Monday, August 12, 2013

A Marriage Rebuilt Till Death Do Us Part


Rebuilding Till Death Do Us Part


So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.    Nehemiah 4:6


When I first met him, he was strong and able. He was already a devoted, caring father, which meant the world to me. He was creative and interesting. I admired his mind, his poetry, the fact that he had recently received his Master’s in Fine Arts from Columbia University. He was cute,  kind, and had strong faith.

Chris had a can-do attitude that I admired tremendously.

At the age of just 23, he had dealt with a lot—an alcoholic father, a baby at 20, a broken relationship. Yet he had pushed through, determined to love, learn, live well.

So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.    Nehemiah 4:6

When I first met him, he was strong and able. He was already a devoted, caring father, which meant the world to me. He was creative and interesting. I admired his mind, his poetry, the fact that he had recently received his Master’s in Fine Arts from Columbia University. He was cute,  kind, and had strong faith.

Chris had a can-do attitude that I admired tremendously.

At the age of just 23, he had dealt with a lot—an alcoholic father, a baby at 20, a broken relationship. Yet he had pushed through, determined to love, learn, live well.

I felt confident and protected by Chris. I knew he was loyal and dedicated to me and to his family. He was a good man. When we exchanged our vows, we took them seriously…as seriously as we could, never having tested the solemn commitment to stick together through “better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness or health, until death do us part."

On our wedding day, we had no question we would be married for the rest of our lives.

As we stood before our friends and family gathered, we couldn’t have imagined the difficulties we would face, the pain we would inflict on one another, the unforgiveness that could fester; the many, many circumstances that would test our commitment.

And so when we sat at the kitchen table, in the wake of devastating loss, financial turmoil, and an accident that would change us both forever, we sat in a heap of rubble. The walls of everything certain had crumbled. The only wall left standing was the one that protected our hearts from one another. (<==== Click here to tweet that)

How? How had we gotten here? How had things gotten this bad between us? How could we actually consider breaking up?

In fact, we had been living very much apart from one another, with very little communication…ships passing in the night. We realized we had what amounted to an in-house, unspoken separation.

That night at the kitchen table, my husband looked into my eyes. His tone was weary, yet sharp, and serious, “Do you think we should separate?”

Instead of answering that question, we poured out our pain, our doubt, sadness, loss, and disappointment. And in those moments, sharing all that had happened and all it had cost, we started to rebuild our marriage one brick at a time.

We recognized that we had a solid foundation. We stood on our faith in God and His faithfulness to us.

Upon that foundation, we recommitted ourselves to one another; to do everything we could to rebuild. We even dared to promise to never ever let this break down happen again.

We sought and found wise counsel from a Christian therapist. We learned and relearned how to communicate better; how to hear and be heard. And we forgave each other, a critical step in being able to move on together, allowing the past to remain in the past as much as possible.

And so here we are. It’s been about 16 years since we sat at the kitchen table that evening, amidst the terrible jagged edges of a marriage in ruin. Our love has been built up again through the chaos, joy, and tumult of raising kids, working hard, and being intentional about securing the stability of our marriage.


Soon, our youngest daughter will be off to college. And it will be just Chris and me, sitting across from one another at our kitchen table, no longer surrounded by hungry mouths and boisterous noise. Now we can look into one another’s eyes and say, “I’m committed to you, till death do us part.”

This was a guest post at Living Joel 2:25.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let's Chat! Please leave a comment

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...