If the last two posts were hard to share with you, this one is near impossible. This post, besides my declining health and constant exhausted and pained state, is the main reason I have not written or blogged since the beginning of May. It kind of tears me apart. Sharing this feels as though I’m ripping out a part of my heart and exposing it to possibly more pain. And I’m not sure I can bear anymore at this time. But because I believe God wants me to share my story and I’ve been working towards doing what Annie F. Downs has encouraged me to in 100 Days to Brave…I continue my journey of BRAVE.
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Excerpt from Journal 7/17/19
“Wait for the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.”
Waiting. I feel like I’m waiting EVERYWHERE!
Waiting for my health to get better. Waiting for answers. Waiting for miracles. Waiting for quality time and relationship with my kids. Waiting to know what God has for me. Waiting for David to be home.
. . .
“Waiting for David to be home.” You may have noticed in the last post that there was no mention of “us” or my husband when I was talking with my children. The absence of his mentioning is because my husband travels for work. A. Lot. And the beginning of this year was a very heavy travel time for him. He was contracted down in Mexico right away in January. He would be gone for weeks at a time, home for a week or less, then gone for weeks again. This was our life through August. Eight months, thirty-four weeks, 243 days. And I only got to see him about half of that time.
Here’s a truth for you…absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder. Sometimes distance in miles creates distance in hearts and relationships. This was the case for my husband and me. Torn apart by miles. Torn apart by silence.
It wasn’t really anyone’s fault. He was extremely busy in Mexico and I was busy being a mom of four here at home. Most of our correspondence was via text. And sometimes the only texts that traveled the miles across continents and our hearts were a “Good morning!” and “Goodnight! I love you!” text. I rarely heard his voice because international calls from Mexico to Wisconsin don’t always connect well. And the few we had were with co-workers or kids in the background. We were supposed to have date nights through Skype, but he had business dinners and I had kids to drive to and fro. The dates nights never happened. And when I say never, I mean pretty much never.
Until one day in August, when the distance between us had become too hard to cross, and we’d been feeling that distance tear at the seams of our marriage. But we knew we had to start trying to connect or we might not every be able to again. By this evening in August, though, we’d grown so distant, so apart, that we had nothing to talk about. We just sat in awkward silence, like two strangers trying to think of something to say to fill the space, instead of a loving married couple who had just celebrated nineteen years of marriage and growing in knowledge of each other those nineteen years.
A wedge of literal miles is what began to put a small crack between my husband and me. The small crack grew with days of busy schedules and silence. I wanted to talk more, but I didn’t want to bother him while he worked and was with his business associates. Which was always because they shared a condo there. So, I didn’t reach out to him. I didn’t let him know that I needed more from him. That I needed him.
He tried to share his Mexico moments with me through texted pictures. But I hated seeing palm trees and sunshine when I was stuck in -60 windchills in the not so great northwest. I hated seeing his fun beverages and authentic Mexican meals when I was so sick, I could barely eat or drink anything without being in the bathroom ten minutes later. Not to mention, he got adult time to laugh and ignore the worries of life while I was constantly dealing with my health and separating fighting kids.
I was growing resentful of my husband’s travel, adult time, ability to eat food, and a life that didn’t include me. I had convinced myself that he was off having so much fun with his coworkers, in warm sunny weather, in a land that had palm trees aplenty and fresh fruit and avocados, that he didn’t even think of me.
Ugh…great I’m crying. See I can’t do this. I can’t.
I can. I can do this. Through tears I am going to continue to type out my story. My heart, no matter how much it aches.
I’m not going to list all the ways that I felt left out and left behind. There are too many to list. And even though God wants me to share my story, so that others who may be in a similar spot can know they aren’t alone, and perhaps find hope in it, He doesn’t demand I share everything. He leaves that to me.
But, I will share this…
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Excerpt from Journal 8/22/19
…all I can think of is my marriage and the pain we’re going through right now.
I’ve told a few people now, because we need wisdom and prayer. But it is so hard to be in this place and let others know you are in this place.
. . .
Marriage can be hard. So hard. And it can be heartbreaking at times. And I think that my husband and I had a lot working against us the first eight months of this year. What with literal miles between us and separate lives those miles naturally created. My growing resentfulness over his warm Mexican weather and adult interaction. Our very busy lives when he came home that left us no time to be alone and reconnect. All of this combined with me being sick and exhausted, leaving me unable to be the wife he needed me to be and that I wanted to be.
But even when it seems everything is working against your marriage; the truth is that God is working for it. God is a restorer. A healer. A provider. And God is providing a way to heal and restore your marriage.
It’s hard to share when you’re struggling with your kids. But sharing that your marriage is struggling is even harder. When I decided to reach out to a few of my friends that I knew would encourage me as a wife and pray for my marriage, one of my friends said, “It’s really good that you are asking for prayer for your marriage. Every marriage struggles, but few will ask for prayer. We ask for prayer for sickness, we’ll go up in front of the church and have hands laid on us. But when it comes to marriage, we feel like we need to keep it a secret. Why is this? We should feel just as free to march up front with our spouse and have our church leaders pray for our marriage to be healed, as we would asking for healing from an illness.”
Friends, I encourage you, if your marriage is struggling, tell somebody. Tell the people who will speak encouragement into you and life into your marriage. Tell someone who will pray for you and your spouse. And then, do what we did. Go see a counselor and work on your marriage.
I once heard Dax Shephard and Kristen Bel talk about their marriage and regular counseling that they do in order to keep their marriage healthy. And I thought it very wise. And I’m paraphrasing and adding in some Kalli here, but basically, they said something like this…
It is with heartache for the broken and struggling marriages, but with hope and faith in the redemptive and healing power of our Heavenly Father, that I close this post with a word of advice from God’s Word and a prayer.
Heavenly Father, you created marriage. You looked at Adam and knew he needed his Eve. You created us and our spouses, and you said let no man tear them apart. So, God, I lift each and every marriage that feels like it just cannot anymore, up to you. I pray that you will put a flame of hope in the hearts of each broken husband and each hurting wife. And help them to know that, even if they feel like they have nothing in common anymore, they do have that flame of hope. May they bring their hearts with those tiny flames before you, God. And as their flames of hope meet each other in prayer, may they choose forgiveness and love. And may they grow brighter and stronger together, lighting the way to perfect unity. Amen.