If I shared all of the circumstances that could have come between my husband and I in the 5 years we’ve been married, you’d be pretty impressed with how we are still together. Especially based off of how quickly marriages end these days.
We chose love even at our weakest point.
A few days ago our Pastors preached about chemistry and how many of us base our love off of the chemistry we have with someone. We become so infatuated with having chemistry, that when the chemistry is gone, we are quick to leave in an attempt to find it again.
Another point that struck me was was the fact that we love when a person gives us butterflies, and even search for that feeling, yet butterflies fly away and so easily we can let love fade. What if you chose to commit to love even when the chemistry goes away or when the butterflies fly away?
LOVE IS A CHOICE.
But that choice starts with YOU. At least this is the case for myself, which took me awhile to figure out. This past year I realized that I can’t expect my marriage to get better, or for my love to grow deeper, if I am not able to love who I am.
Fortunately, I grew up with two parents who instilled the importance of faith in me, but eventually it was something I had to understand on my own. About a year ago I started to attend church regularly and get actively involved in the church community. There were two reasons I wanted to seek this lifestyle again. To improve my marriage. And, since I’m throwing it all out there, to change my husband. I had no idea that God had a completely different vision of 2016 than I had. I also had no idea that how I was going about things, was again, not part of His plan either.
This past year was extremely raw for my marriage. There was so much exposed and so much brokenness that surfaced. I was so desperate for change that I was trying to change it myself. We had a serious fight on our hands that we could not handle on our own, and though it didn’t start in 2016, it made a grand slam in our lives that year.
Early on in the year, I felt like I was fighting for my marriage alone. This idea was so far from the truth now that I see God’s grace and plan for my life a year later. Although it was tough, I chose to hold on. I chose to love anyway. Maybe I expressed a mediocre version of love, but it was there. I’m not perfect.
About mid year I started to see changes within myself and as the end of the year approached I noticed that I had been changed from the inside out. All the raw and useless baggage I had carried inside for so long was gone, and I was able to be me. Call it what you will, but once I brought the focus off of who/what I couldn’t change and put the focus on me and the things I could change in myself, slowly, my life started to flourish (SLOWLY – LIKE A TURTLE).
If I wanted my husband to be more attentive, was I being attentive? If I wanted him to be sensitive, was I being sensitive? If I wanted him to be more understanding, was I being more understanding? If I wanted him to carry out nice gestures, was I carrying out nice gestures? –You get the point, and the answer is, no, I wasn’t. At least not as best as I could.
I’m not saying the choices that were made were the right choices, but how we reacted was not the right reaction either. IT IS POSSIBLE to get through it. IT IS POSSIBLE to choose love even when it seems so far away. In my situation, I prayed A LOT and often things still didn’t go my way. But, they went better even though it took more time (go figure).
It’s easy to give up when you’re not seeing results, isn’t it? I’m so thankful for the community of people that pray for me and for my family and the few who I confide in that encourage every step of the way.
The crazy part is, just one year after I decided to seek a greater understanding of my life and my marriage, SHA-BAMMM, there it was, another obstacle. There was one more difficult test. But, being careful with our approach, reaching for more understanding with each other, and more understanding from God, we overcame it. We overcame it in the most outrageous sort of way, though. The restoration felt like it came over night, yet, God had been restoring our marriage for over a year (or more). It brought us to a point of love, understanding, respect, and unity.
Through the tears, confusion, uncertainty, frustration, anger and sadness — we chose love.
Here we are 5 years in our marriage and I am only understanding my husband’s love language now.
5 YEARS LATER!!!!
Do you know your spouse’s love language? Or, do you look for what you’re getting and evaluate what you’re willing to give based on that? If so, I encourage you to work on that part about yourself.
The chemistry went away.
The butterflies (as much as I love them) came and went.
But, we chose to love anyway.
(Shout out to our Pastors for these 2 pretty great examples)
The answer you so desperately need may be within you. I’m thankful to those in my life who have encouraged me to turn the focus on myself (you know who you are)!
2016 was not a transformation of my marriage. 2016 was not a transformation of my husband. 2016 was a transformation of myself. As imperfect as our love may be for one another, and as different as we are as individuals, our choice to love is (and always will be) the same. I just needed to love myself first. As I tore down the shield that was blocking my view, I started to look at my husband like I did when I first met him: with hope, with love, with understanding, with compassion, and a WHOLE LOTTA FUN!
We have the greatest defender!
Here is a quote that I really love from the movie “The Choice” by Nicholas Sparks:
“Now, pay attention, ‘cause I’m about to tell you the secret to life. You ready? The whole…thing is about decisions. Little, seemingly insignificant decisions that clear the road for monster truck life-altering ones. You see, every path you take leads to another choice, and some choices can change everything. Every…moment of the rest of your life hangs on them. And, boy, do I got a choice I got to make.”
I’m thankful for my husband and his choice to love me anyway. Cheers to growth, to strength and to many more years of showing our daughter, Lexi, a good example of love. It may have took us a little longer to build this foundation, but we are here and moving forward to an even better future. Not perfect. Not without obstacles. But, better because we will appreciate the foundation we have going forward.
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