Last night I had the privilege of catching up with a dear friend who recently said goodbye in this life to her husband of 40+ years. I asked her what was the hardest part right now for her. She said it was when she was driving alone going to her empty house. She added that once she got inside she was fine, but for some reason the drive and entering the door were extremely painful.
But she also shared that she feels an amazing connection with eternity deep within her heart. She believes it’s because she was one flesh with her husband who has now moved on to a better place. Part of her went with him on that day, and she looks forward to one day being reunited with him forever.
I also had the joy of celebrating with a young couple who are getting married next week. As part of the party they offered henna tattoos for anyone who wanted to try it. I thought it would be fun to get a little one on my wrist, so I picked out a curlycue and watched the artist do her craft. The engaged couple both have real, colorful tattoos that I’m sure took a lot longer to create and most likely hurt in the process.
It was great being out with my girlfriends last night–we even had dinner together before the celebration. But it was hard leaving Tom at home who is still in quite a lot of pain from his fall last week. His pain is subsiding slowly–at a snail’s pace–which is about the speed he is able to walk right now. The healing process takes time–lots of time–for him to be back to where he was before he fell. It’s been hard watching him suffer, but we have the hope that he will recover.
Our daughter-in-love gave birth to her third child at a birthing center last week. Our son was there helping her bring their first son into this world. It was extremely painful, but as a result of pushing together through it, they experienced new life!
All of these made me realize that marriage is painful.
Sometimes it’s self-inflicted pain that leaves a permanent mark on our marriage; sometimes the pain comes by accident or the actions of others outside our marriage that we must endure and even seek healing through the wise counsel of someone else; sometimes the pain is helping our marriage grow in ways it wouldn’t if we weren’t willing to push through the pain; And sometimes it’s a pain that will only find its comfort in eternity.
Marriage can be a real pain. But it is good to endure it so God can show Himself faithful to you and your spouse on the other side of it.
What pain has your marriage experienced? Are you in the midst of it now and need encouragement to endure? Or have you seen God’s faithfulness come through to you on the other side of it?
Remember there is a day coming when…
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”(Revelation 21:4 ESV)
But until that Day we are called to endure as Christ endured for us…
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)
Finally, we want to share with you a new song by Steven Curtis Chapman. Most of you remember that he and his wife endured one of the worst tragedies a marriage can face; their five year old daughter was killed in their driveway when their son accidentally backed the car over her. It left them devastated and broken experiencing a pain I can’t relate to. But through the pain they’ve endured he has created something beautiful–and the following song testifies to how it has affected their marriage. Take time to listen and be encouraged…