Doom and Gloom!

Yesterday marked the anniversary of my first date with my husband. As part of that evening we went to see a musical called Finian’s Rainbow. Dinner,and then I sat for over an hour at the Big Boy (remember those?) nursing my cup of hot chocolate while my date sat in the bathroom taking a dump. I had begun to think he had snuck out on me!

One of the lines from the musical was “Doom and gloom! Gloom and Doom!” and I remember it all these years later (can you believe that would number 30?) Oye! In fiction we would call that foreshadowing. I call it irony.

Sometimes I think the appellation is a good one for our marriage. I sure haven’t found my pot of gold in the love department and would love to blame my husband for stealing it. Or did I lose it? Like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, did it even exist?

Sometimes I have to wonder.

Image courtesy of cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I also have to remember that on gloomy fall days when it’s dark and rainy and my spirits sink, that I will not always feel this way. I do have days of joy and moments of peace here I rise above the reality of my circumstances. Maybe I haven’t been “lucky in love” but I have been blessed in so many other ways.

  • I have an amazing, faithful God to walk through my trials and joys day by day. I have the assurance of his love and provision even if my husband has failed me there.
  • I have been blessed with some close friends who understand my struggle and my heart and who are there to encourage and support me. My invisible cheerleaders. What would I do without their reminders of my reality when I’m threatened my my husband’s twisted version?
  • I have a great church and have had the blessing of being able to serve and use my gifts there.
  • God has allowed me to use my experience and pain to minister to others. Sometimes face to face, one on one. And then also through my book which comes out next year in the fall.
  • I have some wonderful children who challenge and bless me in so many ways.
  • I have changed. There is growth I would have missed had I not embarked on this journey.

Things were never like this in Glocca Mora. But then, Glocca Mora is a fictional place in Ireland.  God calls me to live in the real world and in the real world people struggle through all kinds of challenges. My marriage just happens to be one of mine.

How about you? Maybe you’ve lost your pot of gold, but can you count the other ways God blessed you? It sure beats the doom and gloom.

So maybe I don’t have a pot of real gold, but I do have riches that are priceless

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The Un-Anniversary

I love Facebook, especially when women post about how much they still love their husbands after many years of marriage. Or men who proclaim the beauty of their wives after a long period of marriage. The “I would do it all over again,” is sweet to see.

Actually, bittersweet.

This Sunday will be my 23rd wedding anniversary. It’s not acknowledged or celebrated. I try to keep busy and ignore the date because my husband does. See, it’s not important to him because I am not important to him. Many years ago he decided we couldn’t do that recommended “date” thing because it costs money. Even after learning ways to do “dates” that cost nothing, he held to his belief that it is not something he could or would do because he doesn’t want to spend the money on me.

It’s not about having the money. It is a testament that I am not worth spending it on.

Ouch.

It’s been years since I’ve worn a wedding ring. I wear a ring on that finger because I am not in the market for an affair. I really don’t have a marriage and yes, my choice to stay married for a variety of reasons, means that I cannot seek another who might really love me. I put my ring aside and over the years my husband has never said a word to me about it missing.  Either he hasn’t noticed or doesn’t care. I have at times been tempted to sell it to provide money that my husband denies me. Yeah, I can be a bit passive-aggressive.

Part of me wonders if I could even do love. If I could give myself to another person and trust him.

Part of me wonders if my husband ever repented could I really trust that and embrace a new marriage with the man who has hurt me so deeply? I haven’t had to cross that bridge.

Can I regret marriage as difficult as it has been and continues to be?

No.

I’ve grown. I’ve matured. I’ve written a book. I’ve three children to parent here and one waiting for me in heaven. I’ve had heartache and pain that enables me to reach out to others in their hurt and validate their pain. My book about those lessons learned is due out in January of 2014.

Would I have spurned all that for the opportunity to be loved for who I am, protected and cherished as a wife? It’s a moot question since I did have opportunity before I ever had kids, to walk away from the marriage and I didn’t. Twice my husband threatened to divorce me and he didn’t.

23 years of marriage though is in reality 30 years in a relationship with this man. I’m not the same woman he met at our first date. My husband lives with a stranger because he doesn’t care to know me.

Sunday is a mile-marker like one sees on the highway. A little post that is missed if you blink, whizzing by faster and faster as the years pile up.

How about you? If you are in a difficult marriage, what are anniversaries like for you?

Blessings,
Lilly Grace

 

 

Anniversary Musings

In two days I will have been married to my husband for 20 years.  I met him when I was 18 and we dated 7 years (and two cancelled weddings) before finally tying the knot.  So I’ve basically been in a relationship with this man far longer than I was without.

It has been a long time since this date has been remarked on or even celebrated by us.  This is not the “hubby forgetting about it,” kind of thing. It’s just not important to him. Investing in our relationship to him equates with spending money so he will not invest. We have no money. He doesn’t understand emotional currency.

Now, I cannot say that marrying this man was a “mistake” or something I “regret” because to do so would be to reject all the growth that has happened in my life because of the challenges I have faced in this relationship. And it would be as if I were saying that my three children were also an error.

I don’t look at this date with fondness. The calendar moves forward without any change in our marriage for the better. In some ways in recent years it has gotten WORSE!  Happy? Not anywhere close.

So it is simply an “anniversary.”  Not one I celebrate. I remember and reflect that in my attempts to follow and obey God, and still respect my husband as a person, has not wrought the “happy.” But I remember that God is up to something far bigger than my happiness.

I was reminded this past weekend, listening to Andy Andrews talk, that one life, one choice, can impact millions. Every single thing we do has the possibility to impact the world for eternity. But how could you possibly know what that choice or action will be?  Here’s the key (from me, not from Andy): Walk in step with the Holy Spirit and seek to be obedient to HIS leading every day of your life.

Sounds so much easier than it is. Not because the Holy Spirit is difficult. He is not!  However – I am. My stubborn, rebellious heart often doesn’t want to let go of my sin to bend my knee before God in repentance. When this does happen though, the Holy Spirit has free reign to lead and guide me. When I give up my “rights” to happiness – I can find joy in following Jesus, even when the path is not easy.

He never promised it would be easy. He never promised roses and flowers and candelight. He promised that He would walk through life with us. The hard days.  The painful nights. He captures our tears and holds us in the palm of His hand.  Psalm 17:8 says “Guard me as the apple of your eye (daughter of the eye); Hide me in the shadow of your wings. . .” (HCSB). Wow. Love. Protection.  God’s eyes light up at the sight of me. I am precious in HIS sight and His affirmation and love are far more important in span of eternity than my husband’s.

So how will my choice to stay in this marriage change the world?  I don’t know. Really, it doesn’t matter as long as I am following God’s leading every day of my life. Day by day, He can lead me to  bring glory and honor to His name, for eternity, as I submit to His leading. I wish I did this better, but I’m a work in process and I’ve grown so much. I am not the same woman who walked down the aisle 20 years ago. I’m certainly not the same size!

I may not celebrate a wedding anniversary, however, I can celebrate a God whose love and faithfulness have sustained me and molded me over the past 20 years into the woman I am right now, today. That’s a good place to be and something to rejoice in. To have a happy marriage at the expense of missing out on God’s best for me? Well, my human side would choose the “happy” every time. The longings of my heart can only be met in Christ and will find ultimate fulfillment in His presence. That I can celebrate.