What kind of ship is your marriage?

Ya’ll, I have really been struggling lately. That’s just the real, raw, honest truth. I know we all go through things, but for the past month my anxiety and depression has really had a hold on me. I knew it was coming due to some medication issues, which is the hard part about depression, knowing it’s there and not being able to do anything about it.
Just as things were starting to feel normal again, Tommy and I were hit with a HUGE curve ball!!! I mean, the kind that hits you in the stomach and takes your breath away. This time instead of breaking down and just living in it, I prayed. Well, I pray all the time. My mind is always running so it’s sort of an open dialogue between me and God, but this time I deliberately prayed. I was honest, I didn’t even know what I was praying for. I mean, it wasn’t a health issue. It wasn’t like we were going to be homeless. It was just something that effected us big time and took another swing at us coming out the other side of these last long 5 years.
So Tommy came home for his few days off the road and sat down and “looked” at the books. Somehow, he figured it out. Sure, I can give up my dream of going back to school and just go back to work, and of course that was on the table. But we know that isn’t best for our family. I then realized that not only had God answered my prayers, I mean I didn’t have all the money we needed, but he had given us a way to provide. My husband. That was the answer. This man that for the last 5 years has listened to me complain about this decision and not get over how we got here. But now, in this moment it’s where we needed to be. He is able to provide what we need. He is able to provide what other responsibilities he has. More importantly he is willing to do it. That is the answer to the prayer to our huge curve ball.
But it was a friend of mine that sort of pulled me out. She asked questions better than a therapist. She asked about the past, like “do you blame him for this” and “do you blame him for that” and “do you trust him”. After all the ugliness, which I never deny , was there all on the table she then asked, “do you believe that together, you two can handle anything”? That was the moment I got it. I understood that I was harboring all of the resentment for the past 5 years despite that we continued to hold onto one another and make it through anything. There was no reason to keep the resentment. There was no reason to keep the ill will. First, there was no infidelity. It was just a fucked up situation that happened. I was mad for all sorts of reasons. But in that once conversation with my friend I realized that despite being mad, we had made it through because we can make it through anything together. That’s our love.
So I let it go. I let that heavy ball go. I prayed. I realized what the real answer was and had been. I also read something that was so poignant. It compared marriage to a ship.
All of this time, even though I had been carrying ice bergs with me, my marriage was a strong ship, not the Titanic. I had been so preoccupied with what caused the rough water that I didn’t notice the strong ship that we had built and how it was withstanding the waves and wind because of the two of us holding it together. I am grateful for my prayer, I am grateful for that friend that gave me the perspective, and I am grateful for my shipmate.  

My 5 year plan went bust about 8 years ago

My mama sent me a devotion from Proverbs 31 ministries the other day in hopes of reminding me how our plans don’t always work out in God’s time. The writer of the devotion talked about how she was a planner and had a strict five year plan she was following in her early adult life. I chuckled, okay, who am I kidding, I rolled my eyes and laughed hysterically when I thought about my five year plan. Especially when the writer explained how hers had changed into a somewhat fairy tale of love and marriage.

My five year plan actually did include love and marriage. My high school sweetheart (I know, so cliché) and I were both to finish college earning respectable degrees, find gainful employment, and have the wedding fairy tales are made of. Then we would, of course, live happily ever after. Imagine my surprise when my five year plan turned into infidelity and a painful divorce.

That’s when I gave up. I sort of quit planning. Not all together of course, seeing as though that Type A isn’t something you just can push aside. But, I began to just believe that no matter what the “other shoe was going to drop”. I know, it sounds cynical and jaded, but really it’s only a defense mechanism. I not doom and gloom most of the time. 

Looking back and reading this devotion did put into perspective some “plans” that I have right now that just are not working out. Every corner is a dead end, every street a u-turn, but I am reminded of how the demise of my 5 year plan ended up. Two years after my divorce I met a wonderful man and we married and one year later we were blessed with our penguin. How’s that for a plan? 

This is when I do just have to keep that Type A part of me pushed down and remember something greater than me is at work. I have to breathe in, breathe out, and move on (even got the tattoo to remind me). 

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭6-7‬ KJV)