times, etc...in fact, it scares me if marriages don't have any difficulty ever; perfection is sometimes a cover-up

this time of being away from my DH is teaching me that marriage is not always rainbows and butterflies, romance and roses...marriage does take work...for us right now, it takes extra work; to find ways thousands of miles away to still make each other feel loved and special is already proving to be quite difficult...getting a care package is not the same as getting a real-life hug at the end of a long day in the desert

i'm learning that my husband, no matter how wonderful he makes me feel, is not my Savior...he can't take away the aches in my heart or the fears in my mind even if i wanted him to...when i was single, i placed these unhealthy expectations on my future husband...i believed that he would cure my misery...but any voids that were in my heart when i was single are still there now, because those voids were created to be filled by God, so i'm seeking Him

during our wedding, the pastor read 1 Corinthians 13...this passage of Scripture has been read so many, many times it has become common to hear it even during secular marriage ceremonies...yet this passage is coming alive for me as i apply each verse to my life and marriage:

"Love is patient,

there are days when my patience wears thin, and i am tired of waiting for him to come home...but God's love gives me the ability to wait on HIM

love is kind.

some days i am in a really bad mood...although i only have 30 minutes or so to talk to Paul right now, the days where i am not having a Christ-like attitude are the days i have to watch my tongue...but God's love gives me peace in my heart and the ability to speak words of kindness to those i love

It does not envy,

i look at other friends around me who are married and who have husbands at home with them, and jealousy tries to rear its ugly head...but then i remember that i, too, have a husband who loves me, and God's love gives me the ability to realize that i am blessed regardless of my circumstances

it does not boast,

it is easy to feel like Paul and i have accomplished something great because we are married...it's easy for me to pretend like i have found the answer to all life's problems because i have a husband (which is untrue)...but i have nothing to boast of except for God's love and what HE has done in our lives

it is not proud.

one of the first things that attracted me to Paul was his unwavering firmness, yet constant humility...to me, his humility was that of Christ's, bathed in love and joy and peace...God's love in my life has definitely been refining my heart so that it is not proud, but humble as well

It is not rude,

again, taming my tongue prooves to be difficult when i'm not feeling happy some days...yet God's love gives the ability to speak words of love even when its easier to be rude and dismisive to others

it is not self-seeking,

real love is about sacrifice...right now, i'm bringing an offering of sacrifice before God in my marriage for the sake of His calling on my husband's life...it is not easy, but it is God's love that gives me the ability to put Paul's needs before my own always...and because Paul puts my needs before his, even now while he's gone, our needs are met but never by coersion or force or manipulation

it is not easily angered,

some days, every little thing can get on my nerves...living with my parents, class-work i did well that i recieve a bad grade on, etc..., can tempt me to get angry...but God's love allows me to be slow to anger and understanding of situations that are out of my control

it keeps no record of wrongs.

grace, mercy, and forgiveness have been things that i have had to experience in a new light since being married...my DH and i are like any other couple...we have disagreements and issues to work out as anyone else...yet God's love reigns in our hearts and enables us to not only forgive, but also forget each other's mistakes and wrong-doings

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

another thing i loved about my husband as a person, when i first met him, was his ability to speak the truth in love...he never wavers from what he stands for and what he believes God's Word says, yet he is able to show me where i need improvment and i am able to accept it because i know he speaks from God's love in his heart

It always protects,

the Bible says that Satan is a thief who wants to steal and destroy, but that Jesus came to give us life abundantly...right now more than ever, Paul and i have to work at protecting our marriage from Satan's schemes...God's love is our ultimate protection

always trusts,

being away from my husband puts all kinds of crazy doubts and notions into my head, but i'm trusting him because i know he is faithful...God's love enables me to trust Him as well because He is faithful

always hopes,

hope is my life-line right now...however, my hope is not placed in my husband or in our belongings or in any worldly thing or success...my hope is secure in God's love

always perseveres.

it is easy to feel like giving up also during Paul's deployment...a year is a llllooonnggg time to be away from some one...but God's word says that we need to persevere so that when we have done the will of God, we will recieve what He has promised us (Hebrews 10:12)

Love never fails..."

above all, i believe that nothing, absolutely NOTHING, can seperate us from the love of God through Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37-39)...no circumstance, no person, no devil from hell, NOTHING is going to keep Paul and i from Christ and from His love and from loving one another as Christ commands

a favorite hymn of mine that i haven't sung in a long time is "Oh Love That Will Not Let Me Go" ...it expresses all of this in better words than my own:

O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
that in thine ocean depths its flow
may richer, fuller be.

O light that follows all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
my heart restores its borrowed ray,
that in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
may brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
and feel the promise is not vain,
that morn shall tearless be.

even though i'm going through the "for worse" right now, i believe God's love WILL see us through as long as we depend on Him

are you depending on the Lord and His love right now??? could it be that you are putting your hope, your dreams, etc... in other temporary things? are there voids in your life that are making you feel empty that need to be filled by His love? just accept His love and allow Him to fulfill every hope, dream and desire that you have...and i promise that He will


Dana-from chaos to Grace said...

awwwwwwwwww...I am SO sorry you are going through a rough time. I cannot IMAGINE what it's like having your husband so far away! I'm whining because he'll have a medical test that will be OVERNIGHT and he'll be gone from me! I cannot imagine having him gone months...and months...and months. :(

Well....however I can, through prayer or however God will let me, when you grow tired and can't hold your arms up anymore....I'll help to hold them up. Prayers to keep you STRONG. I know it's hard.

Ginger said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. It serves as reminder to me. I was listening to a podcast from The God Journey, he was talking about the voids in our lives, that if we try to fill it with something other then God we get in trouble, the voids are placed so we will allow Him to fill them. I so wish your husband was here with you, God has given you a gift and when I read about you and your husband it makes me believe that it can still happen and be good.

Kim said...

I've been thinking about you alot lately knowing that you're going thru this tremendously hard time without your DH. I understand the feelings of jealousy and even frustration with yourself. My hubby is traveling now and he's only home 10 to 12 days and then gone 10 to 12 days. At least I know I can see him unlike you - alone for a year. You are in my thoughts and prayers every day and I hope the time flies, I pray (and know) that God has something really great for you to accomplish in this year. God Bless.