Saturday, November 6, 2010

Don't just plan your wedding, plan your marriage.

I remember standing at the altar on my wedding day so excited to be marrying Brian. I knew without a doubt that he was the man that the Lord provided as a husband for me and a father for Tori. We happily and wholeheartedly proclaimed our vows to one another during our wedding covenant ceremony. We began our new life together so excited to be walking our new journey together. We did not however, have any idea what that journey would look like. Reality smacked us in the face pretty early on in our marriage. Before our third anniversary we had 3 children, lost around 40% our income, and one of our children was a special needs child. Some couples don't survive financial troubles, much less financial problems on top of what we went through with Timothy. We didn't know anything was wrong with him until after he was born. Those first few months were brutal! We were somewhere everyday, whether he was in the hospital, at an appointment, or having some new test run. The more doctors we saw, the more they found wrong with him. When you have a special needs child you have to go through the processes that you would if you were grieving the loss of a loved one. You have to grieve the "normal" life you thought your child would have and come to terms with who they are. The denial phase was pretty short for me. Mostly because I didn't have time for it. I was the one at most of the appointments and nursing him through his illnesses. Brian took a little longer at this phase. I took his denial as a rejection of Timothy and I immediately put up a wall. I felt like I had to defend Timothy. The reality was that he loved Timothy so much, he didn't want to think about the struggles that his life would entail. The denial was his defense mechanism. I think most people know that when one person in a marriage puts up a wall, it creates problems. We struggled through the next few years. I'm convinced that because we trusted the Lord and were very serious in our vows to Him and each other, we stayed together. I'm so thankful that we did. The Lord has taught us so much about what love is and what it looks like. Love is a choice that we make to put someone else before ourselves. It's selfless and sacrificial. It's also rewarding and comforting. I look at my husband today and I'm amazed at the man I married. He's such a great provider & protector of my heart and our home. I see the father he's become and I realize how blessed our children are. When I said my vows 11 years ago today, I had know idea what they really meant. Not that I didn't want to, it's just hard to know what "doing life together" really looks like. I think premarital counciling falls short a lot of times in preparing young couples on how to communicate in tough times. And there will be tough times! Today, with a much better understanding of their meaning, I can say without hesitation, that I choose to continue to love Brian from this day forth, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to honor, until death do us part. I love you Brian and I'm so blessed to walk this journey with you!