June 08, 2012

There But For the Grace of God

I recently discovered that several folks I know are in process of their marriages breaking up...it makes me sad, as both families have young children.  Not that there's a good time for a marriage to be dissolved as far as the children are concerned (at least most marriages anyway)...
I was talking to someone I know with 3 daughters - ages 8 to 4.  He just decided that "she was selfish, with all the time she was spending at her studio".  He works as an wildcatter - on the oil fields, gone 3 weeks, home one, gone 3 weeks, home one.  She opened a dance studio shortly after the birth of their youngest, and has been working hard to make sure that none of the money he earns is going into it - she is truly able to say that she started from scratch, and has made all payments and salaries and taxes on the income she's making at the studio.  I'm proud of her.  It being a dance studio, she's there mostly afternoons and evenings, as 90% of her students are truly students - ages 3 on up...she understands that you can't have a dance class for high schoolers at 10am...It stinks...but that's where it is.
My other friend lost their first child to a stillbirth 7 years ago.  Their second child is the same age as Captain.  She had a miscarriage, and he wanted her to go back to work when their son started school all day, so she could "earn her keep".

I think about all the things that BB and I have faced - his biological mom passed away when we'd only been dating a few weeks, yet I was the first person he called that day...when his brother and sister-in-law started having issues, he called me.  After our wedding, we talked about everything and anything, anytime of day or night.  We just fit.  If you're there - you get what I mean - that the majority of the time, we just click, our strengths and weaknesses complement each other.  We make each other better.

We have our moments...our arguments, we raise our voices at one another, we exasperate one another, there are times I want to wring his neck...but I can't imagine my life without him as my husband.  I'm not sure what I'd do - I'd be lost...

I think back to when I was single - how badly I wanted Prince Charming to ride in on his white horse, swoop in and save me from whatever fate had befallen me...I was in love with the idea of love - this idea that somehow, my man would be perfect, inside and out...

And then one day, I made a stupid choice, spent 10 months of my life trying to make it the right choice, trying to be a wife...and then one day, I was told "you're just not the person I want to be with, I don't think it's working out"...and this came about 3 years after the boy I'd dated for 5 years told me "it's not you, it's me - it's just not working out" and dumped me for an 18-year-old...

I was rescued by my parents, they graciously came and helped me pack up all my belongings, clean that house as though I'd never been there, move back home, and start things over.  They even made sure I got all the paperwork and legal things handled.  My dad worked with me to get out of debt - helping me once a week to make sure I was not spending more than I was making, that I'd made payments, that I had gas in my car, that it was in good repair, that my insurance got paid...they never actually made those payments for me, but they helped keep me on track by being supportive and loving...

When I met BB, I'd had an entire year of NO RELATIONSHIPS with guys at all - not even just as friends. I'd spent the entire year focusing on what God wanted from me - what could I offer Him, what kind of person did I want to be for Him, for His Kingdom...and I'd spent the time in prayer about what things I needed to work on in myself, and asking what things were truly important in a person that helped make the relationship work...

We dated only 18 months before he proposed (nothing like Farmie's whirlwind with her Farmboy...!), and I was actually to the point where I had decided that if he didn't propose by year's end, I would be ending the relationship - knowing that God would be there and that God would send the right man at the right time.  Turns out BB was indeed the right man and I'd been wise in listening to my heart - we were married just shy of 2 years after our first official date, and we just celebrated our 10th anniversary last weekend.  OK, we observed it, being that our firstborn was also our 4th anniversary present, and we had already decided to just celebrate later this summer, when we could take time and focus on each other, knowing the kids were in good hands with my folks.

I wake up each morning amazed at how when we truly trust God to meet our needs, He does indeed meet them...if I'd been left to myself, I'd be married to a guy who works as a manager at a grocery store, threw tens of thousands of dollars into an education that he has never put to use, and I'd be working full time to help pay off our student loan debts...if I'd been left to my own devices, I'd not be where I am today - with an amazing husband who is gracious about working full-time to allow me to stay home and be a wife to him and a mom to our three amazing kiddos.

We are all given a set of choices in our life - do we go left, right, or straight...it's not a "Choose Your Own Adventure" sort of book where you can skip around and look to see where you end up, or go back and do it again...once we make a choice, the door is closed and locked behind us...and all we can do is take the path before us until the next fork in the road.  The great thing is that when we trust God to guide us, the path becomes invisible and all we can focus on is Him and His glory and mercy and love...and everything else falls away, and we suddenly wake up one morning, 10 years and one week after we promised to love, honor, and cherish 'til death us do part and realize that things are only going to get better from here!

2 comments:

Layla said...

What timing. I love the end, about life not being a choose your own adventure book. That said, I'm choosing to walk away from my marriage. I tried. I'm not sorry to walk away.

Kork said...

Layla dear - I wish you only joy and happiness in this choice...things don't always end up as we hope for, and I am sending you all my happy thoughts and lots of virtual hugs!!!

I miss reading you...I hope you feel comfortable spilling your guts here...or send me an email...