Picket Fences & Sunflowers

Marriage is hard.
 
Before we got married, we attended Catholic couples classes as required by the church.  It was, awkward, to say the least.  We met with an older couple once a week for about 3 months, and had to discuss personal & intimate details of our lives.  We had to discuss things we had never even brought up to each other.  Back then, my relationship with God and religion was much different, and I just couldn’t see the messages our sponsor couple was telling us.  They brought up a scenario in which one of us may lose our job and asked us about our financials.  I was so brave to believe that we wouldn’t have those issues.  They asked how we would handle a disabled child.  Again, I couldn’t envision it.  Not us.  We had this dream life in our hands, and I could only see life being picket fences and sunflowers in the wind.
 
But life, and God, doesn’t work that way, and obviously, we wound up facing a million more hardships in our first three years of marriage than we could have ever anticipated or prepared for.  And our marriage, it suffered.  We both dealt with the diagnosis and grief differently, and we couldn’t find a common ground.  I wanted to talk and dwell on everything.  I cried and mourned my dreams of seeing my daughter go to prom or learn to drive.  My husband became a rock.  He stood stubborn and sure of her ability to beat the odds.  We were extreme opposites, I expected the worst and he expected the best.  We couldn’t find our middle ground.
 
I was mad and depressed.  I noticed the wedge between us and didn’t know how to chip it down.  I wanted my husband back so badly.  I prayed for answers.
 
And one day, something clicked in my mind.  I realized I had far more say in the situation my life had become than I had taken ownership in.  I needed to take ownership.
 
I began to read my Bible daily.  I took notes on what spoke to me.  I put on the armor of God and stopped expecting my husband to fix everything.  I had to let go of the bitterness if I ever expected us to move forward in love.  It wasn’t fair to him for me to become a shell of the woman I once was.  When we married, I made a vow to be his wife always, even on days I was too depressed to shower.  I actively started to show my love and appreciation for my husband and in turn, it helped my depression lift.  I decided to speak in a language he understood, and uphold my end of the vow.  He works 70 hours a week to provide for us; what was I bringing to the table in return?  I let go of my pride and approached my housework as if it were my job, and in turn, it became something I actually enjoyed.  I stopped expecting a pat on the back every time I did the laundry, and I found myself far less annoyed in my daily life.
 
I still have my days.  Becoming a Christian wife is not easy, and I still cannot grasp the idea of submission.  We are a team and I don’t know if I can ever get to the point where I believe we are not equals in our marriage and that I must submit to my husband.  The concept baffles me, as he did not marry a submissive woman by any means, but, I have made a vow to him, and God, and I will always continue to work on being a better Christian, and in turn, a better wife.
 
I envision my husband and I, old and gray, holding hands on a front porch some day.  I have told him since the start of our journey that our love story was going to rival some of the best.  He is the Noah to my Allie, the ice cream on my pie, my lobster, and we will only become stronger as time goes on.  I have a unfaltering faith in that.  Regardless of rock or stone in our path, we will always walk on, together.
 
“In my life, I loved you more.”Kimberly  Patrick-81.jpg

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