Ten years ago, today on 8/8/08, I became Mrs. Robinson. Yes, cue the quips from the movie and you can thank me later for planting the song seed in your noggin just now. This is significant to my husband and I, this 10-year mark, because it has not been a bed of roses, there were many thorns along the way.
The thorn of infertility is perhaps the most hurtful one. As I write this, I wonder why does this still trigger me now? Maybe I suppress or ignore this thorn day-to-day and as I sit down to stop and reflect on our first decade together, this deep hurt comes to the surface.
The thorn of quickly realizing that marriage is not the idyllic life I remembered seeing on TV shows growing up, such as “Leave it to Beaver” or “The Brady Bunch.” Moving to a big city, living with a man for the first time and starting grad school all within the week after getting married was daunting to say the least.
I once heard the saying, “Marriage is not meant to make us happy, but to make us holy.” I mentioned that to a friend once and she said, “Well, that’s not very romantic.” No, it’s not. However, I think there is much truth to the statement. Think about it for a moment. If we are looking only to our spouse to make us happy, (by the way the word, happy in this sense, makes me cringe; the word JOY in my opinion is far better, but more on that in a follow up blog) then we will be sorely disappointed. Spouses are human after all, not Divine and cannot begin to fulfill all needs and wishes in our fallen state. Only Jesus Christ can truly give us the pure, true, real Divine Love that we all long for. Only He can heal those deep-seated thorns/hurts that we all carry around day-to-day, month after month and year after year. Only He can come alongside and give us the supernatural strength we need to continue to show love to our spouse, forgive each other from our hearts and continue to choose one another each day. Only Love.
Would you agree that there are some things in life that we choose and some things we do not? Things we would never choose, for instance Covid or Cancer or any other seemingly awful disease or situation. However, the Lord in his omniscience sometimes chooses to allow these seasons in our lives, for His purposes, ultimately.
Every response from us, however, is a choice. We can choose to accept the situation or not. We can choose to fight back, or not. We can choose to praise Him above all, or not. We can choose to heed His promptings, or not.
If you think about it, everything from the moment our feet hit the floor each morning till our head hits the pillow each evening, everything we say, think, and do are choices. We can choose to love people each day, we can choose how we respond to others, and on it goes. Every minute of our lives involves a choice in how we respond.
All this to say, we can choose to be obedient to the Lord’s calling, prompting, and commandments, or not. There have been two specific times (many more actually) but for this blog I am choosing to focus on two specific instances the Lord has called me to thus far in my life.
Another trip around the sun. A friend gifted me custom pints of ice cream and one of the labels displayed this saying: “Another year sweeter” Super cute, however I don’t know about that. 😉 As I look forward to my birthday each year, this one is hitting me a bit differently than previous years.
As I gazed over at the side table in our kitchen that holds several b-day cards received this week, some touching, some funny, all of them thoughtful, and looked at the material gifts that I had received each day this week as the Lord so graciously ordained. My thoughts turned to my dad (and the fact that he is now gone from this earth as of Jan 6th this year) and the thought that the absolute best gift I could receive (from the Lord) was seeing a bluebird on my birthday. I wept at the thought. As, I have yet to see one since dad’s death.
As I woke up this morning (quite melancholy, knowing that this day will not be unlike most others unfortunately) after a restless night of sleep and continued my day as always, feeding the pups, reading devotionals and praying, making coffee, walking the pups etc.…It does hit me that even though my dad, Lou did not recall that Oct 7th was my b-day for many years preceding his death, which was super hurtful the first year that happened, it hit me that no one loves you quite like your parents. And, when they are gone, nothing will ever be quite the same. There is a deep void in our heart and soul that realizes, no one will love you in the same way your parents did. That is my experience now (in this moment) and I realize that will not be everyone’s experience. I was blessed to have parents that loved me despite my flaws, which were truly my biggest cheerleaders in this temporary life on earth. And, when they are both gone from this earth, it changes things, and that truly did not hit me until this week leading up to my b-day.
We entered 2021 excited for what was to come. Things were looking up! We had a goal, a vision, and a purpose that gave us great joy. We had it all planned out. Our amazing graphic designer, Preston, had created the artwork. I had sourced just the right garments. Our trusty local printer printed onto the amazing garments. We had created giftable items for folks who might be looking for something more than apparel. We spent several months curating, sourcing, and working towards our goal of launching THE most amazing thing ever. We had a plan; (we have learned over 5 years to plan far ahead of the seasons.) We even had a pop-up planned at a trendy store. We were super excited to launch this powerful, hopefully life-giving movement. Everything was on target.
Then…during a benign Monday night in early January, we got a phone call. For anyone who has ever been a caregiver, you know that when you see the facility name and number pop up on your screen, your heart drops a little bit.